It takes courage to tell the truth and that’s what I’m about to do!
In a country where our leaders project false reality of what Nigeria truly is through their monetary displays, posh houses, fleets of cars, some people still have it ROUGH. Scoff if you want to, but that’s the sad truth. In Nigeria, peeps without material wealth are easily expendable because wealthy Nigerians have little time or patience for ordinary underlining. (I know this because I have experienced this). Could it be that this is the reason why the citizens are always on outburst of outrage these days?
It is easier and wonderful to project your country in a positive light, but to me, that’s living a lie (especially with the current state of Nigeria). Truth be told, most people still live way below poverty level. I’ve personally seen children as young as 5 years old hawking sachet water under the sun-not because they love to, but because of extreme poverty which has made it impossible for them to afford formal education. I’m aware most states have a free education scheme, but how effective is it? How does the government enforce these laws? Why do we still have many kids hawking goods on the street during school hours?
I met Agnes, a young girl of 6 screaming: ‘Go nu pure water!’
which means “buy sachet water” on a hot Thursday afternoon. She looked so hungry and stressed. My heart broke for her because I have a child who is same age as her and I can’t imagine my son becoming an adult at six. Agnes said she lives with her guardian who can’t afford sending her to school. This is the same country where mothers are abandoned in the hospital by their husbands because they can’t afford the bill and maternal mortality rate is on the increase. In 2016, it was reported by sunnewsonline.com that about 400,000 women die every year from childbirth complications.
This is a country where a 7-year-old who went to steal food items according to www.informationng.com was lynched by a crowd in Badagry area of Lagos (I’m not trying to justify stealing but snuffing life out of that young boy is disheartening and the pictures are too gory and distressing to look at). The reality of Nigeria is: it will still take a long time to eradicate poverty at the grass-root level and as an individual, there is a level to what one can do without putting strain on their finances.
On the other hand, our leaders have become inhibitors instead of facilitators. We, ‘the governed’, have acquired a distorted view of what true leadership is. When a leader fulfills 50% of his manifesto, we start cheering from the sidelines. My question is ‘should we applaud a fish for swimming?’ Opinion is justifiably varied, I’m aware but bad behaviours should be uprooted and not encouraged. I was almost discouraged from sharing this because I was told ‘wars’ are fought in battleground and not in rings; but to be sincere, this is my battleground and I hope to win this war with million of other Nigerians who are all ‘fighters’ in this battleground.