A State or A Joke?

I was having a random conversation with an acquaintance. I was trying to get her to read a book (the book was depressingly bad. In other news, romance really shouldn’t be a genre but that’s a story for another.) so she could fully understand how terrible the book was. In her own words, she said, “I’m a Nigerian, living in Nigeria. I can understand already. There is no need to have vivid memories of the words and characters that trigger such frustration.”

This wasn’t the first time I heard something along this line, the worrying thing if I were someone outside looking in would be the consistency with which Nigerians complain about living in Nigeria. They don’t complain about being Nigerian (they love being Nigerian) but they constantly complain about how living in Nigeria is increasingly depressing, but I’m not outside looking in, I live here, I was born here, I’ve seen the frustration on the faces of the people who look for every means to find laughter.

So, I have Questions. Do you have some answers for me?

How did it get so bad? Is it our fault? Did we see the rot and decided the rot would somehow fix itself? How did we let them tell us lies consistently? Did we believe those lies or we hoped that for once they might actually be telling the truth? Is this what an abusive relationship feels like? It continually feels like Nigerians leave everything on the table, their sweat, their blood and their consistent hardwork, and all Nigeria gives them is consistent pain and frustration. Is this what an abusive relationship really feels like?

I was having a conversation with my dad about how the current situation in the country was really despicable and like most of the older folks, to end the conversation, he said in Yoruba, “A sa ma gbadura. Oluwa lo le se.” Loosely translated as, ‘Let’s keep praying. Only God can do what we want’.

Haven’t we prayed enough? Can we expend the same energy we have always given to prayer into asking our leaders for more? Can we take a bold charge and find our own voice as a people? Can we look beyond the divide and find that thing that unites us all and make this country a much better place than it is now?

Don’t we deserve better than what we have right now?

For all those who have fought for our nation to be what it is, we don’t deserve the joke our country is becoming.

How do we rid ourselves of this rot.

This is dedicated to everyone who lost their lives during the #EndSars movement. We would never forget. We would keep fighting for better.

Oyekunle ‘Fikayo Oyediran.

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