This is the only word that adequately describes what I felt when the news hit us on Friday of the possibility of PMS being sold at 212.6 Naira.
The article I read said something about landing cost being at N189.
As I drove to work on Friday my tank was almost empty. I drove to the nearest filling station and found a queue. I decided since the fuel would take me to the office, I could get fuel in the evening on my way back. But in the evening, it was worse. Add on it the effect of cars queuing on Lagos streets. I drove my car on red and was very lucky to get home. Also lucky it was start of a weekend.
But I was still numb.
I did not feel any emotion strongly. It has been building up. My whole system has been overburdened over the last 6 years of this administration that I am thinking I have lost the ability to feel anxiety, panic or pain at the situation of things in this country. It was the same thing when I saw that students of the college of forestry in Kaduna had been kidnapped. I just read it as news and went on with my life whispering to myself a prayer of protection.
Like I said, it has been building.
12.5KG cooking gas has gone past N5,000. CWAY dispenser went from a steady 450 to 600. Garri went from 400 to 1,000 for a paint bucket. Eggs went from 1,000 to 1,600. My girl comes almost every day with bad news from the market. Titus fish, turkey, chicken…nothing is static. You cannot budget comfortably.
But this numbness that I feel may just be a mechanism to protect myself.
Panicking cannot help me.
We recently determined that we could not go on with exorbitant estimated bills. We eventually got a prepaid meter but to our shock, there was only a marginal difference. Electricity has become a luxury. Where our electric appliances stand in a line up as we decide which culprit we will do without to regulate our KW usage.
All expenses are wearing sports shoes and running a race that does not seem to have a finishing line ahead.
But I don’t feel anxiety.
How will that help me? I don’t even feel like ranting. Or even complaining. I do what I can, sleep at the end of the day, and wake up the next day to continue.
Rinse and repeat.
There is no use rehashing this particular past but I think of Goodluck Jonathan. The one reason I supported him was because for 6 years of going to the market during his rulership, food prices had remained stable. I kid you not. I know. Because as a mother of a young family, the market is my terrain. My take was that whatever else was going wrong in Nigeria, we could afford to eat. This was dismissed by a lot of people. I will never forget a friend who forgot himself and said “Na food we go chop?”
We soon discovered that we had indeed taken things for granted. Some good governance must have been involved in making sure that things were not rising at an outstanding rate.
May be he wasn’t so clueless after all.
But what is the meaning of my reminiscing? It changes nothing. GEJ is gone. PMB is here.
So how do we cope?
We that are adults responsible for households.
How do we look ahead and not panic?
My numbness is unnatural and turned out to be a temporary thing.
All the walls I was building around myself to keep at bay the helplessness that is overwhelming Nigerians all over the world was completely breachable.
The video surfaced yesterday of the students kidnapped being whipped.
As I listened to their whimpering and begging, the dam broke. Just every day Nigerians trying to better their lives and suddenly they are sitting in dust being whipped because they are Nigerians.
I could not put my head under the proverbial sand.
It just isn’t fair.
We are hardworking and resilient people. We have been through more than any people should be subjected to.
But here we are, now being herded by lawless men in exchange for money. Here we are now, just pawns in the hands of merciless men. Here we are rounded up like animals in various states of undress being whipped for no GADDEM reason.
It broke me.
It made me break my subconscious resolution not to feel anything.
And it made me panic.
Our government hates us.
More groups than we can keep track of hate us.
There is no succor.
We are like orphans in our father’s house with a full store.
Kai, e no go better for the architects and sponsors of our pain. For those who vowed to protect us that give us excuses every day. For those who have used our plight to enrich themselves at the expense of defense weaponry. All of them, past and present that contribute to this.
Finally, heaven and hell better be real.
Because some people need eternal punishment.
And some of us need eternal compensation.
Stay safe people.
We are getting there gradually.
Mask up, sanitize and avoid crowds.
Covid19 is real.
But we will beat it.