In the summer of 1999, I was still an infant enjoying the beautiful Nigeria in the breast milk fed by my mother. I never for once thought Nigeria was this entity they define with this beautiful metaphorical adjectives. I never knew of how Zamfara appeared in the Punch, Maiduguri appeared on international broadcast of CNN and BBC, Benue river over flooding its bank with blood of Nigerians, Herdsmen encroaching the land that drained the farmers’ sweats, and other sad tales that make a beautiful end of how we became the world’s capital for poverty. I never knew all this, or maybe I knew all these from mother’s countenance while I fed on her breast, but didn’t bother because I never had a thought then.
Sometimes, I wonder why they call Nigeria giant of Africa, perhaps it is to give us hope or rather as a praise that contains mockery in between. This is two decades after democracy and Nigeria, not only do not practice the government of the people, for the people and by the people, but also seem to not have made the full transition from military power in 1999, because today, we still have military men who have only changed uniform from Khaki to Agbada. So what is there to celebrate in Democracy?Nigeria has a hope, the mirage that appears in everyone’s sight, but where does the hope of a country emanate from? Youths right? But let’s take an assessment of Nigeria’s today youths.
Firstly, the Nigeria’s situation have left many youths in a clandestine state of participating in illicit acts; doing drugs, internet fraud, and money rituals under the guise of “Yahoo Yahoo”. But you may wonder that not every Nigerian youth falls in this category, but how do you justify it when you have a gross percentage venturing into this? It is no less to say everyone has ventured into the it. So with that, what is there to celebrate in this Democracy?
As a final year student, I am afraid of graduating, not because I don’t have good grades, but rather I am afraid of facing the Nigeria after school. In Nigeria, finding job to sustain a living has been a nightmare for every Nigerian graduate. Similarly, everyone advocates entrepreneurship, but how does entrepreneurship thrives in a country that gives it little or no promotion? So with these worries, among others like, fallible educational system, financial insecurity, misplaced priorities, what is there to celebrate in this Democracy?
But just like this cliche, when there’s life there’s hope, I won’t stop having hope in this Nigeria till the draw of my last breath, but most importantly, Nigeria should not stop having hope in itself, for Nigeria lives till eternity while I am ethereal, and my stay here would soon become a stint.
By the way, Happy Democracy Day, even though we might not really deserve celebrating it.