Something is going on in Nigeria, It seems that our nation is in pain. Excruciating pain to be exact. On Friday there was a bomb blast in Abuja, the nation’s capital. The day before there was a bomb blast in Maiduguri. Last week violence broke out in Jos. This is against the backdrop of the usual armed robbery, kidnapping, road accidents and the like. Floods are sweeping the nation, buildings are collapsing, rituals are being done on the homeless. Our people are losing their lives. Nigeria seems to have lost its soul. Yet the average Nigerian goes about his daily business like nothing has happened. As trite as it may seem, I believe that the nation is in the midst of labor much like a mother waiting to give birth. Nigeria is in the midst of birthing something. I think this is more like a rebirth. Nigeria is being born again so to say. Not in the Pentecostal sense but in a literal sense. Our country is in the womb. We are the mother and we are the child. Nigeria is giving birth to its future. The seeds of what is happening now will be reaped in the near and not so near future. The question is, what is Nigeria giving birth to?
It seems bomb blasts and terrorist attacks have become the order of the day. What does this mean in a nation where the average man has no faith in the security apparatus? Sure to some level we fear the army. A by-product of years of military dictatorship. We also despise the police. We avoid the intelligence people since they were once the tools of torture and dictatorship. Do we believe in their ability to keep us safe? I highly doubt it. We are living with a “que sera sera” (whatever will be will be) mindset. All we can do is go about our normal business, be as cautious as possible and pray that neither our loved ones nor us fall prey to any of the mishaps that happen in our dear nation. We feel helpless. This is what years of dictatorship, corruption and inefficiency brought us. I wonder what the current state of affairs will yield.
Do we have confidence that our government can solve our problems? Even the most optimistic of us knows somewhere deep down that we have no such confidence or faith. Most of us in this country only believe in two things, God and ourselves. Many of us love our country but we might not love those who run it. We don’t particular despise them but we are not their biggest fans. I have read and listened to my president, the one supposedly voted by our people and I wish I could believe him. His body language reeks of cowardice at a time when it should have scents of courage emanating from it. Our borders are porous, we are not even sure that the terrorists are not influenced by foreign elements. We are nowhere nearer it seems to understanding the terrorist group/s we have in our nation. The average man has no idea what their true motives are. It seems like they can strike with impunity. Its almost like we substituted the fear of the government for the fear of the quasi-state as embodied by the terrorist group. I m sure in the Abacha days, when Mr Mustapha was an intelligence man we had no fear of terrorists. The government was the terrorist.
When years ago, it was written that Nigeria could become a hotbed for Al-qaeda. We laughed and castigated those who said so. When it was predicted that Nigeria would slip into chaos and become a failed state. We once again came to the defense of our dear nation. I know we are not a failed state but boy o boy, I am sure this is not what passing feels like. We might not be a failed state but boy are we failing. There are so many areas in our nation that need help. This is not the time to sit back and do nothing. It is the time for all citizens of our great nation, home and abroad to do what they can to help our country. We should pray for our country. She is in Labor. This is not the time to panic. She needs our help. Is there a doctor in the house?