Reflections of a stranded man
Another problem with our people is impatience. You can see this in every aspect of their lives – be it on the roads, in the market place, religious worship ground and while sleeping – they are always restless. We are always in a hurry. No wonder people have clamoured for the return of the brigade to force fellow citizens to be civil! Though, our law enforcement agents seem to be doing their best to control the lawlessness and insecurity in the land within the available resources. I think they are making slow progress, but really not fast enough to give our people the desired rest of mind. I think there is still need to purge the entire set-up.
To say the truth, it is a harrowing experience living in this land, where there are no jobs, no light and no food. To have a sound sleep at night is even a problem. The men of the underworld are always on the prowl. For over an hour getting a vehicle to my abode has been almost impossible. Many vehicles are off-the-road. The few that are plying my route are charging exorbitant fares. The cost of fuelling their vehicles is unbearable. Do I blame them? I can’t walk either, as my stomach is empty and I don’t have the strength to trek to my destination. The so-called mass transit buses are nowhere to be found. But for how long are we going to be living this way? What annoys me the more is that a nation like ours that is blessed with abundant natural resources continues to suffer in the midst of plenty. Where did we get it wrong? Are we ever going to get it right? The signs of hope are not there for us to see clearly. I doubt it, if we are ever going to come out of this hardship. Why am I pessimistic? Our leaders seem to be totally disconnected from the ruled. They don’t appear to feel the pain and misery of the led.
Anyway, we should still be hopeful and wish for the best. This is a tough decision but what can we do? As we battle to get things right, some other interests are tearing us apart. Or, how do we explain the restiveness going on in those troubled part of the nation. More serious are the activities of that arms gang which continues to destroy a sizeable number of our oil facilities – all in the name of agitation for a fair share of the nation bounty. Of what benefit is this callousness when a common heritage is being destroyed? What is the sense in what they are doing when there may be nothing to fall back on after their agitations? These people should just stop and look for better peaceful means to express their grievances.
Another problem with our people is impatience. You can see this in every aspect of their lives – be it on the roads, in the market place, religious worship ground and while sleeping – they are always restless. We are always in a hurry. No wonder people have clamoured for the return of the brigade to force fellow citizens to be civil! Though, our law enforcement agents seem to be doing their best to control the lawlessness and insecurity in the land within the available resources. I think they are making slow progress, but really not fast enough to give our people the desired rest of mind. I think there is still need to purge the entire set-up. It is shameful that till date, many security posts are nothing but toll plazas, where the people pay toll before passage. Too bad!
But what I don’t like in the whole ongoing fight against corruption is that we have not been able to say, this is how much we have received off the stolen wealth, what we should do with it, so that people can start coming out of this suffering, which has reached its peak. At least, there should be massive injection of funds into programmes that would boost food production and ensure security of lives and property. Provision of these basic needs should give our leaders great concern. But come to think of it, should we continue to blame the President for this mess we have found ourselves in? A few days ago, I was watching a prominent religious leader on television, saying that he was not really surprised that things had come to this, claiming he knew quite earlier that Buhari cannot solve the problems facing us as a people. The religious leader added that the former President was even doing better when compared to this one. What short memory Nigerians have?
At times, I wonder what would have happened if we had continued in that old way. That is why we should be sincere in our judgment when comparing both Presidents. What should really be more useful is to feel the impact of leadership that translates to better life for the people.
I can imagine the level of poverty ravaging our country men and women in the various internally displaced persons camps given that those who are not displaced are equally suffering. That is why I’m finding it difficult to trek to my house. I’m hungry. I don’t have the energy to walk this long distance. There’s no food at home. I’m not sure of when next I’m eating.
I wish I didn’t have to go out at all. But then, will food ever come staying at home? Going out does not make any difference either. There’s simply nothing for me to do. It’s getting to the end of the year; more commitments are on the way. I’m confused. But I think it’s still better to go now before hungrier people attack me while standing here!
• Kupoluyi wrote from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.