Nigeria: Axis Of Darkness?

by Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye

Also, NEPA irremediably damaged my TV set. The technician tried his best on it and gave up. Unwilling to waste more money attempting to wake up the dead, I had to go for a new one, which I paid for by instalments. After this, the next victim was the fridge. NEPA simply ignored the ‘original’ stabilizer put there to protect it, and damaged the fridge with the devastating effect of its power fluctuations. For several weeks, the technician battled to make it work again. The more parts he removed and replaced, the more stubborn and remote the ailment remains. As I was contemplating to start saving money for a new one, a miracle happened and my good old fridge came back to life again, after eating deep into my pocket. Tell me why I should pray for this regime that has cruelly punished me like this?

I have once said it that I would be so ashamed to introduce myself as the ruler of this nation in any gathering of civilized beings. This is a nation trapped in destructive, prehistoric darkness, where it has become clear that the only things that work are those thing that do not require any form of effort from those in authority to function. Indeed, it is becoming clear that the first qualification for public office in Nigeria is shamelessness. Pray, how can a man find the courage and ‘bold face’ to come out in the open, wearing abysmal failure as a large flowing robe? Somebody is presently encumbering the ground as Minister of Power and Steel, and another fellow calls himself the Managing Director of NEPA. If these fellows have lost the capacity for shame, what about their families? How do you feel as the wife or son or daughter of the fellow whose only contribution to his fatherland is generous supply darkness and more darkness? Everyday, Nigerians make it a habit of pouring undeniably potent curses on all those shrouding them with thick darkness. Why is the Obasanjo Administration so helpless before this very embarrassing issue of power failure, something that has been adequately tackled by our even less-endowed neighbours?

So are we saying that NEPA is suffering from an incurable ailment, and that it is completely beyond this government to give Nigerians light? Why don’t this government just solve the light problem and register it as its sole achievement in seven years of ostentatious waste and insufferable profligacy? Indeed, if Nigeria begins today to have uninterrupted power supply, this government will earn ceaseless praises from several commentators including this one. Indeed, adequate power supply will abolish over-dependence on fuel. The barbing saloon man or the woman who grinds pepper in the market may not even bother to know the price of fuel., if their houses are within walking distances to their business places. Toothpaste produced in Accra would no longer be cheaper than the one produced in Nigeria because, the cost of production here will drop significantly. Companies will expand and employ more people. The private sector which this government claims it wants to empower will then be truly empowered and become active players in the economy.

But it is becoming clear that the Obasanjo Government has given up hope of giving Nigerians uninterrupted power supply. What are they even telling the so-called foreign investors they claim to be wooing. Ghana is announcing to the world that for several years now, its citizens have enjoyed uninterrupted power supply; what is Nigeria’s selling point? I am sure that assuming power failure was not such a palpable phenomenon you can’t explain it away by claiming imaginary successes in that sub-sector, this government’s spin doctors would have been making wild claims and reeling out statistics to show how Mr. President has “performed creditably well in the power sector. But unfortunately, power failure is like pregnancy, you cannot deny it for long! What makes this so painful is that in some very poor countries in Africa today, uninterrupted power supply is already being taken for granted.

Nigeria has therefore become a dumping ground for all manner of generators. These are filling the atmosphere with large doses of dangerous fumes. Nigeria is gradually becoming a fatal gas chamber, and many of those whose ungodly interests are being serviced by the continued crises in the energy sector may not escape if the epidemic being predicted by foresighted people eventually breaks out? How can I support a government that puts me through this kind of harrowing stress on a daily basis? Is this blinding darkness not a clear case of deliberate provocation? The mere fact that this government boldly lies about its failures clearly vindicates the growing belief that it never had any intention or plans of doing anything right.

Now, if you ask me, the darkness of NEPA is reflection of the state of mind of this government and its officials. No wonder there is so much confusion and visionlessness.

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Prince Kennedy Iyoha February 25, 2006 - 9:56 am

Hello Mr Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye.

Good day. Honestly, it has become a thing of shame for the Nigerian power holdings, and its inability to put this problem behind Nigerians once and for all.

We should however not forget that this problem compounded to this extent, by the help of many Nigerian that do not pay their bills. You will agree with me that most of the above mentioned holdings workers that had the responsibility to ensure that those that do not pay their bills had their power supply interrupted, collect bribes from this citizens and clean their mouth on retune to the office, thereby making it impossible for the said holding to meet its responsibility to the

People of Nigeria.

The writer of the first comment will agree with me that in the develop countries, it is impossible to receive power supply while having bills unpaid. I expected this government to have it as a priority because that was one of its major promises while assuming power the first time.

Power interruption is detrimental to the socio- political and economic development of any nation.

However, I do not agree with your criticism of the chines growth Mr Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye. The development taking place in China should be an example and encouragement for our country, because this are people that choose to be hard working and progressive in all front, instead of crying foul like the Nigeria community. We should emulate this development and move away from this situation of insanity and hopelessness.

You made mentioned of the protest of the water suppliers in Ogun state. This is clearly the problem with Nigerians; we do not want to look beyond our present situation, because many dont have business foresight. And our government dont have policy in place to encourage small entrepreneurship. While I was in Nigeria, I tried my hand in music, my only album is deposited in the library of the Lagos state chapter of PMAN, under the name of ken Iyoha, and the album was titled FROM DE BLUES. I also tried my hands on transport business without success. Here in Spain, Ebuny comunications SL was created in 2003 and it is doing fairly well, because the business community here, particularly the new business, have both moral and financial support from the Government, and easy asses to soft loan when in problem. Beside, almost all the banks here have micro finance systems for small companies.

Finally, I will like to conclude by saying that the Obasenjo administration cannot solve the entire problem that has persisted for about 40 years. We should try to accept that he is human, and therefore cannot solve the entire problem in his term. I am not pessimistic that the next government can solve the entire problem too. We should however celebrate his fight against corruption which to my judgement will be the bedrock to sanitising the economy and bring about a new and prosperous Nigeria.

I do not admire your hard-line criticism of this administration; I will encourage you not to give up your efforts however, because that is the essence of an open and democratic society.

Jerry Ebalunode February 21, 2006 - 12:05 am

You have an interesting article, however you have to go easy on the choice of words (my point simply is that you should try to stick to your goal, which I assume is to communicate with a diverse audience, not debate or compete with someone). A good way to do this is to ask someone else (a typical member of your audience) to read through your article and see if they are easily follow and get engaged in what you are trying to say. Just my 2 cents

Anonymous February 18, 2006 - 4:35 pm

I send my utmost sympathy to you and all "unfortunate Nigerians". I said "unfortunate Nigerians" because Nigerians have NEVER had a truly non-corrupt, patriotic, enlightened and progressive leader.

Infact atimes I wonder if Nigerians, as a whole, know what it means to be a politician and paticipate in government, because from childhood they have no concept of expectations from those in government. To most NIgerians, those in government are simply in position to embezzle national funds, terrorize innocent citizens, get fat and have tommy tucks, marry several wives, harbor HIV in their bodies and spread same to women (and men) struggling to win contracts, etc.

I worked for NEPA many decades ago. I was one of the young Nigerian engineers that completed the construction of Kainji Dam in the Borgu area. I thought Nigeria had ray of hope then, but ………. I must have been wrong. I even entertained working for NEPA on my return to Nigeria at one point (that point was many years ago!)

I have been in USA for well over four decades now, there has NEVER been power outage once, not even for one nano-second. I know many Nigerian engineers working for ComEdison, the giant power producer in USA. These highly talented professional engineers (from Nigeria!) make sure there is power supply to every home, appliance, etc 31,536,000seconds a year. Why can't Nigeria do the same? …Corruption, Lack of Government, Embezzlement, Unpatriotism, Egoism, Bigmanism, Who-cares attitude, Irresponsibility, and pure undiluted (concentrated) stupidity. Nigeria has more than enough resourses to provide electric power to every place, villa, home, shack, hut, … Ngeria. I know because I worked with NEPA before!!!!!!!! and I have monitored NEPA activities for years.

It seems to me that the ""common" citizens of Nigeria do not know how to demand their God-given entitlement. They tend to fear their so called leaders to much. Nigerian leaders somehow have a method of putting the spirit of fear into the common citizens. Nigerians in general fear their leaders more than they fear God.

I planned on visiting Nigeria for a month's vacation few years ago, I stayed for only three days due to lack of electricity and too much noise from everyone's generator ….. and I was even in a supposely high class government reserved community in Nigeria. My wife screamed when the light suddenly went out, my kids screamed and ran to daddy….. they thought the world had come to an end. We arrived in Nigeria on Saturday, attended a church service on Sunday morning, the Nigerian pastor said the world would end soon while preaching. So don't blame my family for screaming. If the world is going to end I would rather not be in Nigeria. Thank heavens we are still alive today in USA.

It is amazing to me that Nigeria is yet full of intellectuals, engineers, doctors, teachers, accountants, patriotic citizens (the common people ONLY), etc. I tend to blame Nigerians more than I bllame the government of Nigeria. Nigerians elected them to the position and retained them in the positions. Therefore there is no one else to blame but the electorates. What else do you expect from those who have forcibly ruled you, stole your money, raped your women and daughters, murdered your fathers and brothers, then you turned around and elected them into offices and positions of power????

It is a great shame that Nigeria has gone down the drain ipso facto. Again please accept my sympathy that Nigerians lack leadership in all forms —- in federal government, state government, local government, quasi-government, government corporations, government ministries, etc.

Long live Nigeria, a dark giant in the dark continent.


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