NIGERIA IS THE DARKNESS OF VISIBLE
I will like to start this essay with a flashback from history. I know many of us are not born when this incident happened, but guess what? It is now a phrase of coincidence- Darkness Visible
During the administration of Yakubu Gowon, the defunct Daily Times Newspaper of Nigeria, under the leadership of the courteous, snazzy, and not too acerbic newspaperman, late Alhaji Babatunde Jose, published a somewhat provocative editorial, titled: Darkness Visible. And the newspaper was the provocateur calling out the act of debauchery in the administration of Gowon who was barely forty years old as a leader.
Well, the anecdote I am pointing here is that, during that era, Nigeria was a promising country with its oil in the global market. There was money in the country then. The economy was booming. People could afford to go to school conveniently and travel abroad without immigration issues. Unfortunately, with all this good life, one of the delinquent politicians of the post-colonial era said; ‘’ there is money in Nigeria but our government doesn’t know what to do with it.‘’ Can you imagine the rate of idiocy in that era? And to some people, they say military administration is better than democracy. Is there any difference? Both are occupied with people who just get the happenstance of the position.
Although, darkness is still visible in Nigeria. Our economy is on the precipice of collapse. Schools are on strike. Banditry everywhere. Abduction is making people get fury, and atrocity is taking the big picture of our news. This is the current state of our dear nation - Nigeria. A country that has oil with other resources now becomes a crypt for miscreants. If you ask me who the miscreants are, I would say, those people who have turned the interest of Nigeria’s growth to their inheritance. They are these old men and women who refuse to retire from partisan politics. Can you imagine a septuagenarian still contesting to become the president of Nigeria? What a shame!
We are now in the plague-like still and the deathlike calm society; just because the country appears as the black cat. It means everybody is the problem of this country.
For instance, we blame the leaders, forgetting that we the citizens are not even helping the matter. Is it the leaders that asked you to commit a crime? Even though we live in decadence, we still fail to accept that for Nigeria to grow, we all need to play our part. It is not about being a patriotic Nigerian, it is to contribute to the development of this darkness.
If darkness continues, what this means, is that angst and turmoil will ensue and for this not to be averted, it is for us to accept that the Buhari administration has failed us woefully. And we should not make another mistake to elect another leader who is puny or pretends to be healthy. To govern this country, one has to know what makes Nigeria united. Some would say football, but I would say our culture and tradition unites us more than football; because an average Nigerian belongs to a clan, and if we can understand the direct rule of the colonial era, I think we can unite and govern Nigeria conveniently.
Democracy is expensive in Nigeria because we spend billions during elections. And this has made it difficult for youth to contest for a public office. But if we develop a flexible system, apart from democracy, I believe this would make Nigerians have a say in the government and not the bourgeoisie alone. Proletarians are also part of the country. Everyone deserves a say.
Still, in the continuous darkness, this is a result of the collapse of the national grid. Yet, the minister of power has not addressed Nigerians about this condition. It shows this doesn’t concern the minister and his ministry. Meanwhile, in civilized and rational countries, a national power outage of more than three minutes often provokes a state of emergency with widespread rioting but here in Nigeria, we ignore it because we are on the street looking for survival.
Surviving in Nigeria is hard. It is darkness because an average Nigerian could not live above 2 dollars and we hear billions from the budget. This shows that we are in a place of the peasant as how a Nigerian poet describes this in his poem ‘’ A state of echoing children/crying for the future/ in a home of paranoid ‘’ thus, these lines have the same relevance to what the Chairman of UBA Bank, Mr. Tony Elumelu wrote on Twitter last week, lamenting about the despair in the country. This is the worst darkness ever.
Darkness is everywhere in Nigeria. However, the editorial of the defunct newspaper is now having a meaningful impact in Nigeria since it was written over 40 years ago. It is now telling us about the mistake we made in governance. How we forget to put the country out of skirmishes and brewing war from some ethnic groups. I believe that if we fail to bring Nigeria out from this darkness; it means that we have inherently forgotten what darkness does to human psychology.
Meanwhile, before we choose our next leaders, let us ask ourselves if these particular leaders are competent to bring us out of this cracking shell. Are they visionaries? Can we believe in their manifestos? Are they people’s friends? Because all this matters if we are to stay away from the relic of this Daily Times Newspaper’s editorial.
But presently, Darkness is a bad economy. Darkness is insecurity. Darkness is a lack of safety. Darkness is the epileptic power supply or shortage. Darkness is corruption. And darkness should be expunged if we want to see beyond 2023 in our beloved country.
And this essayist has once said ‘’ for Nigeria to be great, we all need to make the move first. And the move is to start a movement that will buy the ideology of both the homeless and the homeowner, the rich and the poor, the literate and the illiterate. That is when we can have a great Nigeria”