By Ebele Orakpo
Traffic was unusually light this Monday morning along the perpetually busy Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.
Then said Sam, a commuter in the Apapa Wharf-bound passenger bus: “Hmm, I hope all is well. I no understand this road today o. Monday of all days! And morning for that matter!” “Yeah, I’m surprised too,” said Ify.
“Don’t you believe that anything could change for the better in Nigeria? Why are we so negative? Always seeing the worst in our nation!” asked Nikky, disgust written all over her. “It’s so terrible that any good thing that happens is attributed to a mistake somewhere. If you have electricity supply for a whole day, something must be wrong!”
“Tell me one positive thing we have achieved as a nation,” challenged Sam.
“So many things! But you have all chosen to see the bad ones. The world is wired in such a way that you see what you want to see,” replied Nikky.
“Agreed, the private sector may be performing, but what about the government in whose hands we placed our commonwealth?” asked Ify.
“Oh, Lagos State is working with rapid infrastructure development,” stated Nikky.
Said Mercy: “Kano State is working too. I heard they conducted mass wedding for 250 couples in a bid to address the high rate of divorce cases in the state. The government spent not less than N46.6 million in purchasing gifts for them. Individuals also contributed.
The 250 brides each got a sewing machine from the Vice-President’s wife, three crates of eggs, two cell phones per couple, assorted fabrics, beds and beddings, bags of rice, cartons of spaghetti, household items and N20,000 each as take-off capital to the brides. That is laudable. They are spending the money on the people and not stashing it away in foreign accounts.”
“What nonsense! Is that the infrastructure that will benefit everyone and help in the development of the state?” asked Japh.
“It may be working for them. I believe if you can fix the man, every other thing will fall into place,” said Tobi.
“So how do they fix the man? By using tax payers’ money to get a few hooked? Is that how their economy is going to grow? The more sensible thing would have been to build schools, factories and skills acquisition centres to train and equip these people and at the end, give them soft loans to start off. I feel that is the best way to go rather than marrying wives for them,” argued Ade.
“You have missed the point. Send them to school and train them to stand on their own? Hmmm, you are far away from reality. If these ones are trained and empowered financially, where will the elite who use them as cannon fodders to destabilize society get people to do their dirty jobs?” asked Charlie.
“If these suicide bombers were earning like N50,000 a month, do you think it will be easy to get them to go and blow themselves up? Of course not! But because they have absolutely nothing to live for, they are easily persuaded to die and go to paradise for a better life and they foolishly obey without asking those who send them why they too are not willing to go and enjoy paradise.”
“Imagine promising someone N15,000 to go and plant a bomb somewhere and may be die in the process. Unfortunately, he was only paid N6,000 and the balance was to be paid after the job. Sheer wickedness! So if he died in the process, the balance will be history. They will use it to entice another person to go and die,” said Sam.
“My problem with these people is that they are so dumb.
How can a fellow human being tell you to do something and you don’t question it? They tell you to kill and you go ahead and kill without asking questions or weighing the consequences?” asked Nikky.
Said Ify: “I watched a Nollywood movie recently where the veteran actor, Nkem Owoh said to a man who came to preach the gospel to him to give his life to Christ: ‘You are asking me to give my life to Christ while you hold your own tight.’ It was left for the preacher to convince him.”