Anthropology of hypocritical governance in Nigeria

May 24, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Prince Charles Dickson


“Close One Yesterday”


One more day in the struggle

Have to get up and juggle

You done know, want a little sugar inna de pan

Me nah see fi trouble, no man

Oh oh oh


Said I had close one yesterday

Jah put an angel over me, be strong

Hold a firm meditation

One day things must get better, don’t you go down

Keep your head above the water

Say, one day things must get better, be strong


The rich is wise in his conceit

But the fool with over standing search him out

Poor man mourn, the rich riches increase

Be not grieved, riches are not forever


Envy not the oppressor choose none of his ways

Be not wise in his own eyes, only jah you must praise

Strive not with a man without cause

If he have done no harm, let by gone be by gone


This nine to five is a joke

Compare to the pressure the minister say

The economy is getting better

Misleading the people


The mass still suffer on jah

Scarce benefit and spoils

Jah know that we feel it day


Buju Banton‘s “Close one yesterday”



That was the song playing in the background as my friend Alhaji Okoro reflected in a soliloquy the life of a poor man in Nigeria: I listened and wondered: which way Nigeria.



For 2012 dem talk say we don broke, money no dey we pocket, say if we continue this subsidy matter we go quench

Dem even talk say after few months, we go be like London, make we no worry. But people continue to suffer because of petrol matter.

Dem be promise 3,877km of railroad, 1,326km of roads and bridges, and some make body no tire arrangement. Today all dat one na wash.

Dat time I remember say dem buy 1600 diesel buses say e go solve problem of transportation inside 36 states and cater for some over 150 million Nigerians, dem forget say roads wey dem promise to build or repair, still dey open like burial ground hole.

I talk am dat time say the problem no be fuel subsidy; say na corruption from top head to bottom, leadership we no sabi and contra people we dey confuse.

Dem talk tori dat time; invent one magic wey dem call Subsidy Reinvestment And Empowerment Program (SURE). All dat one don disappear inside voicemail, N1 trillion just waka!

Dem talk say inside subsidy leg no gree waka, we dey put money for pocket wey dey leak and corruption no gree am work…but dem forget say na so e be, from health to education, security to agriculture, nothing dey work wan e go better for we poor people.

Efri Naija goferment don cry dis subsidy matter without poor for dem mind. Na dem-dem dey enjoy their thing. We forget say dem even detain some people, and dat tori of law maker wey turn him cap to adeshi for dollar, even him state law makers visit am for house wey no get gate for Kuje. All don turn one chance.

Today we still dey the matter, Obj be talk say him regret no to turn NNPC to private runs. We still dey to build refinery matter. Goferment say no be say dem remove subsidy, dem just increase price. Anywhich way I concur!

Again Lie, my error, Lai Mohammed say we don broke, say money no dey to do big things wey oyinbo dey call capital project, again dem talk say we fit save dat kind N16.5n efri month. You don hear say after six months price go drop yens yakata.

When dem wan deceive us, dem go dey blow BIG grammar, but wetin be the meaning of subsidy sef, wetin be deregulation, wetin be turn around maintenance, how modular refinery, and PIB take concern man wey dey ask for only garri.

In fact, arrange don dey ground to share some kind millions and billions on to help we poor people not to fast without prayer. Wetin dey bottom be say our economy according to one big is shaking like dis, and shaking like dat, and can collapse if we don’t allow petrol sell anyhow anyhow.

My people, Abacha invite Chinese, Obasanjo practice Kung-fu with Chinese, even Ya’ardua do him own snake in the monkey shadow with Chinese, and Jonathan been speak Chia fu yin with our economy, today Buhari carry matter reach levels, as after Naira now yen abi wetin call. I just even remember one state bin talk say dem go dey teach Chinese for dem schools.



The anthropology of a nation of hypocritical leaders and followers, a people repeating the same process, and full of self-deceit, we are being promised better, when they have not given us even good. The provision of road, electricity, water, education, and health services are not palliatives, these are the duties and essence of government.

The Yoruba’s say ‘Eni to tan ara-a re lorìsa oke ntan: apon ti o laya níle, to ní kí orisa o bun un lomo‘. Meaning, it is the person who deceives himself that the gods above deceive: a bachelor who has no wife at home but implores the gods to grant him children. (It is self-deceit to expect the gods to do everything for one, when one has not lifted a finger on one’s behalf).

Whether it is change, or changing the change, whether the sing-song is patience,  we can only deceive ourselves, until we are ready to confront truth and get it right, we will still be debating deregulation, subsidy, palliatives and little or no headway, the choice is ours as a people, to keep lying to ourselves, to remain divided across all line, or to get it right; the question though is, when—Only time will tell.









Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.


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