…The Dollar Once Owed The Naira, Now…

Posted: April 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Mallam Prince Charles Dickson
It is a trap that the giant rat disdains that wrenches its testicles backwards. Dangers that one belittles are liable to cause great havoc.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I do not know if grammatically I am permitted to start my essay with such expression. But I will break the rules.

Nigeria, be it himself, herself or itself, is a nation that thrives on breaking the rules, one of the major reasons for why we are at this point. We refuse to follow the set rules, we killed what seemed ordinarily our once moderately easy to follow rules, ethos and norms. The signs were there but we refuse to see it.

What really is the raison de etre for writing this admonishment? Really one wonders why repeat the same thing; it’s still the same people, stiff-necked people bent on self-destruct. The truth is that one will not give up as there might still be hope to bring us close to where we once where or at least near a place we should be–Where the dollar can owe the Naira.

We are in today’s world of Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa (BRICS), BRICS without the N.

From a history of when the Naira outweighed the Dollar, the Naira donated to the Rand, and the Brazilian cruzero then was a debt currency, everything Chinese was inferior and India was known for its many gods, and cricket. Now we are miles apart, being deported and left to rot in jails in these places. From the point where just a Naira gave you plenty dollars to now a hundred dollar gives you plenty thousands, infact over ten thousand Naira.

From a history when most nations where VISA free, to a gradual decline where (1) we beg, pray, fast and then if successful we add a thanksgiving for a VISA to Botswana. (2) To a situation where one of government’s key phrase is foreign direct investment.

A nation that cannot invest in itself yet believing that by treating its calabash recklessly, we would get a better treatment from others. We watch the gradual disconnect between governance and good governance, a people and her leaders–that rather than provide leadership, ‘rule’ them.

The once upon a giant of Africa and big brother now begging to partner everyone for any project from electricity from Ghana to fuel from Niger, or Beans from Burkina Faso or what is it we wanted from Rwanda. Really our testicles have been wrenched backwards.

When the dollar owed the Naira, to a large extent we may not have been a hundred and sixty million people but we still had issues and soldiered on, there was the Nigerian pride. But in strides, conscious and unconscious cuts here and there, like an elephant, we kept slicing at it, it keeps walking but walking to its death.

We killed everything that had an N–Nigerian Airways, Nigerian Railway, NITEL, Niger Dock, Nigeria Hospitals, Nigerian Schools, Nigerian Police (in spite of its force!), a step at a time we sowed hate, theft, political violence and corruption, watered it and we are acting amused like we never saw it coming.

So mobile telephone is South African, best hospitals is Indian, Egyptian, or German but not Nigerian. We invite Mosaad, FBI, Scotland and anyland Yard to solve our never-ending criminal puzzles.

Just for those that don’t know, or are feigning ignorance. They are schools in Nigeria where the tuition fees are dollar denominated, shops that only sell in dollars.

Just listen to the old bloc, Maitama Sule, Emeka Anyaokwu, and though they share the blame, when they talk; you hear of a glorious past and advice on how to get to a desirous future where we can stand and look the Dollar in the face like the Chinese are doing to US, like Brazil is doing to UK.

Sadly now the dollar talks, Naira shivers, public officials loot in the dollar, and we citizenry spend Naira to cowardly defend them because of faith, creed, religion and ethnic cleavages. He/she is not a thief, if he/she comes from my own side of the wood or prays to my own ‘god’.

Private miseducation has long replaced patriotic public education. Nursery rhymes have long replaced the national anthem. Public officials are applauded; people dance and come down with rheumatism for the building of a culvert or borehole in 2012.

Nigerian has not become Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudanstan but how a three hour journey to Jos now takes 5 hours because of check points, tells you the story. It has all changed and how fast it all changed, from Jos, a once peaceful haven to a conflagration of all sorts of bloody and violent clashes. Its worse in Kano, terrible in Yobe and Borno, in the South West criminality and robbery prevails—the militants are hitting these days in the Niger Delta again and it’s no better tale from the east as leadership is on a dream walk that all is well.

That we are now being forced to tell our kids the good old story is painful, not painful because it is the good old story but because they may never see such…They will not be products of good old public education…When UI, IFE, Nsukka, Lagos, ABU were the schools to be…

I will end this short take, by asking us to recall those days when one was traveling the Ibadan-Lagos Expressway or the Jos-Kaduna road. You had a flat tyre, all one needed to do was wave down any car and the rest we all know. Today one prays hard that your tyre does not have any problem and if it must have, it better be at the right place or else you would be lucky to tell the tale.

Fact is that we are where we owe the dollar because intemperate dandyism lands a youth in a creditor’s farm as a pawn. Squandered resources brought us this destitution and we are still on the squander mania, believing that by miracle of some sort there will be a turnaround—time will tell.


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