Uncommon Stories

I Am Not A Nigerian

Most times when I defend Nigeria in the online international battle – against the Kenyans and the Ghanaians – I sincerely did so because I always want to believe that Nigeria is better than those countries… we are the giant of Africa na… it’s always like a dispute between ‘suffer-heads’, but in the heart of my heart, I am not a Nigerian.

Don’t crucify me yet because I may not be alone; there are a lot that showed that, deep inside my heart, I am not connected to my country. Perhaps, many disappointments caused it, or maybe I expect a lot. Take for instance, because I believe that seventy percent of National funds end in private pockets, when EFCC recovers millions of dollars, I feel so indifferent. I never see their successes as ‘our’ success as a country because I have seen men with no genuine source of livelihood live as if they have an oil well in the middle of their living rooms. Ndi uwa oma: men of good fortune; not government staff but people connected to the ‘government’ thieves, and when I see them, I, the unlucky, admire them, enviously praying for the day my own thief will ascend the throne.

A Tale Of Corruption In Nigeria

Musa, not real name, got an award letter last month to execute a project worth 25 million Naira. His story got me thinking:

His father’s friend got a promotion last year in one of the governmental palatals, and the promoted family friend owed gratitude to Musa’s father. He, as expected, settled him with the National fund but how he did it was out of this world.

He called Musa and told him about the project and when Musa checked everything, he discovered that 8 million would execute the project comfortably, and he sincerely told the Oga at the top. Oga encouraged him to make his proposal to sum up to 25 million. Two weeks ago, the project was done and Musa went to discuss what would become of the marked-up 17 million.

Keep it, Oga told him. Make sure you use it well. It may be all you will get from me.

We eyed Musa with raw, covetous envy and returned to our own houses praying for the coming of our own thief. None of us saw the excess cash as our (Nigeria) money, and if you mistakenly say ‘corruption’, then you are jealous of what God has done in the life of brother Musa. In fact, there was no corruption. Musa is not an accessory to any crime, he is a blessed man, favored by the Nigerian god. A living testimony and we pray to tap from his blessings. He is a Nigerian, a certified citizen.

Employment Without Application

I was in a fellowship in 2007 when a girl testified how she got a job she did not apply for. Five vacancies in a ministry and over 10 million Nigerians applied. His father called a senator and thing started turning around for her good. Her blessings located her. When she shouted praise the Lord, we responded ‘Halleluia.’ She is a Nigerian also.

I am not electing myself a judge, maybe I see differently because I am a man with no highly placed Senator or Minister to change my fate. I see differently because I still maintain the low social class. A friend of mine, whose lean means could not afford a private hospital, took his seven-months-pregnant wife to a government hospital. He lost the baby in an Abuja General Hospital two years ago for the lack of a single incubator… how much be an incubator. He is not a Nigerian.

I do not understand that quote: ‘Think of what you will do for your country and not what your country will do for you.’ Nigeria belongs to all of us only during sanitations but after that last Saturday of every month, the owners of Nigeria will roam the street. It is disheartening, it’s a big shame to know that you are in Nigeria but not a Nigerian.

For Nigerians enjoy Corruption In Nigeria, and the remaining majority are ‘corruptions in waiting’, the frauds yet unexecuted, the tribalists, the famine that kills the weak. We are those inopportune criminals that pray for our own thief to rule Nigeria so that he would share from the National cake.

There is no hope in the present, and the future is a time bomb.

Have a nice week.

#Rants

Ozii Baba, a TedX Speaker, is an Onitsha-based storyteller and social entrepreneur. He works directly with children and young people.

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