By Ingye Dooyum

Few weeks ago, a respected friend on Facebook shared the achievements, and awards of his 16- year -old son who resides in Britain. I was really impressed. As a teen, he has displayed sterling knowledge in his career, commitment, leadership skills, etc. In fact, I argued that at 16 years old, he has shown more resourcefulness than most senior military officers in Nigeria. He is a black kid living in a racist society, but the efficiency of the system has made it possible for his talent and intelligence to be recognized.

Now, there are a handful of 16 year olds in Nigeria with such achievements tied to their name. Why? Difference in environment. The Nigerian environment is a killer of talent and intelligence. The Nigerian system is structured to make life difficult for an aspiring Nigerian. There are too many pitfalls, institutional and otherwise. We have turned our country into an assassin of dreams, vision, and hope. Our society discourages ingenuity. It abhors handwork. It suppresses courage. Honesty spites her. And, look, the problem is not the people, though we share a blame too, the bulk of it lies with our leaders, and those appointed to manage service delivery, to promote industry.

Today, the Nigerian way is the corrupt way, the embezzlement way. We steal everything, anything, even our future. We have reduced education to meal tickets, not for production of productive knowledge to transform our society.

Till this moment, seized by the achievement of that kid, I am still reflecting about the bleakness of our collective future. You know, these things lie naked for you when you employ the comparative method. We know that western industrialized nations have their share of problems, however, the standard of living, and utility of institutions is guaranteed over there. This is why, Nigerians will prefer to travel out there, work several jobs to survive but be consoled that they live in a country where things work. This is why, Nigerians will prefer to sleep under the bridge in the US than lie on a comfy bed in Nigeria.

When I see people make fun of others who want to travel out, to survive and live, I weep for them, for the pecuniary gains they enjoy now blinds them from what is ahead. Nigeria is hell, and soon, we would all feel her consuming us. She is sinking like a ship, and our leaders are doing nothing to bring her up. It has gotten to a point where only few Nigerians-those without power – care. To this end, we lambaste the Nigerian president not because we hate him, but because he chooses to walk the path of previous leaders who raped this country.

Some of us are particularly worried that as time flies, the Nigerian productivity is underutilized. I have friends who left Nigeria after we graduated, and today, we cannot even compare wealth, achievement or standard of living. These are people who I fared better than they did before they ‘escaped’ the harsh conditions in Nigeria. It is a different story now. We have got to tell our selves this truth: the country is dying. Nigeria is killing Nigerians. This is not a matter of APC or PDP. The truth is there, for all to see.

(c) Ingye Dooyum 2020