Sometime its strange how interconnected the world is; sometimes it’s strange how things which happened hundreds of years ago can have connections with things happening at present.
I fear I’ll lose you soon with my rambling, let me just get on with it. This morning I was whiling away time on the internet as I’m fond of doing when I’m more than a little bored. I happened upon the video of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream speech” and I couldn’t help but be struck by how relevant it is to the Nigerian situation.
Five score years ago, the British colonial masters brought forth upon this continent a new nation- I fear this is an exaggeration- it’s more within the realm of truth to say that they brought forth the continent a union of strange bedfellows.
A nosy British governor general forced upon us an amalgamation, conceived by administrative convenience and dedicated to the proposition that we must always insist on and emphasise our differences.
In their own minds, there were offering the Natives a joyous daybreak from the evils of their bush ways to the bright light of domination. The great irony is, one hundred years later, this colonial creation is still not free.
One hundred years after this momentous amalgamation, the average Nigerian is poor, bitter, maligned in his own country and shamelessly exploited by a government for which he was bribed to vote for.
When our nationalist leaders understood the importance of leadership and government, they sought to kick out the British and have the national cake to themselves. They talked up a storm, telling us the advantages of independence, the possibility of becoming Africa’s giant. For once, our leaders had the same aim and we had unity- fleeting as though it was.
Fifty four years after independence, we are still not free. The average Nigerian still battles with poverty; if reports are to be believed, six out of ten Nigerians live below the poverty line.
We still battle with large scale unemployment, this nation of ours where the Curriculum Vitae’s pf our graduates serve little more purpose than to wrap akara in.
We still live in a Nigeria where some of our government officials earn N83 million per month while these same leaders tell us that they cannot afford a minimum wage of N18,900.
We still live in a Nigeria where uninterrupted power supply for sixteen hours at a stretch would likely give me a heart attack.
We live in a Nigeria where the government only cares about our welfare two weeks before elections.
Still, our leaders ask us again and again, we have tarred this road and that, we have rebased the economy, when will you lot be satisfied?
We will not be satisfied in a Nigeria where our government’s political will is shown only they want to witch hunt their political adversaries.
We cannot be satisfied in a Nigeria where we pretend the turmoil in the North isn’t happening even as the terrorists seize town after town.
We can never be satisfied in a Nigeria where the only improvements we see are the lies our politicians tell on the pages of newspapers. We cannot be satisfied as long as our public schools are decrepit and symbols for decay and dereliction.
We cannot be satisfied and we will not be satisfied until our nation starts to make the kind of changes which would trickle down to the average Nigerian; the kind of changes we would see and feel, where we feel involved in the government and feel like they’re our representatives, our servants.
So, when our politicians come calling two weeks before the 2015 elections, let us succumb to the usual tricks of bribery and intimidation. Let us tell them, we will not be satisfied!