New Year – Same Story! 2021 in Hopeless and Helpless Nigeria

By Victor Ikhatalor
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There is no let up, is there? As 2021 dawned, only those living in cuckoo land would not have entered into the new year with more than a little bit of trepidation as the country continues to be buffeted by all manner of perils. Pervasive insecurity, economic woes and dyed-in-the-wool corruption are plagues that have followed hopeless and helpless citizens into another year.

Deliberate wholesale slaughter and destruction of people and communities perpetuated by fundamentalists and marauders in murderous binges spanning hours on end without any intervention continues to be the norm. The slaughter of hopeless and helpless citizens continues apace without any form of hindrance as seemingly omnipotent terror merchants within the sovereign space of Nigeria reign supreme.

With perennial unconditional latitude of terrorists to act out their script’s – if we ever thought that Chibok was a shock, then Dapchi and the most recent Kankara mass kidnappings of helpless school children are an immutable pointer to the country's slide towards becoming a failed State.

Brazen daily kidnappings and killings on the Abuja-Kaduna highway, the Benin-Auchi-Lokoja expressway, Damaturu-Maiduguri road are reflective of the hopeless and helpless state of affairs citizens braving highway's and inter city roads have to face on a daily basis across the length and breadth of Nigeria.

With kidnappers operating in all the 36 states of Nigeria, 2020 data from the global risk consultancy, Control Risks – puts Nigeria in the top 3 of kidnap-for-ransom hotspots in the world, with Nigeria holding numero uno status as the country with the highest rate of kidnaps for ransom of locals and foreigners in all of Africa.

There are areas across the country where the eerie silence of still guns and views of the macabre outcomes of violence is an abnormal daily existential reality rather than the normal. The bloody and destructive reign of terrorists in the form of insurgents, bandits and herdsmen, allied to the reign of terror unleashed by kidnappers, armed robbers, cultists e.t.c continue remorselessly, leaving hopeless and helpless citizens at the mercy of daredevils who continue to show up the failing state of the Nigerian enterprise.

In a country designated as the poverty capital of the world, rising unemployment in Nigeria continues unabated, with public sector job openings now very clearly the preserve of the rich and affluent accessible only through richly embossed letter headed papers reflecting a catch-22 situation that is a feature of the Nigerian state, effectively dooming young graduates and children of the less privileged to hopeless and helpless outcomes.

According to the world poverty clock, 51 per cent of Nigerians, which represents 105,097,856 people live in extreme poverty. In this country where over half of it's inhabitants live in extremis, below $1.90 per day, a bulb of onion now sells for approximately $1.

In a country where the minimum wage is an abject, puny, unlivable rate well below $100 per month, as the year 2020 gasped its last, the price of a bag of rice surpassed $100 – reinforcing the continuing hopeless and helpless state of the country's food security, food affordability, and the ever worsening impoverishment of citizens.

Saddled with a debauched ruling class, forever bent on weaponizing poverty and illiteracy to perpetually subjugate and rule, whilst fleecing the commonwealth in unremitting cupidity orgies – the Nigerian people, bewitched and conquered, continue to look on hopelessly and helplessly as a class of practicing abracadabra actor’s continue to perpetuate their dark magic.

Our ruling class actor's seem mythical and can be qualified without doubt as practicing illusionists as even though they so nakedly steal the yams in the barn, no one sees or hears anything! Even when they are seen and pointed out, they perform remarkable feats of dark magic through all kinds of fainting and infirmity spells, never forgetting the VIP magic wands they can employ to judicially untangle themselves when caught in a web.

Hopelessly and helplessly, the Nigerian people are the expendables as the corruption hydra-headed monster forever insatiable and ravenous feasts on. Hopelessly and helplessly, the Nigerian people are the expendables as empires built on sorrow, tears and blood, seemingly immune to any real or imagined threats of demystification continue to thrive even as the binding threads of nationhood continue to be rent asunder.

Faced with the unpalatable reality of living out Hobbes’s model state of nature – our hold on life is tenuous as we exist in a Nigeria where life is nasty, brutish and short!

In Orwellian reality we mostly cling on in extremis as a negligent few(with power and might) in the Nigerian farm give true meaning to "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others".

As 2021 unfolds, the sustainability of the Nigerian enterprise demands that we must have hope and help to get out of our present hopeless and helpless mire. Whither hope and help!

Victor Ikhatalor
Activist and Good Governance Advocate
Twitter: @MyTribeNigeria