The average Nigerian citizen must accept a number of hard facts as the reality, then decide if these facts should be embraced, managed or superseded. As a part of this group, few of these facts I have been able to cull over the years are;
- I am worthless
- The Labour Union Congress who are meant to fight for the rights of workers in Nigeria, have become fat from all the corrupted stuffings and can't perform any longer.
- I must provide adequate security for myself
- Without personal finances, I am doomed
- There is a strong sense of entitlement mentality in the country over what I own, either by relatives. or especially by random strangers who could go as far as hurting me for it.
- Lord have mercy on my soul if I become really sick and cannot afford to leave the country to get a "solid' treatment abroad since the facilities in most of our public and even private hospitals are more suitable for the dead than the living.
Recently, my sister and I were threatened on our property by some hooligan who hangs around aimlessly within the neighbourhood. It shouldn't be a problem, right? Since there's a respected traditional ruler and there's never been reports on any form of dangerous activities within the neighbourhood but one can never be too safe. Since these threats were made in the wee hours of the morning, my sister decided to call the Police. When I overheard her speaking with whoever picked her distress call, I almost laughed out loud. Only a Nigerian will understand what a joke it is, calling the Police? The entire street might as well be dead before they show up That is; if there's petrol in their cars in the first place! So, when she was done, I went over to ask her if she was actually speaking with the 'Nigerian Police' or maybe a US SWAT team that happened to be in town, and she confirmed it was the Nigerian police who are on their way. In my head, I'm thinking, "maybe past events have made me such a pessimist, let me give them the benefit of doubt and wait for their arrival". Now writing this, I can't believe I allowed myself believe anything different from the usual would occur.
An hour later, the Lagos Rapid Response Squad (RRS) who are constantly driving randomly within the city hoping to make some cash off innocent citizens, were nowhere near sight. My sister calls again and the responder sounds just as scripted as telecommunications customer service agents, "We are sorry for the delay Ma, I've placed a call to the squad closest to you and they will be there shortly. Is there any other issue you'd like to report?" At this point, we just ensured the house was properly secured against intruders and slept off.
The next morning, we discovered no one bothered to show up or call back to check on us. This should be completely normal to me by now but I was disappointed because the emergency line actually went through and someone picked! That's a huge milestone! But I should have known better, After all, our government are the best at putting things in place they neither have full knowledge of nor understand how to control- there are simply no checks and balances.
In all, I remain a die-hard Nigerian, I understand the blessings and limitations in my country and have decided to LIVE regardless.