FEATURE ARTICLE

Yahaya BalogunFriday, July 14, 2017
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Arizona, USA

WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG IN NIGERIA?

n my place of work in prison, at graveyard shift sometimes ago, I saw the beautiful environment in the dead of the night. Everywhere in prison was interlaced with effervescent flowers; lit up with uninterrupted power and securely decorated with American fenced wires, and with thousands of CCTV 3D cameras. This prison is asymmetry of a reminder of how people are cocooned in fenced-buildings and houses in Nigeria. In choice areas in Nigeria, magnificent houses are built with legal or illegal money, you cannot sleep with your two eyes closed. Every household is always fretting in anticipatory stance of marauders to visit either at night or on a broad daylight. You dare not sleep with your two eyes closed, never! Just like prison here, the official thieves in Nigeria are securely cocooned in opulence, they're being guarded by night or day guardsmen like inmates or prisoners in prison. In my more than a decade here in the United States, I have never seen a house being guarded by "maigaurd" except in the penitentiary institutions.

In the penitentiary institutions, Inmates are provided with couches and giant flat screen TV mounted on the day rooms' wall for inmates or prisoners who are doing their times in the penitentiary. These amenities are provided to discourage Inmates from being bored to commit infractions or disciplinary violations. Life is sacrosanct here, even maximum prison criminals are made to exercise their fundamental human rights within the purview of state or federal laws.

Meanwhile, I juxtaposed the inmates' prison lives with the lives of ordinary Nigerians in Nigeria; I ruminated about the Nigerian inhumane situations. I solemnly mused about the deplorable and needless short of lives of ordinary people in Nigeria who are not even in penitentiary institution but imprisoned from their God-given commonwealth. As I look around the human walls of prison here, I was emotionally moved to tears, I cried internally with no open-ended help. There are too much generic sins in Nigeria. A rich but poor country with full of so many needless contradictions.

Our land is so fertile for aerial seeding crops. The weather is friendly with our different ways of lives. Our geopolitical zones are green lands for agricultural bountifulness, and for prosperity. We squander the unique opportunity daily to meet our challenges in this 21st century. Some of our leaders are terribly mindless and inhumane in how they treat their citizens. This bad leadership cuts across all strata of the Nigerian society.

The most annoying thing is that we're very pretentious. We are willing tools in the hands of our oppressors. The poor people pretend to love one another; people will smile at you, engage you in deep conversation but deep down them are hatreds, jealousy and resentment. While alive, you will be their staunch frenemy but when their victim/enemy kicks the bucket, they will cry more than the victim's bereaved family. When people say "I love you", do not hesitate to ask yourself where the aura or aroma of love is coming from." "He was a good man while alive" will be grieving chorus. Leaders are a reflection of a society they lead; it's like input and output, that is, garbage in, garbage out. As you lay your bed so shall you lie on it. Unfortunately, Nigerian leadership has always morphed from followerhip, with the same motive - cutting from the national cake.

Politicians will promise plebiscite heaven on earth during elections; their con-masters in religion will promise them prosperity minus hard work; and ostentacious lifestyles without salvation. They will build several kilometers of Church Assembly and Mosque auditoriums instead of establishing cottage industry to provide massive employment for their congregations. Here in the United States, private sector economy is very predominant. The sector provides massive employment that results in multiplier effects on all US social and economic lives.

What manner of human race are we in that part of the world? Nigeria is expected to be a pacesetter for other African countries. Nigeria's bad continental parenting has criminally affected other African countries. The new normal (corruption) in Nigeria has become a norm to them. One begins to wonder and ask question: why are we suffering in the midst of plenty in Nigeria?

You cannot wanton in sins and expect blessings from God. You cannot divide one by two and expect not to have an even number as your result. We should stop mocking merciful God when He has already given us the platform to thrive stupendously as a nation. We should honestly look inward; and be morally rearmed, nationally do self-talk to examine what we are collectively doing wrong that needs urgent attention for corrections. We are too blasphemous in Nigeria. Enough is enough! God is a compassionate and merciful God. We can't mock God and expect him to be merciful on us. A society is a product and reflection of its inhabitants. Let's look inward with sustainable reflections to rewrite our ugly history.

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