I was in SS2 when a Corp member told us of his of journey into the University. He had written JAMB for eight good years without admission. Not that he was not intelligent or that he wasn't reaching the cut-off mark for his course. During those years, he equipped himself with skills hoping to pay his school fees when he finally gets admitted. In the ninth year, he was admitted. Concluding his story, he said, “Welcome to Nigeria”.
I also have this friend, Ken, who had also taken JAMB for seven years. In the sixth year, he applied for UNIZIk. On the day for the POST UTME, he prepared himself hoping that it will be the final JAMB. After logging on his password to start writing since it was computer based, the computer popped up this “this website can't be reached”. That was not enough, the monitor went blank and his session expired. That was the end of the POST UTME till date. No refund of money, no cancellation of exam and no letter of compensation. Dear Ken, Welcome to Nigeria
On the 14th day of April 2014,we were told that some girls were abducted in Chibok by Boko Haram. Later we were told that everybody should go into prayer for their release. Months later, we heard some were released while some were killed. We kept praying. In 2016, news went into air that some were seen in Sambisa by some vigilante group of the community. It filled the air that the then President knew about their abduction and for that reason he kept calm. After the election of President Buhari, the news came again that Buhari was using the Chibok abduction to paint his predecessor black. Rumours after rumour about the Chibok girls, just like that, the issue died. Dear reader, welcome to Nigeria.
So many stories have been told about the Fulani herdsmen. Cruel stories. So many killings, kidnap, rape and stealing. Yet, they are still being called suspects. Two years ago, three priests were ambushed in Enugu on their way to Anambra. It it was then said that the suspects were Fulani Herdsmen. One was shot in the head, one ran away while the other was abducted. My mother's farm has been destroyed by this men, yet nothing is being done. But we are still told that we have rights and a working government. My people, welcome to Nigeria.
I was fortunate to witness the gubernatorial election in Anambra State last year. What I saw left me thinking if we had conscience at all. The slogan in the polling booths were, vote and get your cash. The least money shared was two thousand Naira. Each party had their price. The votes of people were gotten with money irrespective of the soldiers drafted down to Anambra. Abeg, who that one help?Later, the result was announced and we all believed that we have voted. This is Nigeria!
Nenye, my friend, was rusticated from the University last year after spending much and paying fees for three years because ofillegal admission. This happens in Nigeria.
Back to my secondary school days, I was the Deputy Senior Prefect. I knew about it. Every money that was given to our school by the then governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi during his Final Push. I can still remember, two million Naira was given for the reconstruction of our school hall. But my old school hall ended up being painted and having its roof changed. After that, some delegates were sent to my school for inspection of the projects. That same day, I heard over the radio that two weeks were given to my principal and some other principals of various schools to bring the account of all the money kept in their custody for the schoolssince no work was done. Till date, my school hall remained that way and I never heard about the money. Yes!This is Nigeria where everybody fights for their pockets in every little thing.
Growing up, I was told that other countries buy oil from Nigeria. I also read electricity was being generated from Kainji Damn here in Nigeria. Ndi Nepa, ndi ara became our favourite song those days as there was never any consistency in electricity supply. Now the norm is, every December, the price of fuel will rise to its peak leaving the poor in a state of pityespeciallyat night. Every day the cost of fuel keeps getting higher, yet we proudly but shamefully tell ourselves that other countries buy fuel from us.
Every young girl wants to marry a guy from Malaysia because it is believed that these guys make money faster overthere than Nigeria. Years back, Malaysia couldn't be compared with Nigeria in terms of economy. This country actually came to Nigeria to pick some samples of oil palm. But now, Nigerians are running into Malaysia for quick money. Nigeria, what are you thinking? Where is your creative mind? Why can't we join our hands to develop these country? Believe me, agalasha must come back.
Some Universities released their first admission list for 2017/2018 academic session in October last year. While some didn't even release at all. I don't have problem with that. What surprises me is this; second list will have to wait for three good months after the first had been released. Meanwhile, lectures are going on. The final list will be out only God knows when. What is our educational life turning into? Do we even think of how the miserable students will cope? Some get frustrated and become failures in life blaming our educational system.Dear students, welcome to Nigeria.
Last year, I heard that the Vice Chancellor of UNIZIK declared that Televisions are prohibited in the offices of the lecturers because of negligence of duty as a result of pornography. Some days after I heard that, I saw in the newspaper where it was clearly written of his denial to that. But whether he said that or not, our lecturers will still remain who they are? What of their selfish demands to have carnal advantage of the female students for them to be awarded better grades. Television or no television, who e help?
I lost a friend on 11th December, 2017 to the carelessness of police men. He was on his bike with some friends trying to cross over to the other side of the road at Kwata Junction in Awka, when a police man hit him with a stick in an attempt to collect fifty Naira from him. Emeka lost consciousness and fell inside a nearby gutter, landing with his head. He was rushed to the hospital by some passersby who witnessed the accident. Few hours later, he gave up the ghost. Presently, the case is still in court as a murder case. But that won't bring my dear friend back to life. Yes!This is Nigeria.
When are we going to wake up from this deep sleep of ours? When will we start valuing ourselves? When will Nigeria be better? When will this corruption our dear president believes he is fighting stop?When will tribalism stop eating all of us up? When will students start gaining their admission truly on merit?I do not have a problem with the Igbo's fighting for Biafra, but I strongly believe that if we use the same mindset to think for the betterment of Nigeria, our country would be better.
2017 has come and gone. It's time for things to go right and stop being wrong.It's time for a good governance. It's time we think creative for a developed country. It's time we think unity and peace. Our own writer, Chinua Achebe, said 'things fall apart, the center cannot hold'. Indeed, we have fallen apart, it's time to be united.Truly, Nigerians, is time for change, the change begins with me and you.
Once again, welcome to Nigeria, my fatherland!