By Aanu Oluyide

Introduction

To be honest, when I saw this topic I had mixed feelings. Any sane Nigerian looking at the current situations of the country will have either mixed feelings or an hopeless feeling. This is meant to be an open article, describing with vivid examples, how this dear country will be faring in approximately 20 years. To be honest, 20 years is a long time to predict in actual sense the state of a country with 200 million people. If one is too futuristic, one may sound like Nigerian Pastors, if one is otherwise it may look like a lack of vision so I will just be as precise as possible.

20 Years Is Not Far

The mention of 20 years may sound like some long time but come to think of it, 20 years is not a long time. While it is long enough for visible changes to happen if it will, it is also not too long for the state of the country to remain stagnant or more realistically “worse”. It will only take electing one unfortunate being, who will be reelected again and 8 years is gone. Another unfortunate being who takes over from the first to continue from where his protégé left gets reelected and another 8 years is gone. That’s 16 years already. What is left? Nigeria is destroyed almost beyond repair. When you take a critical look at 20 years and the state of this country, you will understand how short it is to do anything changing in such a time. The question would be, where do we start from?

Nigeria have Rulers, not Leaders

With the trendy colloquim of one of the southwest’s most revered political persons Bola Ahmed Tinubu, it is clear what Nigerian leaders think of its people. You think of twitter ban when you think of Buhari, you think of Malami, and everybody associated with this government. They think of us as animals that they rule over. I mean, we are not even human beings to these people. How else do you expect them to fare in leadership? Without leadership, this is where we will remain, if not worse by 2040. Politics to Nigerian leaders is not a responsibility. It is a game of interests, wickedness, selfishness, and hypocrisy. Of do and die, of lobbying, of nepotism, of criminality. We are not blind nor deaf to the cries of 2023, and how our most docile leaders are now springing up claiming faux responsibilities.

2040 is far, but if we are going to have any positive change (no matter how positively minute) it has to start now, and as far as that is concerned Nigeria is at a dead-end. Come to think of it, in the next 20 years most of these selfish old men and women in our leadership positions may be no more but guess what? It is a cycle. When they leave, they already have substitutes who will continue from where they stopped. They call it “the national cake” where everyone must eat out of it, leaving the country worse than they met it. We have people who play diplomacy with the lives of poor people as leaders, we have lukewarm yet wicked human beings as leaders. 2040 will meet us here, I will love for this article to be archived.

Our Criteria for Choosing Leaders Is Too Much to Make A Perfect Leader

For leadership positions, parties choose these leaders, Nigerians only get to pick out of the options that political parties have picked. So, it is safe to say that leaders are chosen at primary elections. We have an understanding that Nigerian political parties are elitist, and they do not care about the people. At the core of their candidate picking is someone who will serve the interest of the party. We move from this to consider Federal Character, then tribe, then zoning, then religion (we shuffle between Christians and Muslims). Note that in all of these we haven’t considered abilities and capabilities. Yet, there are already close to 10 standards set. Irrelevant standards. By the time you shove and shove this, the results would be what we have on our hands today. APC, MUSLIM, NOTHERNER, FULANI, with zero capabilities, surrounded by people of like minds, like Buhari like Adamu Garba, like Malami.

Where do we start from?

I asked this question earlier and I will analyze a few things now to show what I meant. Everywhere in Nigeria that is government-owned is rotten. There must be a thing that states that every government institution in Nigeria has to be either below standard, not functioning, or corrupt.

Look at Government hospitals, Government schools, Nigerian Customs, Nigerian Police force, Federal Radio Corporation Service, Nigerian Postal Services, Nigerian Railway.We do not have a functioning refinery but we have staffs there swapping huge amounts of money in the name of salaries every month. We have thousands of institutions that should be merged or canceled but we are not doing this. The government sees all as an opportunity to siphon money. Which of these aforementioned systems is functioning perfectly as they should in the 21st century? It seems anything the hand of the Nigerian government touches turns to dust. I can assure that if their hands touch gold, it will rust. Gold does not rust by the way, but The Nigerian government will destroy even gold.

Consider the state of government hospitals. Think about why they are a death trap. Think about the lack of equipment and machines, think about poor welfare, when you think about all of these, now think about the budget allocated to health. Health in a population of 200 million people, of one doctor to 10,000 patients. Think about it.

Think about the state of education. Think about dilapidated buildings, think about lack of basics such as tables and chairs, think about the poor treatment of teachers, think about how our educational system is stuck in 17BC. When you think about this, think about the budget allocated to education.

Do you think that 2040 is enough to set just the two aforementioned (Education and Health) right? If you think so, do you think we have (or will have) human beings who will make this happen?

We Are Genetically Oppressors and Thieves

Every Nigerian at the helm of any affair wants to oppress those he has powers over by default. Our politicians oppress citizens because they know they will get away with it. Many videos of politicians harassing citizens have surfaced without justice being served. Who will serve justice by the way? Police oppress civilians. Teachers oppress students. In hospitals, we have news of consultants diverting hospital equipment to their personal hospitals. Medical elders oppress the younger ones. At government institutions even secretaries oppress people. Every opportunity is either for oppressing or stealing. Before NIN became very popular, nobody knew NIMC officials, one second the government-mandated NIN, NIMC officials became demigods overnight. Taking money from people before they are registered for something free. At every position, people just want to make life difficult for each other. I dare to say it is genetic because everywhere we go, it follows us there. Our security is in shabbles because those at the helm of affairs are intentionally not doing anything about it. Nigeria is on autopilot.

What is the relationship between this and the state of Nigeria in 2040? I will tell you.

I do not believe that it is Nigeria that is bad and the people are not. That will be like absolving Nigerians off the problems of Nigeria, as though a country can stand alone without its people. This is us; this is Nigeria. Without the people, there is no country. Like Ajibola Salami always say,

“bring the people of Nigeria to the United Kingdom and bring Brits to Nigeria, give it 5 years. Nigerians would have destroyed everything the Brits built. While this country that looked like it can never get better would have been built to world standard”. This already answered the question that Nigerians are equally as bad as the country is. There might be a few good people, but the majority are either ignorant of what it means to be good or they are just rotten.

How do we change the people? This is crucial to where Nigeria would be in 2040. No matter how good a central government is, it cannot affect how 200 million people will be. It’s going to be a long walk to freedom if any change will happen to the people of Nigeria and how they are synched. While the possibility of that cannot be denied, I do not see it happening. I have concluded that Nigerians will never take corrections with ease. We are lawless by default. If you think that Nigeria is bad, check its people. Both the ones at helms of affairs and the ones who are not. We are the reason why we are where we are. It’s either technology creates a machine that purifies people and we have it for individual use in Nigeria or I do not see anything happening by 2040 that has never happened before.

Can Two Walk Together Unless They AGREE?

This was stolen from a book, the quote I mean. Well, in Nigeria we are not even talking about two persons. We are talking about 3 major tribes (major because they are the most populated) and more than 250 other ethnic groups. All of these groups were merged to become one and they have never agreed. You cannot force people to agree. How do you move forward in a country where its inhabitants never agree on one thing? So many grudges of past events, so much hate and bitter history being held onto. How do you move such a country forward? What exactly will happen in 2040 that has not been happening. Will the Hausa Fulani suddenly agree that they are equal to Igbo or will the Igbo suddenly agree that Yoruba are not betrayals?. We have walked this cycle over and over again. As long as we don’t agree, this is where we will be in 2040. That is if a country is still standing together by then.

Conclusively

I am a realist, having used present and past realities to juxtapose the situation of this erstwhile Giant of Africa, it is imperative, to be frank that 2040 will meet the same or worse Nigeria. 30 years ago, artists made songs hoping for Nigeria to be better, 20 years ago musical artists did the same, 10 years ago the same, till now. We always have a better yesterday and a worse today. Always falling from grass to grass. Oh, you thought grace to grass? No, it is from grass to far worse grass. Some solutions will never be implemented. There is data of how things are meant to be that will never be used. I have just given you solid reasons why Nigeria can never be better. Think about it.

I am not part of the optimistic ones,

(c) Aanu Oluyide 2021