The air was fresh and moist, it was what one would expect after a rainfall in the middle of the dry season, but this morning felt different, maybe because it was a Friday morning, but it sure felt peaceful. As I drove gently to work with little concern to how late I was, one could see I wasn’t the only one that thought it was a peaceful morning. The bright oily faces of the kids walking by the roadside as they trooped in twos and threes to their schools draped in their school uniforms showed a sort of glee that was usually synonymous with festive periods. Even the adults going about their morning ablutions as they traipsed to their daily activities seem to exude a peaceful vibe.
One could be forgiven if one thought life in the countryside of Southwest Nigeria is a haven of peace, but one can’t be more wrong with such an assertion. Looking at the faces of the kids and adult alike, it will be hard to imagine that the larger percentage of these simple looking folks slept in a house without electricity over the night. The rainfall of the previous night was guaranteed to have disrupted the supply of electricity from the power distributing (generating) company, one of the few traits of Nigeria that reminds you of the inanity of Nigeria. Considering the country is currently in the middle of the worst fuel scarcity ever experienced in her history, it can be assumed these folks who largely live on an equivalent of one hundred US dollars (100 USD) or below monthly, will want to churn out some of their hard-earned naira to buy fuel at a cost that almost doubles the regulated pump price just to ensure they sleep in a house littered with the luminescence of candescent lights. Maybe the coolness the rain ushered in (during what seemed like a raging heat attack), is the breath of fresh air that these simple folks needed to remind them that whichever version of the religious God they worshipped hasn’t forsaken them and they will overcome this turbulent moment in the history of Nigeria.
Bad governance isn’t a rarity in Africa, nor in Nigeria as a matter of fact. But this administration seems to have a set a new standard for what poor governance means. The administration seems to have the Midas touch of suffering and poverty. If this administration was a superhero, the name will be “Impoverius”- the bringer of pain and suffering. Not a day goes by, without me hearing the sad tale of a young child being forced to drop out of school due to the rising cost of living in the country. The leaders at the helm of affairs of the country has weaponized poverty to ensure they can keep buying hoard of voters at the price of basic needs of survival, every election period. As another election year approaches, the usual charlatans are out with words that usually mean “How do I convince you to trust me to impoverish you further”, even though those words are well sugar coated in what seems to be like ‘How may I fight for you?’. The once fleeting middle class population of the country continuously loses hope in the country a lot of them didn’t even know they had left, and they flee the country like Lot and his family departing from Sodom and Gomorrah, a place they once called home.
I equally join them in losing hope in this country despite remaining footed in this “shit-hole” (in Trump’s words) of a country. This morning however, the flickering hope got a few drops of oil to keep on burning. The young vibrant faces of the kids I saw this morning enjoying the coolness the rain ushered in after a very hot night sent a bit of fuel to the flickering hope hidden in the far corner of my heart as I drove to work.
A renewed hope that no matter how hot it gets, there’s a refreshing rainfall hidden in the clouds that will someday be released and rid this nation of this distressful heat that has weaponized poverty against her people.
A renewed hope that the endemic and systematic corruption that has been ingrained in every citizen of this country aged above 18 will be washed away in the rainfall and will be replaced with a discipline and refreshing value for order and integrity in the kids with oily faces.
A renewed hope that the rewards of a capitalist society will be merged with the responsibility of a socialist society to ensure every citizen of the nation is catered for irrespective of their tribe, location and finances.
A renewed hope in the most populous black nation in the world that it will take her place in the council of leaders amongst nations.
As the thunder gathers steam and growls in the sky, all I hear in the quiet rumbling is the voice of William Wallace screaming “Freedom” just before he was dismembered.
FREEDOM TO NIGERIA
DEATH TO LONGSHANK (All Nigerian political leaders and administrators, elder statesmen from the moment the country was born till date).
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