By Obiotika Wilfred Toochukwu
In the last 8 years in Nigeria, many households were already being financially distressed. The final and irrevocable commitment of men and women in many families was severely threatened due to the economic situation in Nigeria. Alcoholism, child abuse, hatred, and a thousand other things that are certainly wrong were happening on daily basis because of financial pressures mounted on individuals whose responsibility involves taking care of future generations.
The adventurously expectant life of many Nigerians which classified them globally as deeply religious had dwindled. No matter the packaging, we still find depression, despair, shame and guilt in the faces of many Nigerians.
This notwithstanding, some still believe strongly that the government or her policies cannot deprive them of their lustful pleasure (lust of the flesh), legitimate pleasure not to talk of lasting pleasure. According to this class of Nigerians, they would always drive their car, do their weekend shopping no matter the price of petrol.
Of recent, the Federal Government has advised Nigerians to embrace the use of bicycles as an alternative means of commuting. This is not only because of the environmental and health benefits but also as relief to the hard times under the yoke of fuel subsidy removal.
The precaution to be taken here is that so far, many families in Nigeria exhaust their income just on feeding alone. Many families are not worried because of where to build, invest or trade but how to keep body and soul together. The matter has become worrisome as there is no end in sight. Life’s plagues are tough to endure – painful to the core. But it becomes unbearable when there is a human factor to it.
It’s easy to find across the country a deep economic discontent among people in every walk of life. Even though we should be enjoying the highest standard of living the world has ever known but we still have poverty and not many agencies are trying to do something about it. Many are dissatisfied. People want more and more things. We want more, more and more.
There is no gainsaying the fact that every good driver changes the gear when the sound of the vehicle is high. But this is not for Nigerian politicians. And that is why there is a widening political unrest in Africa. That is why the struggle to enthrone a New Nigeria is strong. In a country where the Oil Marketers believe that the Government pays Subsidy on Petrol and the price of a liter rose from ₦200 to ₦700 is purely oppressive and wicked.
Not only that but also prices of goods keep soaring. Dealers, businessmen talk about new prices and last market price every day. Commercial drivers bicker and quarrel among themselves due to scarcity of passengers. The open market, hustling scenario tends to be the survival of the fittest. Men on duty at Police Check-Points display anger and melancholy in their mode of extortion.
Market women groan and lament about unwarranted transport expenses. Elderly men and women who cannot trek long distances bemoan and cry in pain; calling names. Some of them are conversely supposed to be in government payroll. Many hawkers appear tattered and forlorn due to low patronage.
Implicitly, the movement for taking back Nigeria cannot be more committed than now. Human capacity building is the hardest and greatest of all investments. The National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) was introduced in 2001 by the government.
Lagos State Government followed up with the Millennium Goals by bringing in KEKE tricycles for youth empowerment. Today, most of the graduates who embarked on the initiative for survival are finding life hard. Remittance and savings cannot go together for those on Hire Purchase as the tricycles overtakes ₦2 million.
Coincidentally, it’s quoted that; “The Past does not merely tell us of what happened yesterday. It also illuminates what happens today.” (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) Nigerians are worried by the conspiracy that Nigeria is loaned out with her citizens as collateral. Weird as it may seem, many Nigerians are under panic. The prevailing circumstances make them to doubt the possibility of an answer to their prayers whether to God or to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. Must Nigerians be in fear?
Covertly, we do not need to dread, panic over an insensitive or oppressive government. Hidden grudges and bitterness are ruining the effectiveness of our struggle even the physical health of many Nigerians. Dr. S. I. McMillen, in None of These Diseases, says, “The moment I start hating a man, I become his slave.
I cannot enjoy my work anymore, because he even controls my thoughts. My resentment produces too many stress hormones in my body and I become fatigued after a few hours work. The work I formerly enjoyed is now drudgery. Even vacations cease to give me pleasure. The man I hate hounds me wherever I go. I cannot escape his tyrannical grasp on my mind.”
In addition, if you are married, think back to when you first met your husband or wife and fell in love. Stay excited about your relationships; engage each other and ignite each other’s imagination with a wide range of life’s topics. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “In 2019, 1 in every 8 people, or 970 million people around the world were living with a mental disorder, with anxiety and depressive disorders being the most common”.
It defines “mental disorder as characterized by a clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotional regulation or behaviour. It is usually associated with distress or impairment in important areas of functioning”.
Finally, we should take good care of our well-being. Human beings rarely change. Even if they change, it’s usually divinely inspired and for a purpose. If one has been a drug addict, a drug peddler or a drug baron; the hardened heart that peddles, sells or markets substances that poison the soul, injure the mind, wound the body just to make money (evil money) cannot change overnight. Besides, it takes a wicked heart to love money and desperately desire to accumulate wealth by any means.
Nigerians must be patient even resilient. Time is ticking. When the time comes, what has been our wish will manifest. Every Nigerian should think of safety first.
Obiotika Wilfred Toochukwu writes from Lagos-Nigeria.