I have heard adults (for some reason I only place myself in this category when it suits me) talk about all our leaders and mention the worst leaders Nigeria has ever had. Most people will agree that General Abacha was a terror to live under (I was quite young at the time but I still remember the coal pot and sawdust debacle we had to go through) and the ones after him have only been marginally better. Sure we got gsms and network providers, local and national roads with a life expectancy of two weeks (lol), independent power distributors with crazy tarriffs and a general and systematic breakdown of all promises ever made to the Nigerian populace, while political coffers were stuffed to the brim with national treasure, only to be emptied abroad and brought back for more looting.
The average Nigerian used to have a live and let live policy. We did not care if you stole our money, so long as we had the basics. Light, water, good roads, adequate salaries to take care of our own..etc. As time passed, we realised that the basics were not forthcoming. So we adapted and changed our lives to suit and survive. No electricity? Buy a generator/ inverter/ very good rechargeable lamps. No pipe borne water? Dig a well/ borehole/ buy water from your neighbours with wells and boreholes. No good roads? Pay 50 bucks to a man to shovel dirt and stones into your portholes/ save money and buy a jeep instead of your low sedan. We had answers to every problem, and over the years Nigerians have managed not to break totally from the heavy and unwanted yoke thrust upon us by our so called leaders.
In the year 2015, we Nigerians finally got tired of living like squatters in our father’s land, so we marched/ walked to the polling booths and voted in a new president, while ousting the ruling party. Now personally, one politician is as bad as another, however I had/ still have high hopes that the new President will do so much better when he is sworn in this Friday, 29th May, 2015. This brings me to an explanation of my post title. A typical politician does not want to leave his/ her office. He/ she will rather stay there, build a few mansions while sending their children to schools abroad and employing as many family members as possible. They would also prefer to die there and still be dragged kicking and screaming away.
To the best of my knowledge, one is supposed to leave a post with good tidings and respected smiles on the lips of one’s followers. A good leader strives to leave a post in a better position than he found it. It should be said of a leader “What a great man.., He did so and so.. May the Lord bless him/ her”.You can imagine my surprise then when I see the outgoing regime doing the exact opposite of this time honoured tradition. It seems the outgoing President and his team asked themselves ‘What is the worst thing we can do that will keep Nigerians cursing our names and our unborn generations forever?” Their answer? ” Refuse to pay off independent marketers, cause artificial fuel scarcity and generally just punish people for voting us out of office. To top it off, let’s make Aso rock quite uncomfortable for the new president when he assumes power”.
This brings me to Nigerians reaction to this hardship.
Buying fuel at N600, to N800 per litre? Park your cars at home and take public transport to work, only shop at neighbourhood markets and anywhere within trekking distance, guard the little fuel you do have jealously,Keep a sharp ear out for any where fuel is supposedly being sold.
Cab, bus and Okada fares doubling? Haggle as much as possible to beat prices down, Walk partway and take a bike the rest of the way, sit in your house and don’t go anywhere….
Cooking gas and kerosene prices rising because of the fuel hike? Look into coal pot and sawdust options, Buy gas at N3500 to N4500 per 12kg cylinder, eat bread and non boiling, frying or steaming related foods, buy food from Mama Sikira that cooks with firewood…
Whatever happens, Nigerians are a hardy lot and we will survive. Even though I feel like asking our esteemed President with his new and oppressive golden shoes if he is finally happy with his success (or lack of it), I know that in a country of thieves and corrupt people (Not the same thing, mind you as defined by the PresidentGoodluck dictionary of bull…), with leaders more concerned with gorging themselves on Ill gained wealth than caring for their constituents, Nigerians will flourish, God’s judgement will prevail, and we will live to talk about our wicked leaders when they are no more.