If You Ask Me About Nigeria…?


By Prince Charles Dickson

If you ask me; na who I go ask? The matter wey we see so, e tay wey e start. No be me go talk am, e heavy for mouth. If you ask me…The matter for ground…Eh! Na who I go ask? Omawumi

If you ask me; we were never really united, right from the word go. Mutual distrust and suspicions, a civil war, coups with several colorations, countless ethno-religious and socioeconomic clashes, an almost clueless political class and a citizenry sailing by these wind make us Nigeria.

But the matter wey we see so e tay wey e start, to a point asking the question how did we get here has suddenly become stale.

Despite all the cosmetic posturing we are yet to get the right formula–For fear of sitting it out with each other on a table.

If you ask me, I am sure many cannot recall how everything Chinese once inferior, is what we all go for, or how almost every disease can be cured in India. They planned and we watched and enjoyed our boom, it wasn’t the money but how to spend it.

The same too much money, that made our ivory towers top class, when they were few but were top notch, now If you ask me; I don’t know how we got to this point that ASUU goes on strike for months without end, resume, set exams for students that have been watching British Barclays Premiership, prostituting part time and engaging in political thuggery.

And we are bothered that the graduates are not only half-baked but in many cases not even baked.

If you ask me, I recall on two or so occasions we missed out of the continent’s soccer fiesta the nation’s cup. But its reflective of where we are, over 5 years, no Nigeria has been best in the continent, this year we are practically out of all the FIFA organized tournaments, including our forte; female soccer.

Nations progress, a step at a time, slowly and steadily nay Nigeria has at best been stagnant or debatedly retrogressive.

If you ask me, we have lost steam, many still cherish our lost glory, others passively fear our potential, sadly today we are not at the forefront of anything really good.

Our neighbors like Ghana, now an educational hub for us, its scary that if we let them, electricity will come from there. Since if you ask me, I will tell you Niger Republic has a new refinery and we don’t.

There is the now heavy matter of Boko Haram. If you ask 10 commentators how it started, where, who, why and which, you will get at least some 6 versions. Is it like Egbesu, OPC or MASSOB, or different, how different, are we all guilty or just a case of no one wanting to take the blame?

One thing is certain, e tey wey e start…As our population grew, the few infrastructures we had, which served were left to decay, new ones that were started ended up in a zoo that contains only Elephant projects.

Today who do we ask for explanation that Bayelsa gets 13% Derivation, generates billions for the nation but just joined the national electricity grid that in all purpose is no big effort because it barely has light. That Akwa Ibom gets 4-5 times more money than Nassarawa and Plateau put together from the federation account but is not any close to looking like Ghana simply because whether its Rivers, or Sokoto, Kano or Imo, we have dealers as leaders.

If you ask many, they say it was Jonathan they voted, how naïve to expect a crocodile to birth a dove, a nice man, he smiles a lot and gradually he will change Nigeria…that remains to be seen, if he changes Nigeria or Nigeria is actually changing him.

As a people we are tensed, Northerns are supposed to be afraid of palm oil from South, while Christians fear apple and oranges, Maiguardi and shoe shiner. While there is believe that we can surmount these wicked tantrum that is getting out of hand, I dare ask, at what cost.

Let us forget the messenger and take the message. How easy when the messenger is part of the matter.

If you ask me, this man had 8 years to bring change, instead he was as they all do, posturing, and blaming everything. So no be my mouth you go hear say former President Olusegun Obasanjo, stated the country needs real leadership now more than ever.

Speaking as the guest lecturer during the 41st convocation lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), he said time is ripe for the nation’s leaders to holistically reform education, if indeed they are serious with the transformation agenda. If you ask me he knows they are not serious, he was there too and was not serious.

He said: This country cannot continue to wobble along like a stalked and wounded lion, walking to its death. We have immense resources. No be my mouth we go hear that even the devil tells convenient truth.

If you ask me, he did not write this and off course tells you what he thinks of his boy Goodluck Jonathan…

In the words of Churchill, we will never, never, never give up. But it remains a choice, everyday we are close to breaking point. Let us talk on the way forward or else time will tell…

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