By bimbo amole
In the year 2010 the Gallup global poll rated Nigerians as the “happiest people on earth.” It was an awesome news to have and brought some positive news on board for a country often known for several negatives. But even then several researchers had their doubts about the indices and correctness of such poll. Many thinkers came to the conclusion such a poll was reached because of the gregarious nature of the average Nigerian person who is never pushed to the wall. He/she simply jumps over it! That funny but thoughtful line of thinking seems to be supported by the United Nations more recent survey placing Nigeria only as the 100th happiest nation on earth. The current happenings in the country over the past year also shed light on the plausibility of this relegation. It would seem we delight in leaving things just as they are, do not rock the boat, and so clinched the trophy of “happiest people”. Simply defined, if you excuse the frankness, I would rather call such happiness a mirth of mediocrity.
I mean, in January when there was the subsidy issue, there was a popular demand for a change of state of affairs. The nation as it were was on its feet seeking a turn-around. Now that the very causes of such subsidy crises are on the rise in the nation( pension scam, police fund scam, subsidy probe, Faroukism, and now Dame-ism, etc), nothing is heard. Yet it is such as these that bring problems on the nation! Mal-administration. No, lack of reasoning so to say! It’s like we live by the day. As long as it does not touch the price of fuel for today, any other thing goes. It is a really worrisome manner of thinking. These things slap us on the face, insults us as a people, makes a jest of anything like the academia in the country. It’s like we grope in the darkness to live. And in the 21st century too! And life goes on as usual. You need to make a research into how the different embassies in the country must be laughing their head off on this simple people called Nigerians. These happiest people of the earth. And of course, they won’t say or do much to correct it. it pays them so! No, we are the ones to put our house in order.
The way I see it, the evil here is not even so much about Dame becoming a Perm Sec while she is First Lady and earning from the states for donkey years, nor is it about the big conglomerates sapping the country dry and gulping the patrimony of a Nation through an infamous subsidy system (whereas millions of the Nation’s population live on 2 dollars per day) nor about a group of terrorist holding a nation which is the world 5th in production of petroleum by the jugular. No, but shockingly I retain these are not the worst of the nation’s ailments.
It is not about these individual malaises. It is rather about us as a people. Namely, when these things happen, what do we rise up as a people to do? What actions does it engender from us as a people: the leaders in different categories, the academia, the fourth estate/journalists, the activist, the ordinary Nigerian! These other malaises have been on the ground calling for an answer, the one of Dame has simply come to take its spot because it is expected nothing moves this happiest people! It might not be a bad prediction to say expect some 2 more issues to join the train before the end of July. And life just rolls on for us. Yet we expect a change. A change? Na yam? Will it fall from the sky? These bad experiences present us with opportunities to make things right, to correct what is not working fine. That is the pattern of any successful nation and individual too. Making beauty of the ashes that there are. But we rather send these experiences down the alley of past memories and as such they are not of any use to a reconstruction of an ailing nation.
It is painful. But to think that these teething problems with which other countries developed and came out of the tomb are the very ones maiming us to death in Nigeria is stomach-churning. But the more these things repeat themselves in our contemporary history, the more the appalling silence which keeps encouraging them to happen tomorrow. It is like we have another way of reasoning or a Nigerian typo of a brain which calls for study. It is a life seemingly embedded in a logic which gives up the palm seed to an Asian country and rather marries the petroleum rigs. That palm seed is bringing millions of dollars for Malaysia right now. The petroleum too is bringing so much money, theft and division to the generous Nigeria. At the end of it all, the theft and division outdo the money! It is such logic which we continue to nurse. And we keep quiet about it all.
What is the next on queue for us to gulp down our happiest throat?