By: Raheem Gbolahan Hammed
Brethren! Kindly leave whatever you are doing at the moment and join me in a short prayer. Errrm. May you not be a victim of Nigeria. May Nigeria not happen to you! I can’t hear a louder amen. At the end of this sermon, you will appreciate the short prayer I have blessed you with. And oh! Don’t bother, I won’t be collecting a dime from you. I am not your typical religious leader.
Nigeria is about to happen to you if you think your first class certificate will automatically land you your dream job. Then you see the job requirements; 4 years’ experience, less than 26 years of age, et cetera, but remember you left secondary school at 17, wrote UTME thrice, only to have your programme spaced out with the help of ASUU strikes and internal school strikes.
If you are part of the youth who believed the APC’s promise in 2015 to create some outrageous number of jobs on a yearly basis, then Nigeria has happened to you!
When I was in the states, we called 911 at any slight chance to report emergency cases and the authorities always swung into action. But if you report a case to the Nigerian police via a distress call, the vans won’t have enough fuel to proceed. If you take enough initiative to walk into the police station, you will either be detained as the prime suspect or would be asked to pay N2,000 (or more) as mobilisation fee. Brethren, may Nigeria not happen to you.
While it is very important to pray against Nigeria happening to you at the police station, you must also intensify your prayers against Nigeria happening to you at public hospitals. From the Accident and Emergency unit (A&E) to other wards in an average public hospital, you are greeted with the true reflection of the Nigerian state; corruption, negligence of duty, inhumane treatments just to say the least. In case you see an accident victim, or someone with gunshot wounds, don’t bother taking them to a Nigerian hospital, you might end up with their Nigerian police counterpart, and that’s Nigeria right there, staring and smiling at you for being too good. Long story short, you might have to wear a blue uniform behind rusty bars for the rest of your life.
If you take a stroll to the judiciary, Nigeria will again happen to you! There is really no way you want to escape it. You are sure of being on trial for as long as ever. Meanwhile, your politicians get bail for stealing billions of naira, diverting public funds into personal accounts and the case ends there. If you think I am joking, the other serving senator that was dashed a jail term, has he not been released? Did your senate president and other senators not go to his house to appropriately welcome him? The other young, fair senator that harassed a lady in a sex toy store in Abuja, why is the justice taking like forever?
Your favourite Governor’s son, whose father you are tipping for the presidency come 2023, did he not threaten to gang rape a woman online? Duly backed by his mother. You write about it, your editor relieves you of your duty, and that’s about the end. That is you being a victim of Nigeria!
The bullion vans that entered a private bank on Bourdillon Street, your anti-graft agency is yet to probe. Your House of Assembly speaker has about 64 bank accounts, he is yet to be duly prosecuted too. But if the police find more than three ATM cards in your wallet, you are declared a yahoo boy and your trial starts immediately.
Have you been to a club before? To unwind the stress of the week or to have a nice time, and you are randomly/forcefully arrested, press briefing follows the next day, and your image is all over the media as an internet fraudster with or without adequate trial. That’s Nigeria happening to you right there.
Again brethren, may Nigeria not happen to you! May you not be a victim of Nigeria!