Nigerians do not want change…Ironically

March 27, 2017 Africa , Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Reuters photo



Prince Charles Dickson


“I am not upset, I am not upset!” Yet a grown man swears angrily six times because of last night’s pounded yam.” Local axiom.

Last week I read the following headline; “Reps raise the alarm on insecurity, cattle invasion at Kaduna airport.” My question is; who did this to us?

Cassandra in Greek legend, I recall, was condemned to know the future but to be disbelieved when she foretold it. Hence the agony of foreknowledge combined with the impotence to do anything about it. So the pain that we know our problems but seem condemned to an existence of being incapable of solving them seems our curse as well.

Some persons have criticized me of repeating the same story over again, that may be true but certainly I have no apologies because the truth is that if we were what we ought to be then I probably would have resorted to doing something else. We refuse to listen, so I repeat the message. I change the tempo. I change the direction. I vary the stand but the message remains largely the same that we have a problem that needs be solved but we seem impotent in solving it.

So with plenty of solutions flying everywhere one cannot but wonder what is the problem, and what then is the solution…I dare say the solution is, there is no problem.

How can a Nigeria where Nigerians don’t task their leaders, one in which we don’t request accountability from our leaders be changed? It is now a taboo for Federal Permanent Secretary to retire with just a house to his name, when Mainas and Yakubu steal billions and really nothing happens. Don’t change this Nigeria please.

If we change this Nigeria Saraki and the current SGF would be Iman, and pastor of the Nigeriyya sect and Goodnews Chapel, Dino would be a University lecturer teaching political morals.

A changed Nigeria would see portable water, a good road network, and adequate supply network for food distribution, fantastic health delivery, and affordable quality education. However for a nation of knowing fools, to know is not to be wise, so we won’t change.

Many men in Nigerian leadership today know a great deal, and are we not all the greater fools for it? There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. Because to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom and this is what our leadership lacks, and citizenry are no better in this regard. So we won’t change much.

Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit but we have no limits. Every single hour we endure a life that is best described as foolish. No fuel, we keep quiet, no food and we keep a deceitful smile. Our silence cannot be understood and there is a misunderstanding about the words we utter. We remain at war with ourselves.

So we ask for change but really don’t want to change by our actions. We are not upset, yet we swear angrily several times because of last night’s pounded yam.

Like you cannot stop the sea from returning to the shore. How do you change when we are entertained with better selling soap operas then that of the Mexicans; have you watched “Hammed Ali’s “No Uniform”, or that other one called “Get out” Featuring Magu, there is also…this one called “Meleye’s cars and certificates, this excludes several thrillers like “The Report” by Executive Producers DSS.

I can tell authoritatively that by the next few years, the current crooks would have eclipsed; Alao Akala, Gbenga Daniel, the ‘Lonely Londoners’ Dariye and late Alams, eclipsed that former mobile police IG that had a big tummy and jeep farm with plenty 4×4 luxury cars littered everywhere.

Over ran that now late old fella that was briefly governor in Plateau? Boni Haruna of Adamawa and the state house of assembly that sat in Lagos? And Danjume Goje, the Cambridge Dictionary publishing governor now a Senator, like Abdullahi Adamu, or Sani Yerime who ‘stole’ directly, and the reverend Jolly Nyame of Taraba and a few of them now honorable and distinguished by Nigerian standards.

Where is that pension woman that makes almost half a million dollars selling pure water. Really we don’t want Nigeria to change and neither have you or myself shown enough reason to demand change.

Do we want to change a Nigeria that gave us the movie ‘White Bank-Ole’… today, the young man with fetish love for white clothing is enjoying life like never before.

Who wants to change a nation, where you steal as much as you can; get some dramatic arrests; routinely attend court sessions; and then go home with a clean judgment of no offence or no case?

Apart from alleged stealing, how about questionable academic certification by these men, and also women, they all go scot-free.

I have left out all the stealing in Ministries; parastatals, agencies, at the federal, state and local level, the list is endless. Yet we have EFCC, ICPC, and the various small 419 departments with duplicate functions in the Police.

If one can ‘legitimately’ get away with stealing millions and billions and be celebrated, be given a chieftaincy title and several ‘thieftaincy’ rewards and awards of honorary degrees in any field of my choice and if I fall out with the powers that be, I have enough to get the best lawyers and injunctions when I am chased, then please don’t change this Nigeria.

The camera lights of news stations and front pages of newspapers and early morning radio news will be full of me…

Today the bitter truth is that corruption begets corruption, and we are breeding it. This Nigeria is benefiting a few, and many don’t want it changed, whether it stands or not is not about how much we swear, but real desire matched with action for change, but do we? 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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