Nigeria, country in an unending conundrum, By Okey Elebe

A comedian once quipped that should he at death be ushered to hell, he would vehemently protest to God against the judgment on the ground that he had been in the other hell called Nigeria, and that would amount to double punishment. Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra, in his statements before his incarceration, portrayed Nigeria as zoo. But he was sparing in his portrayal of the country. A zoo is a facility with out-door and indoor settings where wild animals are kept for public exhibition. It is a situation or place marked by confusion and unrestrained behavior. Within the typical zoo, the animals are restrained from freely exhibiting their instincts like they would have were they in the wild.


In Kanu’s depiction, Nigerians manifest the life of animals restrained in their confines, but truth is that life in Nigeria is that of undomesticated nature as they unleash rabid characteristics from their brutish nature evidently nurtured, groomed and promoted by the government. This nature is expressed amongst Nigerians in fighting, hatred, negativism, confusion, arbitrariness, viciousness, brutish, untamed, oppression against one another, and in hunting and feeding on fellow Nigerians.


Nigeria is a country where everything negative, horrible, abhorrent and unimaginable happen. Thinking about Nigeria, the situation here has gone beyond that of zoo. Nigeria is, by all ramifications and imaginations, hell on earth. Hell is a spiritual realm of evil and suffering, often traditionally depicted as a place of perdition, of perpetual fire beneath the earth where the wicked are punished after death was originally reserved for the Satan. Literally, hell involves extreme forms of both mental and physical suffering. Considering the state of affairs in Nigeria, there is palpable mental and physical torture and suffering. According to scriptural records, on the Day of Judgment, the damned will be consigned to a literal lake of fire. Given the biblical assertion that hell was originally created by God for Satan, it follows that those who rule in Nigeria are agents of the Satan.


This fire will cause a physical agony of burning, but will not consume the flesh of the damned, so that their agony will never end. Furthermore, the damned will suffer psychologically: their most powerful desire will be to escape from hell, but they will realize that escape is impossible, and so will experience not only frustration, but despair. This is a fitting analogy of the Nigerian situation. Nigerians have been experiencing distressing degrees of difficulties, especially under the demonic administration of Muhammadu Buhari. But under the three month old administration of Ahmed Tinubu, Nigerians are passing through hellish torment akin to being doused with virulent burning sulfur. Realizing that the malevolent actions of their evil rulers have placed them in their scathing position, they are striving to escape from the hell called Nigeria.


Nigeria is still bedeviled by intolerable lack of basic needs, hunger, poverty, instability and oppressive governance. Malnutrition has been aggravated with its attendant sever implications for the growth and development of children. Movement to and from destinations has become nebulous. Most Nigerians now trek to their work places and places of business. The rate of school dropout is on the increase because most families have withdrawn their children from schools because the parents have been rendered incapable of footing the school fees bill of their children. The shocking truth is that over 160 million of Nigeria’s population lack access to quality health care, shelter they need. The same number of Nigerian people lack basic sanitation services and still practice open defecation. The standard of governance in Nigeria is still low, deplorable and rule of law quite abysmal.


A majority of distraught and hapless Nigerians are involved in a daily abnegation to survive. Prices of staple food items have shot up beyond their rich. These homeless and helpless Nigerians whose lives have been marked by extreme, excessive and intricate arithmetic permutations are befuddled to fathom best periods of meals in their families whenever the gracious hand of God makes available any. They either vote for the paradoxical creations such as 101 or 100 in preference to certain periods that will give a charade of succour to their bodies in attempt to keep the body and soul seemingly good shape.


Nigerian rulers are completely disconnected from the people. There is no how the poverty story of Nigeria can be told without blaming it on the failure of leadership. Nigeria’s governance terrain is dotted with inept and obtuse rulers who have virtually proscribed democracy and good governance in the country and at the states rung. These rulers have literally transformed themselves to gods whose words are laws. They constitute threats to democracy. Their actions fit into the remarks by Harvad University political scientists, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, in their book: ‘How Democracies Die’, that ‘Democracies may die at the hands not of generals but of elected leaders – presidents or prime ministers who subvert the very process that brought them to power.’ Some alter democratic tenets and indulge in unconventional acts to remain in office. But perhaps, unknown to them, by abandoning the people who they were supposed to serve and working against the process through which they were elected, they unwittingly destroy the society and the emergent generations.


Nigeria and Nigerians never cease to amaze me. It is a country of contradictions. To that extent, it is a country of people who relish double thinking, double speak and sophism. Our rulers are people of inveterate disreputable character. Perhaps, this is why government officials adorn themselves Agbada and Babariga at the same time to conceal their convoluted character. Nigeria has jettisoned democracy and now operates a system of government of the oppressors and liars by oppressors and liars against the citizens. Policies, programmes and projects are couched in invidious and incautious lies that leave the people numb.


The ill-advised fuel subsidy removal by the present administration of Bola Tinubu has come with a catastrophe. The intention may be good and sincere. In reality, it is, but the timing and incautious execution has brought untold hardship that is severely haunting everyone. Nigerians are battling with all strength to cope with the new normal of soaring transportation costs, food prices’ inflation and other negative impacts of the subsidy removal.

Both the rich and the poor are wailing. It is dealing a fatal knockout punch on teeming citizens of Nigeria whose lives have since been made miserable and wretched. The Nigerian economy has strangled them.


In my article on the Centurypost.com titled: First Step, wrong step, I argued that Tinubu was wrong to have taken the decision to divest the economy of fuel subsidy on the day he was sworn into office. He was only interested in becoming President because he believed it was his turn to become a villainous oppressor like his predecessors, not because he really has anything to offer. The person who has something to offer would have thought about the implications of such a monumental decision. The person would have drawn up a blueprint for the amelioration of the precipitate debilitating burden on the people and ricocheting implications on the economy.


Those who applaud Tinubu for that decision areas clueless as he is. He did not know that the removal of fuel subsidy will have diverse ripple effect. When confronted by the varying dimensional effects, he rushed to the media to announce N8,000 palliative for Nigerian Households – the usual tokenism of our rulers to the people. Oh! What a demeaning insult to the sensibilities of the people. It is gladdening that he somersaulted on his N8,000 handout as palliative to a phantom 12 million low-income Nigerians. But how did they arrive at that amount in the first instance? Is that enough for the meal of a dog in Aso Rock? The hatred of our rulers for the Nigerian people is daily made manifest in their decisions, actions and programmes, crassly displaying insensitivity for the plight of the people who own the sovereignty that grant them power with which they oppress them while they suffocate in ignoble opulence.


Let me reference my installation of 11 June 2023 in the Nigerian Patriot newspaper titled: Nigeria’s self-indulgent and treacherous oppressors, in which asserted that, “Nothing they do is informed by altruistic motive but raw greed for power, ravenous and self-indulgent at its abhorrent repulsive level. In Nigeria, survival is now only for the fittest. The hope that the ugly fortunes of the people will turn around under Tinubu has completely faded away and the painful groaning by citizens will not end, especially with desperate attack dogs around Tinubu what want to ensure their meal tickets are not withdrawn. All manner of subterfuge and sophism are being applied to beguile the people into believing that Tinubu means well and is interested in their welfare and could turn around the economy.


Our rulers are dafts bereft of conscience and compunction. Their vision of governance does not go beyond public office for primitive accumulation of wealth. Their method is brazen, arrogant, insensitive, self-serving and predatory. Due to the incompetence of our rulers, Nigeria has acquired notoriety as the notoriety as the poverty and hunger capital of the world. Whereas other countries are developing ideas to liquefy their economies, our rulers are concerned about political exploitation against one another, resulting in the outlandish neglect of the noble calling of service to the fatherland. Tinubu is befuddled in unforgivable dimension that he is destitute of the fact that most Nigerians are no longer able to provide food for their families while they ignobly gormandise and ruthlessly pillage our resources. That is why for four months he refrain is that he knows our suffering and that he is committed to improving the situation.


His regular speech imprint calling on Nigerians for patience is irritating. He needs an underdetermined and undefined number of years to take decisive decisions and actions to uplift the country. To add salt to injury, his mudslingers are busy with idiotic, insensitive and irresponsible appeals to Nigerians. Hear the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume: “This government will not disappoint Nigerians. The President means well but we can go wrong. When we go wrong, correct us. “I urge Nigerians to bear the pains of the removal of subsidy on petrol and its negative impact on the cost of living. I want to assure you that after the pain there will be a significant improvement in living standards generally.”


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  1. Nigeria: a country in an unending conundrum (2)

    By Okey Elebe

    The socio-economic atmosphere in the country is so obfuscating and choking from the systemic oppression of Tinubu who has only shown gross incapacity to lift the country out of its bleakness and desolation. With the harsh economic reality, he has no choice but to confront the situation, arrest the socio-economic bedlam, and paddle the ship out of troubled waters. It is said that drastic situations require drastic interventions to arrive at solutions. Unfortunately, he is more interested in chasing the rat while his home is on fire, a manifest trait of oppressors. He intends to go to war in Nigeria Republic to dislodge the coup makers there.

    To do so he will have to dip his hand into our common patrimony to execute his errant fancy that will ensconce him as the de facto ruler f West Africa. Tinubu is unaware that the masses of this country need, and rightly too, the resources of this country and a concentration of labour and brains, as well as the concert of all Nigerian patriots to topple the economic quagmire and render relief from the abounding hellishness. The perquisites from the humongous resources of this country do not belong to government officials alone. The masses are also entitled to the wealth to them as of right.

    Unfortunately, Nigerians, except their family members and cohorts, have lost confidence in the ability of government to make the country a better place for all. We citizens just want an environment where we can at least breathe some air of sanity and freedom to undertake our daily activities and endeavours. The dilemma is that our rulers have conspired with criminal elements operating freely all over the country and making life hellish for Nigerians through senseless and ceaseless killings, abductions and armed robberies.

    In the face of these, Nigerians contend with state agents who also contribute to make their existence unbearable through harassment, brutality and extortion by uniformed men, deprivation of basic human rights by intimidation and repression, and undue frustration of private businesses with excessive taxes and levies. There is oppression everywhere in the country by the sweeping oppression through the subjection of the citizens to untold harassment, persecution, subjugation and exploitation, with the tacit and unequivocal corroboration by the government using its agents.

    In Nigeria, advisors and other players in government do not tell their superordinates the truth but deliberate concentrate on falsehood, distortions and shameful misinformation of the people to retain their positions, as well as financial and material accoutrements to sustain their feeding on filthy lucre, immoral and corruptive patronage by the political class. Because they run government of the politicians by politicians for politicians, they steal our common patrimony in such humongous breadth that leave them permanently swooned. Whatever benefits that ought to accrue are eroded by the harsh economic implications it will unleash on the people.

    Lest we forget, Nigerians are not unaware that corruption, low productivity, insecurity and mismanagement of Nigeria’s oil and gas assets and resources account for the country’s fledgling economy and attendant woes, creating near impossibilities towards meeting its obligations of growth and development, as well as security of lives of citizens. The people of Nigeria must reject the idea of dishing out palliatives evocative of their penchant for tokenism towards Nigerian masses. This signifies their arbitrariness, power drunkenness with which they slam down the throat of the people silly concoctions of futile policies and programmes.

    Experience with Buhari’s palliatives programme indicates that it was not only a sham but a rip off of Nigerians’ common patrimony. The refrain – poverty alleviation and eradication are mere worthless expressions. None can be realised. To lift the people from poverty, government must emphasise the production of real wealth, real goods and services within the country with those responsible for creating the wealth deriving the highest benefits from it. This will involve improving the capacity of individuals to realise their inherent potential and to effective relieve them of the chaining circumstances of their lives.

    There has been no change in the affairs of this goddamned country. From the colonial times to the present time, they have operated the same type of economy, operated the same kind of politics. The same class of masters, same criminals who were either in the civilian or military, and they are recycling themselves in power, ensuring that younger Nigerians are impoverished and alienated from the seat of power. Nigeria ought and should be run like the developed climes where citizens’ rights are granted without encumbrances and their lives endowed with value. The people must now come out from their shell of docility and complacency to demand their right for the good things of life endued to them by the creator, the Almighty God. The time has come for the people to stand against encompassing oppression all over the country.

    Oppression comes in diverse forms. It is synonymous with domination, coercion, cruelty, tyranny, subjugation, persecution, harassment and repression. It could be political, economic, social, cultural, religious or domestic. The variations of oppression manifest to varying degrees in every society. In Nigeria, oppression in all its naked diversity is rampant and even seems to have become a way of life. When the state or the government, through its agents, happens to be the oppressor inflicting agony on its own citizens, then we are inevitably sliding back to a dark past when people lived subhuman lives under colonial masters.

    The organizational profile of the Nigerian social order is that of “democracy” of clientelism and prebendalism – two kinds of perfidious power management which end in massive material and financial rewards for persons involved. Nigerians are disgusted with the stinking corruption oozing out from the dingy offices in Aso Rock, the ministries and agencies, transforming into a political Golgotha of corruption. In the present dispensation, it will be brutal in this Tinubu’s Babylon, wherein there will be manifestation of monumental waste and iniquity.

    The last administration worked assiduously to permanently and perfectly erase the rule of law, justice and equity, and to sell the autonomy, integrity and sovereignty of the country to Nigeria’s foreign enemies.

    Tinubu is struggling to beat Buhari in the ignoble enterprise. It has done that shamelessly junketing from one part of the world to another, and it has done its best to bring out the worst in Nigerians while Nigerians groan in misery of crushing lack, hunger and poverty. Like Buhari, Tinubu is bending over backwards to burry what remains of the rule of law, justice and equity using its directive principle of state policy to corrupt the people so as to easily blackmail them into silence.

    Lest we forget, Nigerians are not unaware that corruption, low productivity, insecurity and mismanagement of Nigeria’s oil and gas assets and resources account for the country’s fledgling economy and attendant woes, creating near impossibilities to meet its obligations of growth and development, as well as security of lives of citizens.

    The people of Nigeria must reject the idea of dishing out palliatives. The people must now come out from their shell of docility and complacency to demand their right for the good things of life endued them by the creator, the Almighty God. Those left behind and forgotten must rise now and rescue the country from the derelicts and decayed captors of our country. The time is now.

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