I dare not hope for too much from Nigeria, hoping for too much means begging for a broken heart. I do not expect too much from Nigeria, I just want the bare minimum. I want the country to work so that millions of people like me can thrive and maybe soar. I’m tired of the many watery promises that come with every election cycle. I hope for a Nigeria where politics is not the most lucrative job in the land. A Nigeria where political office leaders are genuinely interested in uplifting the masses. A Nigeria where leaders don’t wait for elections before interacting with the populace. A Nigeria where my vote is worth more than a few cups of rice and garri. A Nigeria where youths are cheated out of party primaries after massive celebrations of a ‘’Not too Young to Run’’ bill.
I hope for a Nigeria where I do not have to hide my child at home because I don’t want him learning broken English from the neighbour’s kids who attend a government school. I hope for a Nigeria where Children can tell their graduation date the moment they matriculate. I hope for a Nigeria where lecturers who are supposed to mold and shape young minds do not exploit them for personal gain.
I hope for a Nigeria where my child will not be forced into unemployment or underemployment after struggling to obtain a Master’s degree. I hope for a Nigeria where entrepreneurship will be borne out of a desire to do something different and not due to unemployment.
Is it too much to hope for a Nigeria where my child never has to shout ‘’Up NEPA’’ or tolerate the noise of I pass my neighbour generators. How about a Nigeria where I do not have to factor in diesel cost when building my business? Is it safe to hope for a Nigeria where regulatory bodies are not constantly shaking me down all in the name of revenue generation? Can I hope for a Nigeria where I do not have to pay multiple taxes to the government and area boys?
Can I also hope for a Nigeria where I do not have to build the roads in my neighbourhood with personal funds and still pay the government for it? How about a Nigeria where I do not have to pay an estimated bill for electricity after spending 3 months in darkness?
Can we not lose more mothers during childbirth? I hope we also work on lowering the rate of childhood mortality. Can our insurance sector work properly so there’ll be less and less crowd funding for health problems? How about hospitals with the right equipment and skilled hands?
I hope for a Nigeria where I can comfortably embark on North to South road trips without fearing for my life. I hope for a Nigeria where I can comfortably live in any part of the country. I hope for a Nigeria where the Police are truly my friend. A Nigeria where I never get scared of being mugged in the traffic.
Am I aiming too high if I hope for a Nigeria where women with children from foreigners can pass on their citizenship to their kids ?
I hope for a Nigeria where I do not need my husband’s permission to make a passport for my child. I hope for a Nigeria where women do not get harassed in the open without consequences. I hope for a Nigeria where employers do not deny me jobs because I’m married and will get pregnant soon.
I hope for a Nigeria where there are not a different set of rules for the rich and the poor. A Nigeria where the law treats all men equally. A Nigeria where bad behaviour is punished irrespective of ethnic group.
I hope for a Nigeria that will be kinder to the generations after me. A Nigeria where dreams thrive. A Nigeria where we do not suffer and smile. A Nigeria that belongs to you and I.
If like me you hope for a better than Nigeria, then you should be ready to do the work. Hope is important but if wishes were horses …. (you know the rest). A better Nigeria will only come through active participation by citizens. Can we stop throwing garbage on the roads and expecting a clean Nigeria? Maybe we should stop forcing contractors to pay alabo whenever they come to deliver infrastructure in our areas? Can we not increase the price of transport when people are fleeing from crisis? Can we not cheat our customers and call it business?
How about we desist from illegal connection for electricity? You have 5 ACs and 2 massive deep freezers but only the light bulbs in your house are connected to the electricity metre. You’re a Civil servant but you spend all day trading elsewhere. Government provides free materials for the populace but you sell it for personal gain. Can we not pay teachers to provide answers for our kids during examination ? Can teachers not force school children for examination malpractice?
Can you stop taking gifts from your yahoo yahoo son and report him to the authorities? Can we stop harbouring thieves, insurgents in our communities?
Can we call a thief ‘thief’ despite his ethnic group or political party? How about rejecting that rice your local government chairman shares before every election? Maybe you can stop asking for money before you cast your vote? Can we ask for detailed policy documents before casting our votes? Can we demand to know how the campaign promises will be funded? Can we stop electing idiots?
– Juliana Okon Morgan wrote in from Abuja.
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