On a chilly evening, I sat with my Grandma by the porch after she had just said farewell to her former colleague from the St. Justin Hospital. Suddenly, I could feel her staring so hard in my direction that it scared me, then I asked “Is everything alright, Granny?” No response, only a long groan and She smirked at me. It was getting dark so I beckoned on her to follow me into the house but, she was so still and silent, I panicked. Immediately, I rushed over to her and noticed she was well but, her eyes were fixed at the statue opposite us. Out of fear, I shook her and she regained consciousness, then, she pulled me down and asked me to sit with her for a bit longer. Granny shared with me stories of her time in service. I was particularly amazed by this one – here it goes;
On a fateful afternoon, the courtroom went into sudden disarray and the Judge had to adjourn his judgment because Nigeria (the Defendant) had fainted. She was immediately sent to the emergency ward where she was examined and diagnosed with the following: ill governance, Chronic Fatigue syndrome leadership, sheer negligence, regressive policies, recessive trends, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, woolly and anemic practices.
The Doctor’s Sermon
As she regained consciousness, one of the Doctors visited her room for a chat and asked, “Are you aware you’re dying? It is of great importance that you change your lifestyle if you wish to continue living”.
Nigeria replied, “I’m not aware, some say my tail is on fire but, I feel perfectly fine and wouldn’t like to change anything yet”
The Doctor replied, “Stand up if you can, try opening your eyes, I will like to show you something”. Nigeria gave it her best push as she groaned in pain but, She stood tall and decided to take the invitation. Slowly, they began to walk while the Doctor explained some hard-facing facts…
“With all these diseases and cultured evil, how can poverty and illiteracy be elevated? Your young ones have run away from home in search of a better life in another man’s land, yet you see no reason to review your old and strangling methods. “Reason with me,” The Doctor said, “How does a Parent abandon it’s young yet, turn back to steal, tear down and rip off any survival bandage”.
“Look around“, said the Doctor. “Your Children have accepted the jungle justice message and have risen to cater for themselves with little or no help from you yet, you still find ways to take the Bee right out off their nest even before it produces honey. You constantly find ways to rein hope off the hopeful, you kill infant ventures, and rape the innocent. Where do we go from here? What other news will be on tomorrow? How long will we continue like this?”
Nigeria smiled and responded, “I don’t know what you’re talking about”
The doctor said, “I won’t even ask about safety because it’s a far cry but why punish the brave and diligent? There is no employment, no light, no good roads, no security. Take a look at this Hospital, He pointed. “It is fading away, the dedicated, the good, the bad, even the ugly have all taken off. You have encouraged income inequality, repressed growth, disrupted the economy, restricted innovation, and created puppet leaders.
Nigeria shrugged and let out a stylish laugh but the Doctor continued, “Your favorites have had access and are still enjoying various securities and financial gains long even before the existence of this hospital, why destabilize and rain down on the brave infants now?”
The doctor continued, “Why are you shutting down access to better living for retail investors, start-ups, modernization, innovative infrastructure and technologies, solution-based business ventures, access to life-enhancing sources of survival with no warning or consideration to neither life, comfort, health, the existence of your children nor even the meaning of it?”
With a firm look, the Doctor asked, “Do you know they are your Saviors and GDP influencers?” Nigeria responded angrily to that philosophy, “What do you mean!”, they are just lazy youths. I know how this works, all I have to do is dress up when I have to pretend I need them, share some grains and they will flock together for the crumbs, forgetting the past, and will always do as I say. So, please spare me all these sermons“.
The Doctor responded with a smile “Lazy youths you say, yet, they are incessantly finding ways to create a profitable source of income and various legit means of survival. They are constantly creating employment for themselves; giving care to the weak and sick, providing support for the brave, and developing innovative technologies for trade and skill exchange (transportation, finance, ideas, commerce, etc.). Yet, you still turn around and clamp them down with some excuse of a policy. You do nothing tangible or provocative about the state of emergency, insecurity, unemployment, financial fraud, corruption, failed public systems, social abuse, death, and the famine that stares you right in the face; instead, you find another excuse to shield and preserve it for selfish gains. Nigeria, remember! your children won’t remain babes forever, they are growing, they are getting wiser and they are coming.”
Nigeria walked away angrily.
By this time, Granny was squeezing my hand so tightly that I had to beg for a release. Looking at her, I saw the tears roll down her cheek. And with a quirky voice, She said, “I fear for tomorrow, I fear that it is so bleak that no matter how much I try not to bother, I see you and my Great Grandchildren fighting and trying to navigate for survival and sustenance. Please, Child, do not make the same mistakes I made, Seek Wisdom, Gain power and make better choices when the opportunities are presented until it is your turn then serve diligently.” With these words, She led me into the house and said “Goodnight, Dearest child”
Call to action
Of course, I was trying to make meaning out of her story but, it was unclear until now. Recently, I experienced several and heartbreaking wallet downtimes resulting from the decaying terms of leadership and economic stability of our dear Country. These events confirmed a lot of already known fears and serve as a good reminder of my reason for being on a resilient journey to success. It compels me to a compulsory call of service and needs to gain access/ authority to effect and reform certain economic policies and practices.
I employ you reading this to seek knowledge, gain influential power, and access to the economic and political doors. When you get there, remember your why and try your best to make and see through the implementation of better policies to change certain vices in our dear country, Nigeria. If this isn’t your interest, please find a legal way to keep surviving against all odds, and when given the opportunity to choose again; think, remember the past and decide better.
Until next time. Stay sharp and stay safe.
Article by Ezinne Okuku