Nigeria is one of the hardest places to live in; no thanks to bad and insensitive governance that has only succeeded in creating and widening the gulf between the government and the governed. But also, Nigeria stands out as a country that has created a legendary status for having citizens who smile despite excruciating circumstances.
It is as if the hardship suffered by the masses of the country has made them tougher. Thus in every New Year, the citizens contrive to harbour hopes of a better tomorrow; a tomorrow that will usher in a period of bliss; socially, politically and economically.
Although so far nothing of the sort has come to be, it has not stopped the people from hoping and expecting a magical turnaround.
It is another New Year and, as usual, people are hoping for the best after coming out from a year ravaged by social and economic upheavals occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic and EndSARS protests which virtually shut down the country.
It was a year that witnessed the collapse of many businesses in the country, as well the deaths of many people through sectarian and political violence, as well as COVID-19. It was a particularly difficult year from which many are yet to recover.
But then, life must go on and in this New Year, we can only join others in wishing, hoping and believing that things will get better. However, a lot still depends on us for things to improve, especially as our problems in this country are self-inflicted because of our wrong attitude.
From our behavior at traffic lights through our obedience to rules and regulations, to our relationship with others, we have to do some self-examination and know if we have been part of the problem; especially in little things.
During last yuletide, for instance, despite the best efforts of road traffic personnel, traffic gridlocks were experienced in some places, all because of the impatience and lack of discipline of some people to be law abiding.
In such situations, it will be fool hardy to expect the government to come and help us or for the gridlocks to disappear, when all we have to do is to simply obey traffic rules.
For those who arbitrarily increased the prices of foodstuffs or costs of service delivery; all in the name of Christmas, they need not go far to look for the cause of their problem.
Indeed, the last yuletide witnessed the usual rise in the prices of foodstuffs, as well as increase in transport fare, even when there was no need for such.
Those involved just did it to maximize profit at the expense of their fellow citizens. Yet, the majority of them are clamouring for a new nation known as Biafra. One therefore wonders if the new nation they are seeking will be any different from the one they want to leave.
As we enter the New Year, therefore, it is expected that having realized that our destiny is in our hands, we should strive to be better citizens in any endeavor we find ourselves in, while hoping that our actions can help make things better.
Together we can!