Nigeria at 61: Is there a reason to celebrate? – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

Nigeria at 61: Is there a reason to celebrate? – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha



And so, Nigeria was 61 on Friday, 1st October 2021.



Did anyone of you commemorate it?



I did not.



As a matter of fact, I felt nothing. I was very surprised when I came across people sharing our flag on their display pictures and when I saw a few pictures of people wearing outfits either displaying our various cultures or those videos where people morph from one Nigerian outfit to another, I felt nothing.



No pride at being Nigerian. No elation at a celebration.



The closest to a good feeling was the realization that it was a public holiday; therefore, I did not have to go to work.



There were some years I would write long epistles to inspire hope and belief in Nigeria. There was even a year I wrote about the things to actually celebrate in Nigeria.

ALSO READ: 10 questions Nigerians must stop asking – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha



Those things were;



  1. Our food.


  1. Our music


  1. Nigerian fashion


When I wrote that article, I sat down and tasked myself to find the things that are positive here. It was hard but I did come out with some things.



But now, I mostly just feel numb.


The world’s excitement about Nigerian Jollof is old. The TikTok videos of people trying Nigerian swallow and soups is old. Having Burna Boy, Wizkid and Davido celebrated on international stages is old. Even that time that our world cup jerseys trended is old.


Nothing is exciting.


There is no perfume strong enough to mask the stench. The stench of death. The stench of corruption. Also, the stench of poverty. The stench of hopelessness. The stench of crime, as well as the stench of unemployment.

ALSO READ: In Nigeria, If you don’t laugh, you will run mad – Abiodun Kuforiji Nkwocha



It is the 80s all over again. The massive brain-drain. The teeming young people running away. Some to countries like Cyprus, bruv. Cyprus o! of all places.


The inflation is crazy. Gas dances around N7,000 in Nigeria. Every trip to the market is an adventure of discovery. You discover that no price is static for a whole week. That or the quantities keep getting smaller and smaller. We even hit a new low this year. N.Y.S.C actually advised corps members to have people who can pay ransoms and negotiate with kidnappers before they go on road travel.






No one expects anything from the government in Nigeria. They succeed in stemming protests by acting aggressively towards any gathering criticizing this administration. After what we saw last year October; it is more fruitful to go to Ilupeju to protest for Pere of Big Brother Nigeria not to be disqualified than to fight for anything in this country.



I know I shouldn’t be doing this.



Indeed, I should look for the positives. I should think about the innocent children that have been brought in to a clogged system that is determined to stay stagnated. I should think up things that we could do to help our country help us.


Nigeria at 61: Is there a reason to celebrate? – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha




But I can’t even beat my chest and talk about voters’ registration and elections.



Remember when people were ‘Say Babaing’ and they really believed in their votes. Whenever we asked them what will happen if Bubu wins but fails; they would boast that they would vote him out.

ALSO READ: Nigeria is one of a kind – Abiodun Kuforiji – Nkwocha


As if this is not Nigeria.


Only Goodluck could leave a seat peacefully.


No one else will let go after a first term.


Well, Bubu came back and what happened?



This is what is happening. We are afloat in a country with no one holding the rudder. We just seem to be floating in whichever direction the waves of the ocean decide we should move. The worst part is that we can see there are holes in the ship. The water is entering the deck.



But the captain keeps insisting that nothing is wrong. We are literally watching people lower lifeboats and abandon the ship. But our captain is whistling a tune and smiling. He only worries when there is talk about taking away the captain title from him.



It is weird sha.



You cannot sail the ship. You do not want anyone else to try.



I hear there are new tariffs for the already expensive electricity we use. New, meaning higher tariffs. No one is saying anything beyond a feeble comment about how expensive things are. We are like toothless dogs that raise our heads when a thief jumps over our fence. We then place our heads back on our paws with our tails down.



No energy to bark. Even if we attacked, we have been defanged already.



I really hate doing this.



I want to be positive. In fact, I want to find a beautiful angle to being Nigerian to celebrate.


But I can’t.


I am just being truthful. This is us right now. I have no idea how we got here and I have no idea if we will ever be better. I am not even sure I believe it will get better.


It doesn’t feel like we are independent.


It feels like we are shackled under task masters who hate us.


Oh well.


Last last, we go dey alright abi?


Like one of my friends used to say.


“Even inside the well, it is well.”


Have a lovely week, folks. Let the hustle pay.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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