Nigeria is one big conundrum, and Nigerians are one lovely nebulous people, we share so many similarities and at the same time so many differences. Nigerians are adept at adapting to situations, especially difficult and unwarranted situations – for instance, Nigerians buy land from some families, lands which they do not own, but only occupy, because the government actually owns all the land and everything therein; then Nigerians build houses; sink boreholes to provide water; erect fences and gates, erect self-contain at the front for the security personnel, thereby providing their own security end-to-end; and then they buy their own generators to provide electricity, or probably go for solar panels on the roof, or go for battery powered inverters, or a combination of all options, thereby becoming their own electricity generating and distributing company. When there are many of such house-owners in the area, they form a Community Development Association (CDA), they contribute funds and tar the roads, they contribute funds and erect electricity poles and cables, they contribute funds and buy transformers and lobby power-company officials to connect them to the electricity grid, then they call on the Local Government Chairperson or the Commissioner or even the Governor to come and commission all the projects. Please, take a moment to reflect and let all these sink in – Nigerians take over the responsibilities of Government, then call on the Government to come and take the glory. We are nice like that. We will rather fight our long-time neighbour who is from another tribe or believes in a different creed in defence of a clueless minister (who is oblivious of our existence by the way), because the Minister speaks the same mother tongue and wields the same Holy Book as us.
Nigerians who work in structured organisations pay income tax in form of PAYE, actually, the Government takes the tax before Nigerians collect their salaries. Those who work in the informal sector pay all forms of levies. We pay VAT on almost everything. We pay stamp duties on almost all bank transactions. We indirectly pay all forms of duties e.g import, excise, etc. We pay for licences to own a vehicle, and to drive the vehicle. In Lagos, we even pay Consumption Tax whenever we have the temerity to go to eateries and hotels rather than bukas. Then we still have to provide basic amenities for ourselves. In Nigeria, the only things we do not provide for ourselves are those things the government do not allow us to provide for ourselves, like fuel and a standing army. Yet, we still find it rational in our minds to continue to fight ourselves on behalf of the same Government
We are capable of expressing righteous indignation at being labelled “a fantastically corrupt nation”, and we are at the same capable of expressing righteous indignation at people who demand government accountability. Ironic, is it not? We are confused like that. Those in Government spend all their time making u-turns on promises, skirting around important issues that affect the most of us, and displaying verbal acrobatic skills on pointless issues like “threatening to impregnate a colleague” or “defending other corrupt colleagues”; yet we only try to match them by labelling ourselves “Hailers” and “Wailers” and ensuring that all our reasoning and positions are determined by those nomenclatures. We spend all our days criticizing smart moves, defending senseless positions, and justifying insanity based on our tribes or political affiliations. Nigerians, I know you love your religion, and your tribe, and your political affiliations; but can you find some space in-between exhibiting all those loves to show some love to the whole humanity too and allow rationality to take precedence over emotions sometimes. See, the problem is that humanity precedes and supercedes every other thing, and if we allow humanity to be wiped off, there will be nothing to defend or criticize again because we would all be gone, as in wiped off, obliterated…
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi