Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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Being a Nigerian, na double wahala

By Obinna Chukwuezie

Some Nigerians have become utterly dependent on what the government will do for them, even as little as evacuation of refuse in front of their homes. They expect government not just to do, but also to do in a jiffy. They expect the government to do it, even without carrying out street protest to do it.

Anyway, there is nothing wrong is expecting the government to do all of these things, because citizens voted those in positions to do it and citizens pay their tax to enable them have funds to do those things.

On the other hand, there is nothing wrong in citizens helping out the government, when citizens are able to do certain things for themselves.

As basic as fixing the road, providing power, water and even healthcare, there is government failing in all of these basics, even when the constitution expressly stated that the welfare of citizens shall be the responsibility of the government. I do not want to mention security and employment-these are no longer basics. Sadly, they are luxury in Nigeria.

Whenever I travel to any city in Nigeria, as I often do, I see many Nigerians buy transformers which subsequently becomes property of the government who never purchased it. I see many Nigerians drill bore hole for their communities or vulnerable communities, and in some cases, pay tax for the borehole to the government who never did it. I see many Nigerian fix the roads of their communities, still Nigerians pay for the road worthiness certificate of their vehicles annually.

Governments after governments, Nigeria still has issues providing basic needs for her citizens, in spite of the huge resources at their disposal, leaving citizens to self-help.

What are our benefits as citizens of Nigeria, if we fix our road, buy our transformers, drill our water borehole, protect ourselves, pay school fees? There is hardly anything that you would rely on the government to provide. If you do wait for the government, your wait will be utterly wasted.

As a Nigerian, your are ‘on your own’ (OYO), as we say in local parlance. I tend to come to the conclusion that the government is anti-citizens, or how else would you explain the regular Police’s killing of unarmed citizens who they are meant to protect? Citizens have no dignity in their own country. As the government treat her citizens, so other governments replicate same. Nigerian government have no morality to demand an end to mistreatment of Nigerians abroad, when they are guilty of same acts.

The life expectancy of an average Nigerian will continue to get lower, as long as citizens continue to do the work of the government, alongside their already overwhelming responsibility towards their immediate and extended families, worship centres and other social committments.

Being a Nigerian, na double wahala.

Chukwuezie is a development journalist and writes from Jos, Nigeria. He can reached via obinna@communitystories.ng


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