Nigerians under intense pressure
Close studies of Nigerians will not but reveal a sordid case of people living under very severe pressure and excruciating pains. It’s doubtful if there’s any Nigerian living within the country that is without any form of psychological challenge even if the degree defers from one person to another.
Years of untold hardship have succeeded in moulding the people into different shapes of the earth’s most pitiable beings, and sadly whose day of redemption remains uncertain. Everyone goes about his business with a combination of hidden fears and pent-up anger ready to explode at the slightest provocation.
Issues which ordinarily are not supposed to generate any friction or hassles get ignited like grenade thrown into a burning furnace and soon degenerate into street fighting and wanton destruction of lives and property. The tension in the land, palpable as it is, is continually worsened by government insensitivity and nonchalance. In many ways and instances, the government itself is guilty of sowing the seed of rancour among the citizens.
Exercises which ordinarily can be done without raising any dust are made so difficult that they sometimes lead to avoidable fracas. Take for instance registration for a voters card or for a National Identity card and imagine the headache people go through and even in the end are unable to make any headway. Examine our voting history and how many citizens lose their lives each time election is held, and you will realize that life in this clime is of very little value as there appears to be absence of a government capable of ensuring security of lives and property.
The problem is compounded by the non-creation of jobs by both the federal and state governments leaving many people including most youths without any means of livelihood and forcing them to live on the fast lane of fraud. It is sad that rather than revamp all dead industries and organizations which created so many employment avenues in the past, successive governments continue to frustrate even the few ones left, forcing most of them to either fold up or remain stagnant.
Moreover, even when there are evidences of vacancies in various government departments and parastatals with the growing number of retirees, there is always a visible reluctance on the part of the government to fill up the vacuum, and even when they do, only a lesser percentage of the actual number required are employed.
With the failure of the government to provide adequate employment opportunities for the youth, the only option open to job seekers are mostly ones having to do with traffic management which makes those involved not more than public enemies, or teaching in mushroom private schools all of which do not guarantee any job satisfaction to those concerned.
The major preoccupation of almost every poorly-employed Nigerians is then to seek miracles that can turn things around for the better. This explains why all religious houses are besieged daily and modern-day so-called men of God capitalize on that to further exploit already impoverished worshippers. Again, in the last couple of years, another sad fate has befallen Nigerians where employed people are unable to receive salaries at the end of the month in some states of the federation.
All of these added together disallow Nigerians from living life to the fullest like normal beings. Now, how did tension enter Nigeria’s lexicon? It was sparked off by the lack of common sense occasioned by a culture of allowing very few citizens to dictate how the economy would be run. In Nigeria’s history, no one has ever sat down to work out the percentage of government employed workers throughout the country so as to ascertain what percentage of people are on their own without any government assistance and what percentage are on the government payroll. What is common knowledge however is that most Nigerians within the working age bracket are on their own without any assistance whatsoever from the government. It is therefore doubtful if those in the government employment throughout the federation are up to ten percent. If that is so, it means a whopping ninety percent comprise children, the unemployed, and the self-employed. But curiously, the less than ten percent government workers dictate the tune of events in the country each time they agitate for salary increase. Whenever that happens and their requests are granted, market forces change all of a sudden, and every other citizen begins to intensity their efforts to meet up. Acting and playing smart then becomes the norm as almost everyone is caught up in the race to succeed against all odds.
For the same reason, Nigerian artisans would rank among the most dishonest on the planet earth. Since they are aware that their own survival depends on how much they are able to grab from their few government-employed clients, the game then becomes dominated by grand deceit and trying to outsmart unsuspecting members of the public. And in order to cope with such absurd and weird lifestyle, the civil servants themselves also engage in all forms of graft and the racket therefore continues.
Worse hit by the air of tension and uncertainty in which the land seems completely enveloped is the education sector especially considering the quality of those expected to impart knowledge. How individuals without guaranteed peace of mind would be able to teach well remains to be seen. For Nigeria’s teachers, it’s always a tale of woe or another which by and large impacts negatively on their general output and by extension the overall performance of the learners.
Nigeria’s leaders never at any time think of the need to make those saddled with the responsibility of imparting knowledge psychologically stable so that they will be able to deliver in a way that the desired goals will be achieved. Rather teachers are left to contend with market forces which compel them to run from pillar to post all in the bid to make ends meet. Under such atmosphere, are teachers expected to be at their very best in the discharge of their function? And what does the nation hope to achieve from an education sector manned by completely disoriented people? The million dollar question then is: why should Nigerians or even any citizens of any nation for that matter be under such a severe pressure as witnessed in Nigeria?