The apathy of Nigerian political leaders towards the lives and wellbeing of their citizens has always been blatantly apparent, even to the average Nigerian child. Still, the knowledge of this truth doesn’t make it any less shocking and revolting to see in real-time what little regard our leaders have for us. As the days go by in this country, survival for the average Nigerian citizen looks more and more like an impossible feat. Still, our leaders stand, hands akimbo in their fancy agbadas, doing everything except what we need to possess even the slightest semblance of a working Nation.
The month of March began in Nigeria with fuel prices— which have been increasing since the Goodluck Ebele Johnathan era— reaching an all-time high of over N200 per litre in some regions of the country.The fuel scarcity and resultant hike in fuel prices in Nigeria is just the icing on the cake of a long list of reasons why being a Nigerian in 2022 is an extreme sport. The other things being the Outstanding hike in food prices and general cost of living, insecurity, unending ASSU strikes, and prehistoric election contestants.
Fuel scarcity isn’t the only thing that March brought us. The wives of our leaders— who also stand as figureheads in many offices invented for just them— saw it as a great time to fly to Dubai on an outrageously expensive, diesel-propelled private jet. All of this, in a country where many government workers haven’t been paid salaries since October of 2021. So one would think that the mission that took most of the governors’ wives out of the country at the same time would be a diplomatic kind for the better of the country. But, instead, it was a trip to ‘honour’ the birthday of the First Lady and deliver her birthday cake.
Across the nation, petty and organized crime rates alike have increased, and miniature wars often break out in fueling stations over the scarcity. Still, all of these desperate cries for help have been so obviously ignored that it would seem like our shared experiences of hardship as Nigerians were the imaginations of a masochist’s mind.
As the elections draw near, perhaps the real mandate for Nigerians isn’t just to get their PVC and vote but to ask whether our votes will affect any real change in our nation or will this election be another choice between two evils? We have witnessed president after president assume office since our independence, and things have only gotten worse with each regime. Ours is a nation always longing for what we had because every new authority seems to make it a point of duty to prove to us that they are worse than their predecessors.