The thirteen (13) years old me will never forget the day I was unfortunately privileged to watch a documentary on the pathetic state of ‘Nigerian Refugees’ in another country (allow me to keep it unknown). Maybe, it was the pitiable state they were in or the emotions I felt for them. Either way, I knew sadness gripped my heart and my eyes expressed it.
Is it not shameful enough that we have so many neglected Nigerians who have now sought asylum in other countries where they enjoy some basic privileges that even bonafide citizens of my motherland do not enjoy? So, I wonder how much shame we must still display of ourselves. That in itself is shameful!
On April 20, 2021, the FG expressed angst over the decision of the government of the United Kingdom (UK) to offer asylum to ‘persecuted’ members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) who are campaigning for the secession of mainly the South East and also other several ethnic nationalities from Nigeria. The UK acknowledged the fact that the Nigerian government has a responsibility to maintain law and order and “to prevent and protect the public against acts of violence.’ (It of course gladdens my heart to see a third party reminds our government about their duties. Maybe, our government has DISRESPECTFULLY become forgetful)
With so many other important issues like poverty, unemployment and the current high rate of inflation in the country to discuss and proffer sustainable solutions, our supposedly ‘respectable’ government left their other duties unattended to and described the gesture of the UK government as ‘DISRESPECTFUL’- a big slap on their face (I think they need some more slaps). It further stated that the members of MASSOB or IPOB have incited violence to disrupt public order and the government have legitimate grounds to arrest and prosecute those people. (NB: this is a classic case of a KETTLE calling a POT black)
While the hypocritical movement for secession is a discourse for another day, I, for today, agree with the IPOB and MASSOB when they said:
‘We are tired of living in bondage in the devilish contraption called Nigeria they single-handedly created. We would not wish our children, now and generations unborn, to share the same geopolitical space with those that reward terrorists and criminalize law-abiding citizens.’ Also in its reaction, the IPOB, in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, said that what they need is a referendum and not asylum: Freedom in our land and not protection in a foreign land.
For a government that preaches that terrorists are meant to be rewarded so they can’t stop victimizing the citizens, basic and social amenities are not meant to be provided because too much enjoyment is not good for the Nigerian blood, public funds are for selfish pockets as it is the entitlements of those who wield power if jobs are created and education is well invested into, the country will crumble and Nigerians are expected to stay silent and leave the government to do her ‘good work’, it is DISRESPECTFUL to see watch them say they are being disrespected.
More so, it’s disrespectful to see you, the Nigerian government, negotiate and agree to the demands of bandits and terrorists while you leave the labour unions, doctors, teachers and many others with shattered hopes. It is disrespectful to see you deny the rights to peaceful protests and use oppressive force against groups fighting for the freedom and development we deserve.
It is disrespectful to watch you hoard the basic amenities you were meant to give to the citizens while the people continue to die in hunger, poverty and poor health. It is disrespectful to see you go abroad for health treatment while you leave our hospitals in a dilapidated state.
It is disrespectful to see your children school in the finest schools abroad while our schools don’t have enough books, table and chairs.
It is disrespectful to see millions of children out of school and very disrespectful to see how strike actions have destroyed the roots of proper education.
It is disrespectful to see the Police who are meant to guarantee security victimize us. It is disrespectful to see how you have turned us against one another in your selfish interest of political autonomy. It is again disrespectful to see you deny faithful public servants of their entitlements after retirement. It is also disrespectful to see our country in this neglected state while you act carelessly. So, the next time you want to use the word ‘DISRESPECT’, gather credible facts.
Just like the Yoruba people will say ‘if wall no open mouth, crocodile no fit enter’. To the UK government, don’t mind the government. It is not your fault that our wall has become cracked and you magnanimously volunteered to help. I say a big ‘thank you’ not for providing asylum but for making the government realizes the meaning of DISRESPECT. Maybe, from now on, we would expect to be held in high esteem.
So, to the Nigerian government, like they say ‘Respect begets respect’, if RESPECT is what you seek, hearken to the following calls:
With your sincerest heart, allow us to freely vote against some ridiculous policies and laws you make and also expect a favourable response.
Please, stop looting the money that belongs to all of us. IT IS DISRESPECTFUL.
Provide the basic amenities It is DISRESPECTFUL for a giant like you not to have an uninterrupted power supply.
I put it to you that too much suffering is not toxic for us. The suffering you have made us go through is the one who befriended toxicity.
How on earth is it possible for you not to have seen that you have DISRESPECTED the future of tomorrow (youth) and the image of our education? Kindly provide jobs for those of us who have spent years in school with the hope of having a good source of living to depend on.
Let justice, equality, freedom and bounties be provided even if heaven will fall and even if it won’t favour us.
Finally, we just want you to consolidate every effort in accelerating political, economic and social developments in the country and stop falling short of our expectations. THAT IS DISRESPECTFUL.
So, it is until when all these and many more are fulfilled that you would be RESPECTED.
We await a favourable response.
WE THE PEOPLE of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
CAVEAT: This is a pure work of satire. Names, places or anything that has semblance with this piece or otherwise are plainly as a result of the author’s imagination and inspiration from the creative world and any semblance of actual persons, body, country or organization is the handiwork of dearest coincidence.