Failed Governance: Revealing The Crooked To Relieve The Hooked

Nigeria is a country with over 140 million people

therefore the dimension of mass poverty in Nigeria is both dreadful and

shocking. Many citizens of Nigeria

cannot afford to live a decent life. Several millions of Nigerians do not have

the usual or socially acceptable amount of money or materials possessions. Only

a few people are comfortable. The situation is very demoralizing and still

there are worse things that define the intensity and seriousness of mass

poverty in Nigeria.

The Nigerian masses and elites cannot travel on safe roads. The masses are more

affected because there is constant chaos in the public transportation methods.

The conditions are dehumanising to say the least.The situation is made worse

because of the absence of basic infrastructure of life. It doesn’t seem

that successive governments in Nigeria

are involved in providing houses for masses in Nigeria after the 1970s. Some

states governments have been involved in building houses that are affordable by

the few and more privileged persons, the elites. Beyond the textbook editions

or verbal policy, what are the roles of the Ministry of Housing? The masses are

invariably always out of the poverty alleviation or eradication question.

Commonly, drinking water does not

flow in Nigerian homes. People have to buy water as many bore holes have run

dry and the public taps have virtually disappeared. You begin to wonder what

the functions of the Water Corporation are. Even cities like Lagos

that is lineated by the Atlantic Ocean plus a

number of internal lagoons cannot get water to its inhabitants. Yet, every election

year the people receive promises from desperate politicians that they will be

provided with water. Lies upon deceits you may say.

There is nothing more serious to express

the physical mass poverty in Nigeria

than the prevalence of hunger. Food substances are the cheapest things you can

lay your hands on in some other countries. In Nigeria, common and staple foods

are now very expensive and many people have devised different formula to

survive daily, weekly or monthly. Stepping into a new year is seen as a miracle

in Nigeria.

What is the significance of the Agriculture Ministry when there are no clear

policies on how to put food on the (dining) table of the masses? To what use

are the vast fertile lands across the length and breadth of Nigeria?Food, water

and housing are 3 important parameters to measure the values of our lives and

these things have become elusive to the masses in Nigerians. However, mass

poverty in Nigeria

has other ugly faces. For example, the purchasing power of the Naira is extremely

weak. In some very bad situations, some people do not have money at all.

The overall consequences of

irresponsible governance are diverse. Quickly, some of these things have spiral

effects and these have obviously spun down to the upcoming generations. For

example as a result of the range of extreme want of necessities and the absence

of material comforts, the children of the masses no longer have access to

quality education. They do not have adequate recreational facilities and their

social orientations are falsely modified by various things around them and

those that they are unduly exposed to. What is going on daily in Nigeria as a

way of life shows very sorry states of things. It was not even that bad 10

years ago.

In place of studying hard for examinations

or challenges, people are now stereotyped that they can always cut corners as

typically exemplified by the widely condemned and shameful selections

(there were no elections) of 2007. They are suffering from the irresponsible

governance of good knowledge and many have completely lost hope in the system

that begot them. Irresponsible governance can also result from

high rate of unemployment. There has been an upsurge in armed robbery in

recent years. It is not uncommon to find school drop outs and unemployed

graduates among the criminals who have become very merciless in their

operations. In addition to this, it was a rude shock for me to discover

recently that many primary school and secondary students now have some form of

allegiance to other persons in their localities or areas. I could not believe

that secret cults are no longer secrets.

True stories have been told how some young

people have been killed by what seemed like cults activities in broad day

lights. I was told that some were shots dead in unsuccessful robbery operations

at other places. These stories are told nowadays like “it’s one of those things”.

Things have really gone from bad to worse. Many years ago in Nigeria, the

emphasis was on academic excellence and sporting activities at leisure.

Indeed, things have changed and very worryingly too. Could all these be due to

the spiral effect of poverty in action? What role does government play in other

neglected aspects of our lives?

I know that a few people consider

my stance very hard and extreme but they are mistaken. As a matter of fact,

living abroad does not mean that one has escaped the poverty in Nigeria. Each

time I find myself in Nigeria,

I still find myself living the life I’ve always lived before I travelled out. I

go to the same places that I know and the conditions are very bad. I go to

places like Oshodi, Mile 2, Ojuelegba, Agboju, Okokomaiko and other areas like

Mushin, what I see is poverty and suffering like I’ve always known. I see the

struggle called Life and I live it too. My lucky friends and some other lucky

people who work in Banks and oil companies no longer share my views. They have

forgotten that Nigeria

is big and that majority of the people are still living below the irresponsible

governance line. They think that other people are lazy or destined to be

poor maybe!

My personal experiences and

observations showed that mass poverty accelerated by absolute rot of governance

over the years may have taken its toll on virtually all aspects of the Nigerian

life and the issue cannot be treated in one piece of writing or essay. It will

be interesting to see how the issue of mass poverty will be tackle by a new and

legitimate government in Nigeria.

Ordinary Nigerians (especially those who cannot treat their leg ache, head ache

and stomach ache abroad) have gone through a lot of life excruciating and

traumatic experiences especially in the last 8 years when all the hopes raised

at the onset of the new found democracy were suddenly and completely dashed.

The Nigerian masses are obviously suffering from poverty inflicted on them

mainly by very bad governance but they are not dimmed and they should not be

taken as fools because the resiliency in the typical Nigerian is simply a focal

indicator of hope for a brighter day and a better tomorrow.

Written by
L.Chinedu Arizona-Ogwu
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