We all have our ‘Village People’ but then, we have Nigeria’s government too. The latter seems to have overpowered the former when dealing with her victims. Believe me, ‘Village People’ may have stopped tormenting people in this part of the world nowadays, only Naija government is at work. In fact, ‘Village People’ are being tormented too! See ehn, Nigeria is a proof that handwork does not ends poverty. Everywhere you turn, there’s frustration.
Earlier this year, I visited one of the commercial towns here in Southwest and as I maneuvered my way through the crowded area to grab the next available Okada to my destination, I saw an old face, a former faculty mate back in my undergraduate days. Obviously held by the some security agents judging from the way he was pleading. I stylishly walked away to avoid any delay because I was already few minutes behind schedule.
To my surprise, on my way back, after about two hours, this man was still there! This time, I walked up to him. He was an Okada rider held the first time by men of Federal Road Safety Commission, but detained again by a team of Task Force because his Okada’s plate number had expired. I learnt it was a yearly exercise. Nothing you wouldn’t hear in Nigeria. Okada plate numbers now expires like tickets!
An unemployed graduate took loan to buy a motorcycle for commercial use and in one day, he would be held by the Police, FRSC, VIO, AMORA Task Force, Tickets People, OPC, So Safe, TRACE, Man-O-War.. And they all wanted same thing. You could be delayed for hours if you don’t ‘cooperate’ with them. What a nation.
Survival in Naija is not child’s play. Even those who have good jobs are finding it difficult to feed their families. Whatever you earn will be rubbised when you get to market to buy foodstuffs and everyone is going about as if it’s normal. Amidst this untold sufferings, you will find those who are willing to die for their tormentors. What’s my own sef? Sometimes I think I worry too much. When time don reach, when the suffering becomes unbearable, we would flood the street..
Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s words and prophecy will come to pass.
Ó maa se o. Aise daadaa ará aiye, ní muni ranti èrò orun!