(By Agbolabori Oluwafisayomi)
“We are all afraid of tomorrow – both the rich and the not-so-rich and the haves-not. The horseman doesn’t want to trek tomorrow, but those who walk are asking if they will ever stop walking. And we all get ourselves involved in despicable acts – bribery, robbery, trafficking, name it. All are stuck in the same claustrophobic tomorrow’s miseries. The early morning sermon in most households today is no longer “love your neighbour as yourself” but “when you get there, then, it is our turn, scrape it with all your stamina.”
THE end of every trade is profit – to get richer at the end of the day. In doing this, there are many means of getting the end, and in fact, the choice of the appropriate means is a function of individual’s skills, talent, training, patience, tolerance, perseverance and so many more.
Since the custodians of our commonwealth have seemingly resolved to judiciously use our treasury to improve their lot alone coupled with the automatic graduation of all the government owned universities students, at least, in the mean time, I think it is a golden opportunity to make yourself useful and sharpen your own tool. Either in the labour, white or black market, does it really matter which, who cares anyway?
Many undergraduates have what I call “zero skill.” Other than boiling noodles, pinging friends, they are basically and relatively useless and helpless. I can’t really blame them, I blame the system. It has been hard reading my books for quite a while now. What exactly are you reading, for what purpose, and to help whom? When are you going to use the skill you thereby acquire? When are you going to practise it? These are questions turning in my head these days. I don’t know about you, maybe it’s because I don’t read for just reading sake. Even the so called “lovers of knowledge, philosophers” read to either change the constant or make constant the change – either way, a change.
As a student of economics which I am proud to be, what change will I make after my four years of strenuous and onerous study? To make Nigeria a better place for everyone? I would say yes, and then I remember great economists such as Bade Onimode, Sam Aluko and a host of others that said so many things and gave many warnings as well as solutions to the problems we have been facing as a nation for many decades now. But, where are we today? Still at square zero. So what difference would I probably make? You could say things have changed, but, I will say people have not. The same old witches that have been sucking our blood are still hungry for more. Are we really developing or retrogressing? We don’t even know where to go, forward, backward, left or right – no one knows. Because, the elite have sworn by oath to keep their grips on the masses and to never let go from captivity of negativity.
I know this country is rich enough to make everyone happy and satisfied, only if the sharing formula is not bent towards the few enemies of the many. I keep wondering what hope I have, what expectation should I nurse as a Nigerian? You should probably ask yourself too, objectively and realistically.
We are all afraid of tomorrow – both the rich and the not-so-rich and the haves-not. The horseman doesn’t want to trek tomorrow, but those who walk are asking if they will ever stop walking. And we all get ourselves involved in despicable acts – bribery, robbery, trafficking, name it. All are stuck in the same claustrophobic tomorrow’s miseries. The early morning sermon in most households today is no longer “love your neighbour as yourself” but “when you get there, then, it is our turn, scrape it with all your stamina”.
Ironically, one of my lecturers said the only people that are productive in this country are the farmers no matter how little they produce and the teachers no matter how poorly they teach. To these people I have added, the women. But, sadly, these sets of people have one thing in common; they are the wretched of the earth, no incentive, too much work, too low income, domestic and industrial violence…I wonder when these would stop. Why should the unproductive be better than the productive? Why should the servants enslave their masters or messengers rob their senders? It is the system, isn’t it? You might be wondering what exactly I mean by “the system”? It is the prevalent socio, political and economic relations in the country. A malfunctioning social order.
Politically, socially, morally and all other “llies” that you can ever think of are malfunctioning. Politically, our mushroom political parties lack manifestoes, I wouldn’t blame them. When you assign people that can’t manage their homes as chairmen, those that can’t manage their mouths as spokespersons and those that can neither read nor write as the secretaries.” If not, what specific practices are our political parties known for? In the U.S., if you want social welfare, vote Democrats. Perhaps, we can ascribe some fundamental human failures to ours as well. In a blind community, a one-eyed man is made the king – these are just what they are.
Morally, most of us have buried our consciences like the Biblical Cain did to Abel. What about so many corrupt public officers that are spared by our judicial system? So many unaccountable assassinations of promising people who would have, perhaps, brought the longed-for change. It is the system.
My question has always been, “how will Nigeria look like in 50 years from now?” What are our plans for the future, what are the laid down blueprints for our children? It is the same old game. Tomorrow will be great, hmm, to me it’s just a wish and they say, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. So many wish and hope to see a better Nigeria, but, unfortunately, I see none, not even a glimpse in a hundred years from now. Oops! I know we are a religious but at the same time a sinful nation. We all pray but most of our prayers don’t go higher than the roofs of our homes.
How can we force a change? Be concerned more for today. Whenever a politician says, “we are going to…stop him and ask “what have you done with what you had yesterday?” When you are offered a bribe, don’t think of tomorrow’s hunger but today’s conscience. Demand for what’s legally yours. Don’t make unrealistic projection. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the game of the fools. Need I say more?
Oluwafisayomi is a 300 level student of Economics at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi.
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