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Who does not sleep in this country?

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I was challenged to write this piece, I did not intend to write it.

As writing sometimes can be frustrating and time-consuming. Also, the lack of facts on the subject can render it irrelevant, especially when the issue on ground is a national issue or one that has to do with some prominent personalities in the country. Some may even ask, why this sort of write-up, after all, we all sleep, every one of us, some even snore despite our daily Nigerian seemingly unsurmountable challenges.

Nigerian media recently cast their microscopic eye on TY Danjuma (rtd) a few days ago when he said “If I tell you what I know that is happening in Nigeria today, you will no longer sleep. We are in a big hole as a nation and people who put us in this hole have continued today.” It was not the first time TY Danjuma threatened to drop a “grenade” that will “explode” in 2008, just as it was reported. He said his memoir will be a grenade. “You know what a grenade is- it explodes.” So the question I have been trying to answer since then is, who does not sleep in Nigeria?

From the number one citizen of Nigeria, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari who is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, to the last on the list of almost 200 million Nigerian citizens, who does not sleep? Even with the challenges, the president faces day and night, here in Nigeria, in West Africa, on the African continent, and on the global stage. One can even see the signs of good sleep on the president’s face anytime the media report him representing us on any function. After the president, the masses are the next who sleep and snore soundly every day. The Barbers, Cobblers, tailors, the women selling akara by the roadside, the thousands of out of school children selling sachet water on our busy roads exposing themselves to the harsh realities of life, the taxi drivers, the okada-riders, Nigerian civil servants, every one of us sleep. Those who make it after the day’s struggle even snore to reduce tension despite all the challenges. So I ask again, who does not sleep in this country? We know that every region in this country is facing a particular challenge.

The north especially the northeast has been battling Bok Haram for almost ten years. People around those states wake up to the sounds of bombs, to the hugs and kisses of bullets, to the terrifying fear of continuous kidnapping of women and girls, who are used as bait, for ransom or even brainwashed into carrying attacks on innocent citizens in the markets, mosques, churches, and schools. Yet this does not stop us all from sleeping and snoring. The Kaduna-Abuja road has become a shadow of its own self. The military generals, the big men, the Sheikhs and Reverends, politicians, and the masses have deserted the road as a result of kidnapping for ransom. People have found the Kaduna- Abuja train a safe haven. The rich and poor of society no longer travel the road, rather they used the train. The fear is seen on everyone’s face trying all effort to get a train ticket from Abuja to Kaduna or vice-versa. Those who were kidnapped pay huge amount of money for ransom, yet there is no possibility of freedom. Some were killed by the kidnappers after receiving the ransom. All we do after all this is mourn and yet sleep. Who does not sleep in this country when every day we wake up to the reality of the devastating effect corruption has done to our dear country? At least, if we can sleep despite every challenge threatening our development, we should lose sleep when corruption is mentioned.

Corruption is not just Nigeria’s greatest challenge, it is a global challenge and efforts by the EFCC, ICPC and other national and international anti-corruption agencies to fight it is seen every day with the fruit it is yielding. But despite this effort, corruption is still fighting back. Yet we still sleep and I doubt if there is no one who does not sleep.

Let me conclude with the words of Tony Onyima a media scholar, maybe we can conclude whether we sleep, and while we sleep, we snore or we don’t sleep at all to the enormous realities of our country. “Again he (TY Danjuma) assumes that he is performing a patriotic duty by alerting the nation to what’s happening. But what is it that Danjuma knows that will make Nigerians not to sleep if he reveals them? Perhaps he will tell us about the shadowy cabal behind the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Mrs. Aisha Buhari has already told us that. Will he restate the acts of impunity of this administration? People like Femi Falana and other political ‘born agains’ have been shouting about the lack of rule of law in the country. Or will he talk about the humongous level of poverty in the country? The World Bank has already warned us that Nigeria may be the capital of poverty in the next few years if we do not tackle crushing unemployment in the country. I have been wondering what else will Danjuma tell us that will make us lose sleep.”

Abubakar, wrote from Jabi, Abuja.


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