If you are not living on the Island side of…
By David Benjamin
I woke up on the 1st of December 2016, stretched, said my prayers, and took a stroll out to inhale the “December Air”…I really don’t know how to explain it but as far as I can remember, there’s always been a ‘scent’, an aura, a feel about December. It’s been several days into the month and this unique feel is nowhere to be found. Even the trademark dry and dusty north-easterly trade wind which blows into the country from the Sahara at this time of the year is profoundly absent. It seems even harmattan in Nigeria is in recession!
Ironically, we might not need the harmattan to bring dryness as it is gradually shaping up to be the “driest” Christmas yet. There are still no jobs for the teeming youths, infrastructure decay at its peak, insecurity still prevalent, and the usual epileptic power supply is now worse. When the Minister of Power, Works and Housing assumed office, Nigerians were filled with hope especially considering that the man in question had once said “providing steady power supply is not rocket science”. It’s been a year and some months of handling the ministry and it is indeed looking like spaceship science. Nigerians are bracing up for another festive period filled with the sounds of generator engines instead of joyful carols.
All these issues pale however in comparison to one of the very basic needs of man: food. Man can make do without electricity but can only survive a few days without food. It is this vital need that has left millions of Nigerians in trepidation, wondering how the Christmas and New Year celebrations will pan out. With the prices of foodstuff like rice, beans, yam, vegetable oil and even garri going through the roof, the season will not be merry for a lot of families. Some people are already making jokes that some families may need to have a “collabo celebration” with one or more families contributing the necessary food items and cooking together. Even the price of sachet water (popularly called pure water) has increased by as much as 25%. Considering the fact that the water supplied by the Water Corporation, both at state and federal levels is just barely suitable for bathing, the general populace have resorted to the consumption of “pure water”.
Like the saying goes; a hungry man is an angry man. We should therefore not be surprised if the number of disgruntled and frustrated individuals seem to be on the increase, it is only a fairly natural reaction to the state of the nation. The most worrisome aspect however is the nonchalance, the numbness displayed by the ruling class to the pain of the masses. All the policies seem ‘anti-masses’ and average Nigerian appears to have lost hope in an administration that is less than two (2) years old. Amazing.
Hopefully, things will take a turn for good in the New Year, Nigerians will do what they do best in times like this…SURVIVE. We have mastered the art of survival and do so with unrivalled grace. We will celebrate even in the dryness and keep believing that a new and better Nigeria will emerge, someday. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! God bless Nigeria!
David Benjamin is Patriot, Comedian/Master of Ceremonies and Social Commentator. He can be reached on Bookmcdave1@gmail.com