I can’t lie. I laughed as I started this article. I just couldn’t help it. Dis our country ehn! We too like drama. The people, government, the nation itself! Funny or not, the way we act and the consequences of those actions make for a good laugh, I tell you.
The year 2012 started in a very dramatic way. After the heavy spending on Christmas day and the heavy ‘chopping’ of subsequent days to the big parties on new year’s, the government of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan dropped a bombshell. Fuel subsidy had been removed and the price of fuel had more than doubled. ‘Wat??? No be April dem talk?’ That was the general outburst. Mine was no different. I’m not an economist but like most Nigerians (who aren’t economists either), I know that an increase in fuel prices spirals into an increase in everything else. Food, transportation, clothes, school fees, house rent (house wey dem don build since 1950 o), and I mean, everything. I drew my own conclusion-if the standard of living was low before, dis one na die we see so.
Like I said before, I’m not an economist or a financial guru but I like to think that basically all Nigerians are economists (not the ones that eat 850,000naira in one day ooo). I’m talking of the normal ones because something must be wrong with those other ones. We try to judiciously utilize our resources. We buy ‘pure water’ (even though you can see particles of dirt inside it) instead of bottled water (why spend 60 naira on something you can get for 5 naira? Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know), we walk half the journey (under the blazing sun) just so the bus fare reduces, we buy fairly used clothes instead of brand new ones and so on. Inspite of all these Jackie chan movements with money, they removed subsidy.
Let me make one point clear. Subsidy is the only thing our government provides o. As a Nigerian, you provide basic amenities for yourself. We call it ‘on your own (OYO)’. You provide your own healthcare, pay for electricity and yet live in darkness, no provision of water (if you don’t have a borehole in your compound, you are in for it), no roads, no security, no schools, no jobs, no housing scheme, no nothing. Absolutely nothing. And they removed subsidy. And the drama began.
‘We no go gree o, we no go gree’! The nation protested. Oh sweet Jesus! How I loved it! Nigerians were fighting back. God bless us. But of course, we didn’t get the results we had hoped for but God dey. The President then came up with the SURE programme to help cushion the effects of the subsidy removal. But just a few weeks after, said it was not feasible. Ehn?! I said to myself, “here we go again”. And that is how Nigeria has been experiencing, ‘one week, one drama’ sometimes, even two or more a week.
From the fake yellow fever certificates and the deportation of Nigerians from South Africa (dem no go gree siddon for their country) to the retaliatory action of Nigeria, to the current drama of spending 850,000 naira on food in one day (na allegation o, ehen) by Ms Arunma Oteh, the DG of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Herman Hembe’s (Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Other Financial Institutions) request for a bribe (a whopping sum of 39 million naira), to his own version of being offered 30 million naira by the DG, to his recent resignation. Na wa!
We wouldn’t have recovered from one drama series when another takes place. I try to be current with the happenings in Nigeria but I can’t even keep up. From one wahala to another and each always has a comical side so even though you’re discussing it seriously, you can’t help but laugh and shake your head. Maybe because that’s the only thing that keeps me sane in the midst of insanity. Seeing the humorous side of it helps to soften the shock and seriousness of the situation. I’m waiting to see how the war between the SEC and the House of Representatives ends but I bet my family house in the village that another drama will soon unfold. I siddon dey look.