I heard about the 200 girls being kidnapped in Nigeria quickly after it happened. And I remember feeling like, Here we go again. Not the OUTRAGE or Shock as the world started to feel two weeks after when it actually started becoming International News.
Because in so many ways I am a typical Nigerian.
I asked my daddy in March 2012 when I visited Lagos after being gone for 9 years, a question that only someone who has lived abroad thinks to ask. The question was a result of a conversation about the roads leading up to my parents house, and why they were so awful In fact, I said, they are not roads, they are just....paths. Paths that anything other than an all terrain car struggles to get up and down everyday.
I asked my dad what the government of Nigeria does for its citizens. Electricity is outsourced to individuals by people buying generators. Security....provide your own. He had no answer, because it is precisely on point. The government of Nigeria does very little for the people of Nigeria.
To my initial question, why nobody in Nigeria cares?
It is because we have a culture of zero reliance on the government. The unfortunate reality is that by being leaders of the country, its leaders are well taken care of from oil payments and whatever other sources they receive money through. I am not sure if we have a tax system that works, so most of our revenue is from our natural resources. Many Nigerians, who have never left Nigeria, do not actually understand what it means to have a good working government. Nigerian pray in emergencies and pay their own way to the basics. Therefore those who cannot afford to pay their way, pray and do not even think to ask the government.
This poses a chicken and egg scenario. Do Nigerians not ask their goverment because they know it is made up of people who will not do anything about it, Or is the Nigerian government lacksadaical because they know no one cares and no one will hold them responsible. Either way the Chibok girls kidnapping is making this all look differently.
I mean, think about it. A few people, some of whom I follow, started the hashtag and people started wondering and asking question,and next the First Lady of the U.S.A. is speaking out about it, and the UK and the US. are sending help. This is a critical lesson that sometimes the voice of a few can raise a sleeping giant.
It is my prayer that this sleeping giant of Nigerian men and women, demands the government take action!
I pray that Nigerians will be challenged to demand more from all leaders because, here is the deal, you can pay for your power, roads, and all, but at some point, you NEED your federal government to do certain things for you and when they fail. There must be consequences for an ineefective top level official whether punishment or removal.
This post was written... Months ago. But just posted on Oct 27, 2014. The delay was not for any other reason other than I forgot. It is just as it was written in April no edits.