Monday, 19 September 2011
A NIGERIAN LOVE/HATE STORY- 'pending on your perspective :)
Hi there. Not been such a good and faithfully employee bcos my health has just been crazy. Was ill wednesday. Felt better on friday, then on Saturday I was so ill I got up from my bed to get a glass of water and fell on the floor ill with cramps, couldnt move, my phones were ringing couldnt pick it up till help came, was rushed to maitama hospital....given injetions felt better and was told to come back together for some lab test. Went there after dropping my bag at work to see very sick people all waiting to do similar tests as mine or other tests in general. Very rude lab assistants shouting at ill patients, very tired medical personnel to tired to show where the right offices where located the best they could do was a toss of their head. etc etc. Waited for a long time for my blood to be taken, infact missed a lot of office hours and still couldnt finish the whole samples to be taken from me , will finish do some more tomorrow *dreading it*...my point being that, isnt there a more efficient way for things to be done???? My guest blogger speaks Nigeria as a nation in limbo..enjoy
A Nation in Limbo, A People at AkimboIt is a ward meeting of the biggest political party in the country, a country that boasts huge natural resources which includes oil, tourmaline, gold, tin, copper etc, and huge agricultural potentials with weather and soil in different regions that can grow virtually anything required. The ward meeting has in attendance members of the local community, the next election is near and they have come to discuss their nominations for political offices ranging from ward councillors to the presidency. Potential candidates are in attendance, they have come to discuss their plans with the community members and tell them how they intend to develop the community if elected into office.
Bola walks down the road, his girlfriend Aisha is around for the weekend, they just returned from the swimming pool at the VGC residents club and were taking a stroll on this beautiful Saturday afternoon. They see a group of people gathered in a building and his girlfriend asks him what is going on, I don’t know he replies, I rarely walk past here, I drive past and didn’t even know that building existed. They walk back home and relax, it will soon be 9pm and they will be meeting up with some friends at newscafe for some drinks before heading out for the night.
The ward meeting has ended, they are chattering as they return, each man to his own abode, the market woman to her stall, the area father to his gang of area boys, the barber to his shop, the okada rider to his queue, the bus driver to his garage. They are all uneducated and look toutish, shouting and singing songs of loyalty to their great party, afterall it is the biggest political party in Africa . The aspirants are well dressed and look out of place, but they have learnt to live amongst these people, they share banters with them and crack jokes. They have just concluded a very important meeting, and the atmosphere seems to favour them.
Bola and Aisha are back by 4am on Sunday morning, they see a group of area boys sleeping by the road next to Bola’s gate, they drive past them and go home to sleep, it was an eventful night, they had plenty to drink, Aisha danced till she almost dropped, they slept, it was Monday morning again, on the way to work Bola curses the Lagos bad roads and wonders what the local governments are doing with all the money they get, bunch of touts and thieves Aisha replied, he drops her off at work and goes to his office. Nobody is working, the generator has broken down, the blackmarket diesel they bought was fake, he curses PHCN for making entrepreneurship difficult, his PA says they should be scrapped, bunch of idiots.
It is another Saturday, the aspirants have done as agreed, the community make their way to the ward meeting, they are dressed roughly, the market women smelling of fish, the okada riders haven’t had a bath in weeks, they get to the meeting and want to know how much each aspirant has brought, the Ghana must go bags of money are brought in and shared, the okada riders association chairman takes the share for him and his boys, the market women leader takes for her and her people, same goes for the bus drivers chairman, the area father, the barbers association, plumbers association, mechanics association etc. The aspirant with the most money is selected; they sing his praises and promise to do everything to crown him the winner of any election.
Sunday night, Aisha is on facebook, her friend Chinelo changes her facebook status and says Nigerian politicians are thieves, there are many comments, Aisha joins in on the debate, she spends the whole evening exchanging banters about how bad the Nigerian government is, she says we need a revolution, her friend Chinelo says no we need prayers, the thread ends, they both have to go to bed, they have to be up by 4am tomorrow to beat traffic, Chinelo curses the government for not making alternative roads, Aisha supports her views, calls Bola to tell him how much she loves him and misses him, Bola says he loves her too and misses her, he promises to take her to Dubai on his next leave, so they can have time alone to themselves. They both go to bed.
It is election day tomorrow, the anointed candidates make their last appearances in the community, Ghana must go bags are moving around, very high police presence, the community members are discussing their candidates, they have all gotten about N1000 each and had sold their votes even before election day.
It is election day tomorrow, an extra public holiday for Bola and Aisha, they go to Obudu cattle ranch, it is a lot fun, wow, this guy tried for Calabar says Aisha, I even wonder why we didn’t wait in Lagos to vote, Bola answers nonchalantly, this nation is in a state of limbo, there is no need wasting our time over votes that wont count. Aisha slept with a heavy heart, with Bola’s statement on her mind… A NATION IN A STATE OF LIMBO.
They sleep into election day, but Aisha cannot sleep, she wakes up at 3am and taps Bola, he grunts and asks why his baby is not sleeping, she tells him they have to pick the first flight to Lagos tomorrow, Bola sits up startled, we still have the whole weekend he says, yes, but we have to vote Bola, you say Nigeria is a nation in a state of Limbo, but we ourselves are standing at akimbo, we need to play our parts and vote, your votes will never count squirms Bola, at least we will have voted says Aisha. First thing in the morning, they were in Lagos , and they voted.
It is election day, the market women are out, the okada riders are out, area father mobilizes his area boys, bus drivers association chairman mobilizes his boys, they are singing in support of their candidates, they are still relishing the many wads of naira that has been shared, they vote, wait and watch you vote, fight anybody who tries to take a ballot box that doesn’t belong to their candidate, they are joking and laughing with the policemen, they carry the empty ballot boxes after voting, and stuff it with illegal votes in favour of their candidate, they sing songs of loyalty about the anointed candidate.
Election results are out, the anointed candidates have won, Bola calls Aisha, you just wasted our weekend he shouts, I told you our votes will not count. His driver is washing his car and hears him, oga leave that tin he says, whish kain vote u dey talk, vote wey dem decide finish for ward meeting 2 weeks ago, u no dey see dem for ward meeting for down the road, why una sef no go there go talk una own, una go come dey shout. Bola went back indoors and fell into a deep thought, we were never a part of the process, so we couldn’t even ensure credible candidates got to be party candidates, he went back out and asked his driver what is usually discussed in this ward meeting, nothing o replies the driver, na jus moni dem dey share for us for dia, dis one don finish now, na till next election b dat.
Bola and Aisha meet for dinner at Golden Gates restaurant in Ikoyi, they discuss the topic, and wonder if they could make a difference, attend local ward meetings, insist on aspirants having a manifesto, speak up against the sharing of money, educate these community members on the importance of not selling your vote, vote and mingle with the community members to know how votes are filtered away, become a part of the process and not just a wasteful voter. Bola said he could never get so low as mingling with such people, they are touts and unreasonable he says, Aisha said she was ready to do it, Bola watched her as she ate her chicken, he was deeply in love, he told her how much he loved her, told her that her determination is one of the things that draws him to her, he went down on his knees, and brings out a small box from his pocket, my love, Aisha, will you marry me he says as he opens the box to reveal a sparkling diamond ring… YES YES, screams Aisha, tears rolling down her cheeks as he slips the ring onto her finger, she pulls him up and gives him a very long kiss, I have always dreamt of this day she whispered in his ears, I want to be your wife, I want you to be the mother of my kids he whispers. They dine and drink a bottle of red wine, then head home. It was 11pm.
A lorry is parked right on the road, no illumination and Bola runs into it, he swerves and was lucky enough, what silly country without rules is this he shouts, Aisha reminds him he is standing at akimbo and complaining, you have to get involved she says, look to your right and left she tells him, totally dark, no electricity in the houses, no street light on the roads, it is not the government’s fault Bola, it is our fault for condoning it she says, unemployed youth are into robbery and this darkness even gives them a place to operate she reminds him, we need to get involved and do our part to save our country, Bola listens and drives on, suddenly he sees a flash, sticks and rods hit the car.. STOP STOP or I’ll shoot they scream, he screeches past as Aisha screams and shouts, gun shots rent the air, wow.. and you just mentioned it that thieves could be here he says, wow, this our akimbo and lackadaisical attitude towards dis naija na everybody go suffer am o, baby, I will join u and become more involved in Nigeria he says, there is no reply, baby he calls, still speeding down the road, no reply, he switches on the inner light and sees Aisha covered in blood, baby he screams and races towards hospital, please answer me he says trying to shake her, please wake up.
He drives into the hospital and there are no doctors on duty, they are on strike, no wheelchairs so the nurses manage to carry Aisha with their hands into the ward, the only doctor who managed to come to work against the strike strolls in, he is exhausted, please save her Bola begs, we just got engaged tonight, please she is my life, she is still alive the doctor says, but she has sustained a bullet wound to her neck and has lost a lot of blood, she needs blood and we don’t have blood here, you have to take her to the next hospital, where is the ambulance driver, he is nowhere to be found, there is no light so it isn’t easy to find him, everybody is screaming his name, he comes and says he doesn’t have fuel, Bola should bring money for fuel, cant we use my car Bola screams, shivering, oh why didn’t u say you came with a car since says one of the nurses who helped bring Aisha out of the car, they rush her back into the car and Bola races towards the next hospital… Aisha died on the way.
If only there was adequate security, if only there were doctors on duty, if only there was blood in the blood bank, if only there was fuel in the ambulance… If only… If only… If only we all got involved in the Nigerian project and make it work. My people, if you ignore Nigeria , you will be a victim one day. Together we can build this nation. Now is the time! Time to start holding our government accountable and make sure our kids and grandkids see a Nigeria they will be proud of. Nobody will do it for us; we have to do it ourselves. As Oga Kalu says, it is our problem, we have to fix it.
I know of two great platforms you can join to become a part of the change you want to see, Join the Transform Nigeria Movement and Arise Nigeria Group today.
Transform Nigeria Movement (http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=58374855775&ref=ts or http://www.yourgovt.com/)
Arise Nigeria (http://www.arisenigeria.org/)
nb: All names used are fictitious, a result of the writer’s imaginations.
Written by guest blogger Ifeoluwa Adebayo
Agree with him or have some issues with his write up? speak forth *er in this case, comment* or forever hold your peace.lol