Nigeria–Multiple Choice Questions, Limited Answers

Posted: October 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Prince Charles Dickson

We the willing led by the unknowing are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much for so long with so little we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

A lot has happened in our beloved nation in the last one week, We have seen the fallout of the Aluu killings, now popularly called Uniport 4, I have noticed the silence on the Mubi massacre…my admonishment this week is a function of the current state of the Nigerian mind.

Voltaire says a man should be judged by his questions rather than his answers. The essence of this essay is to evoke thoughts, not court controversy but my first question, should be, isn’t Nigeria one big controversy?

So let us start this way, why is it that the Mubi Massacre has received less media spotlight or outrage than the Uniport 4?

Mr. President cannot know everything cannot handle most things, but how is it he just shared money for flood areas and had no comforting words for families of almost 50 young men that were hacked down in Adamawa and Rivers?

Maybe for the supporters of the ruling class all they need for us to do is continually ask the wrong questions, that way they don’t have to worry about answers.

In recent years, I mean in 13years of ‘democratic’ experimentation, no one has been held responsible for ethno-political and socio-religious related killings. Guns are retrieved, suspects taken to court once or twice and no headway, why?

How does a society move when it refuses to pay salaries to her teachers for six, seven and even a year or how is it that we have teachers that are teaching with their father’s TCII certificate?

Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to ask those questions that continues to give meaning to life.

Why is it, a child attends minimum of 16 years of formal education, factor in, 6 more years for the sciences and maybe law, the ASUU/NASU strikes and NYSC…that’s 22 years of education with little learning, no job available and when it is available, the kid is ill-prepared?

Let me ask us, a silly question, indeed silly because questions are great, but only if you know the answers. If you ask questions and the answers surprise you, you look silly. So, is Nigeria a united nation, the Igbos don’t ‘like’ Yorubas, the Yorubas don’t ‘like’ the Hausas, the minorities and the majorities in the minorities and minorities in the majority, all because of the sharing formula?

How is it that you pay a service charge for five years on a billing meter at home and the meter is never serviced even for once and you pay a thousands in bills for non-existent electricity?

Many of us have followed the Chinua Achebe and Awo squabble and while I say its a piece of history, the question is how much of the civil war history is taught in schools, other than the fabled Mungo Park discovered River Niger, what do we know of ourselves, is it not a fact that we rely on outsiders to tell us about ourselves?

Are we not bothered that young persons in a recent survey know more of Lionel Messi than Tafawa Balewa, more of Real Madrid than Zik, or Manchester United having more followers than our national assembly?

Why is it that kids now love, memorize and are more comfortable with Ben 10, spiderman, superman, Xmen, sonic, Barney and friends etc theme songs and don’t bother about our national anthem?

In the ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ Milan Kundera says “Indeed, the only truly serious questions are ones that even a child can formulate. Only the most naive of questions are truly serious. They are the questions with no answers. A question with no answer is a barrier that cannot be breached. In other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limit of human possibilities, describe the boundaries of human existence.”

So maybe I should ask naïve questions like what is the relationship of Nigerian police and twenty naira, why is it that you visit a police station to report a crime, you asked to bring money to buy plain sheet and pen?

Can someone tell me how Bankole blames leaders, IBB and Obj admonishes those in authority and one wonders if these are not the leaders themselves who then is leading Nigeria?

The 2013 Budget has the usuals, billions for food, training dogs and cats, buying spoons and transport money for guest to the big boys, but it equally has new realities, like provision for 5m Women Farmers To Get Mobile Phones, how about male farmers and how about laptops and Ipads, and blackberries?

Okay, how did we get here, I mean the state which we currently find ourselves.
Questions, I’ve got some questions more, like how we became bothered about what Mr. President drinks or smokes, loosing focus of his abysmal performance index, and progress report full of positive figures while we are faced with reality of increased suicides, a once rare phenomenon?

From a point where kidnapping was a taboo, to taking expatriates hostage for money, now its wholesale and retail kidnap, how did we get to these all time low?

Do we not find it funny that state governors leave their domains, go to Germany spend weeks in the name of learning, bringing investors and bilateral talks, just asking, if its not laughable, I recall a governor from the East that went Ukraine and was speaking Igbo with his host simply because they were not speaking English…?

Why is it that Christians poison crayfish and palm oil and send to the North and Muslims poison suya and inject oranges and apples to kill Christians…in the words of Miriam Toews depression is caused by asking oneself too many unanswerable questions.”

As a people depression has set in, we are either willing and ready to check it or full insanity will manifest, already we are a bundle of contradictions, top five happiest nation, top five religious, top five kidnap, top five corrupt, we simply top the charts, a pot pourri of the very good, extremely bad, and wickedly ugly.

Why should billions be spent daily on security and yet peanuts available for medical services, and education?

Why do many people have to starve in satellite towns in Abuja, while there are surpluses rotting in fridges and dustins in Maitama and Asokoro?

In conclusion, these are random questions, we need to find near satisfactory answers to them. Nigeria, delicately poised between near greatness and total failure and collapse…how we address these questions, only time will tell.


  1. Bashir Balogun says:

    It is abnormal what happens in Nigeria…………sometimes i think we are abnormally resilient concerning serious matter. How come you did not pose the question why we kill in the name of imported belives

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