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Sunday, 03 March 2024 08:54

[OPINION] Nigeria In A State Of Shock … - Prince Charles Dickson

It is a trap that the giant rat disdains that wrenches its testicles backwards. Dangers that one belittles are liable to cause great havoc.

 

When Amy and I were first married, we purchased a really small home built in 1960. The only two closets in the entire house were shoebox size. We moved in and hung a few shirts and pants in each closet. That was it. No more room. We put a couple of pairs of shoes in each closet, which maxed out the floor space. Uh-oh. What about our big bag of dog food, board games, photo albums, VHS tapes (this was the early 1990s), and coats? 

No problem. Our little house had a little basement, which we used as storage for everything. 

It worked great!

Until our first big rainstorm. You’ve heard the expression “It was raining cats and dogs”? 

 

We’d been out for the evening, and after a cautious drive through torrential rain, we made it home. When we walked into the house, we found our basement flooded with three feet of water. Our real estate agent had neglected to mention that the basement flooded several times a year. We looked and saw, to our dismay, floating dog food and board games and photo albums. 

 

I leaped into the torrent and found myself standing waist deep in water. Our toilet plunger floated by. I considered grabbing it so I could start plunging, but I didn’t know where to start. That’s when Amy, peering safely from four steps up, reminded me that the previous owners had left a sump pump in the basement. I felt around until I found it. I pulled it out of the water and looked around for an outlet. I noticed the end of an extension cord dangling from a rafter directly overhead. It was strange that we had electricity anyway.

Hmm. I needed the sump pump to work. The sump pump required power to work. As I was still standing waist deep in the water, I knew this could be problematic, but the connection had to happen. 

Had. To. 

I thought, If I plug this in really, really quickly, maybe I won’t get shocked. 

So, I said a quick, wet prayer and pressed the two metal prongs of the pump cord into the corresponding slits in the extension cord. 

When they connected, power happened. I know power happened because my body became the pathway for billions and billions of teeny-tiny electrons. Electric power surged through the cords and into my body. Apparently, the piercing shock triggered certain neurons in the language center of my brain where a long-unused word — a very bad word — was stored. 

Milliseconds later, the sheer force of the electric current pushed the foul word toward the front of my face and out of my mouth. Unfortunately, it did not come out quickly. Probably because of the gazillion volts of electricity surging through my body, it came out at an unusually increased volume and seemed to last as long as an episode of The Bachelor. 

I looked up and saw the horror on my new wife’s face. Her preacher-husband had just shouted the mother of all bad words. I also saw fear — I think she believed I was about to die, and that word would be the last thing I ever said.

This whole story above is not about the newlywed couple, it is not about the torrential Lagos rains, it is not about the flooded basement, it certainly is not about the sump pump, or the ‘f’ word that came out of my mouth. This story is about Nigeria, and you would need a bus load of critical thinking to figure it out.

It is 2024 and all is not well with Nigeria, leadership admonishes us to be patient that there is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Some of us wonder how long we have been at the tunnel.

I won’t bore us with the story of the Naira and the dollar but let me state a few obvious and leave us to some deep thinking.

Nigeria, be it himself, herself or itself, is a nation that thrives on breaking the rules, one of the major reasons for why we are at this point. We refuse to follow the set rules, we kill what seemed ordinarily our once moderately easy to follow rules, ethos and norms. The signs were there but we refused to see it.

It is like the real estate agent, Nigerians are hiding a lot from themselves…

What really is the raison de etre for writing this admonishment? Really one wonders why repeat the same thing; it’s still the same people, stiff-necked people bent on self-destruction. 

From a history when most nations were VISA free, to a gradual decline where (1) we beg, pray, fast and then if successful we add a thanksgiving for a VISA to Botswana. (2) To a situation where one of the government’s key phrases is foreign direct investment.

A nation that cannot invest in itself yet believes that by treating its calabash recklessly, we would get a better treatment from others. We watch the gradual disconnect between governance and good governance, a people and her leaders–that rather than provide leadership, ‘rule’ them.

We killed everything that had an N–Nigerian Airways, Nigerian Railway, NITEL, Niger Dock, Nigeria Hospitals, Schools, Nigerian Police, a step at a time we sowed hate, theft, political violence and corruption, watered it and we are acting amused like we never saw it coming.

Public officials loot in the dollar, and we citizenry spend Naira to cowardly defend them because of faith, creed, religion and ethnic cleavages. He is not a thief, if he comes from my own side of the wood or prays to my own ‘god’.

Private miseducation has long replaced patriotic public education. Nursery rhymes have long replaced the national anthem. Public officials are applauded; people dance and come down with rheumatism for the building of a culvert or borehole in 2024.

That we are now being forced to tell our kids the good old story is painful, not painful because it is the good old story but because they may never see such…They will not be products of good old public education…When UI, IFE, Nsukka, Lagos, ABU were the schools to be…

Nigeria is in a state of shock, the levels of current are high, and it is wet everywhere, hunger, lack, and more. The government both falsely and otherwise are battling for direction, the citizens are divided, for how long I do not know but—May Nigeria win!

Prince Charles Dickson PhD

 
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