The Nigerian environment: A place of Human Expression or Human Machine?

July 21, 2017 Africa , Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

Reuters photo



Ogunniyi Abayomi


Congratulations echo from the audience on both sides of the university ceremonial grounds towards the successful completion of the Bachelorate degree programme. The tone of his emotions is overwhelming, though unknown to him he has not forseen the challenges of acquiring a job amidst the dramatic rage of unemployed graduates across the country.

Celebrity of the moment, and temporary delight of his friends, parents and close associates who are proud to have known him. The educational achievement is a great source of motivation for the child to attain such heights, even those yet unborn, yet we do not see the rough edges of survival ahead of us.

The joy and euhoria cannot expose the truth of living cold in a society that thrives on the platform of struggles and hardship yet there is nothing to show for it irrespective of their status across society.

The party was over, NYSC had opened its portal to register prospective graduates of various tertiary institutions within the country. Youths were churned out from various institutions to serve in various states across the federation for a year. “Dad, I was posted to Zaria, Kaduna state for my youth service,” he exclaimed, another opportunity to be away from home without your family, friends and close associates.

The rigours, struggle and strife to survive as a stranger were evident yet unknown to us, the scale of struggle when we are not in our uniforms and booths anymore presenting certificates to the company of our unactualised dreams.

The Youth Corp adventure was over and the race began, everyone hit the door of the human resource manager tendering their curriculum vitae to acquire a white collar rather than pondering on our skills, yet only a few are hired amidst many applicants.

The narrative is concluded on a sad note of hard labour and meagre wages inspite of your efforts, the wage barely putting a cup of grain or millet, likewise millet rather consuming on all transportation seeking them to ease the burden amidst the fuel hike within our nation.

The outrage persists within our sphere, individuals strive to feed yet their money cannot purchase crumbs of bread in little wealth, massive poverty the atmosphere within our society. This tale and story captures our hunger and strife yet many are deprived of their ammenities and benefits.


Ali is a journalist who had an encounter with Mr Obi, a salesman of a drug store at the metropolis of Lagos. “How was work?” Ali inquired from Mr Obi, muttering in frustration nor hiding his expression from Mr Obi.

Mr Obi, in an angry and bemused tone, criticised the political, social and economic structure of Nigeria, the unfavourable policies and the limited chances of surviving in a harsh environment.

“I agree with you Mr Obi,” Ali replied, lamenting the hostile reception Nigeria induced and imbibed along with an outrageous desire for illegal acquisition via the corrupt and demoralised method.

Akinlola served Chief Ben as a Clerk thirteen years ago yet there was no compensation for his service, but he is relieved of his duty without the neccesary gratuity and benefits. Chief Ben was not opposed or criticised because of the filthy act we have imbibed; you decry against it, you remain at home indefinitely.

Olu was amused yet pondering on this phrase from the lips of Ali. Abubakar was quite delighted with their discussion therefore he decided to join their conversation analysing a country that has lost its identity on the platform of siege, corruption, terror and greed. Our environment is captured by this menace hereby the command of cabal renders the atmosphere desolate and unstable for their personal benefit without considering its effect on the masses.

“Abubakar is my name and I am from Adamawa State. I relocated to Lagos from Borno, Maiduguri to avoid being a victim and casualty of insurgency in Borno State by the Boko Haram Sect. Poor and innocent youth are recruited by these sect subjecting them to terms and conditions along with rules they cannot decry against vowing to return anyone who speak against them to the dust.”

Poor background, lack of education and poverty ensue these people consider these decisions. In this same direction we have seen the youth disrupt the streets with their illicit acts from either their godfather or evil benefactor.

“Ali, Obi we know that within their environment that we are insecure, we observe the threat, we enforce policies that are unfavourable to the public therefore we do not decry against it, rather we undermine our position chasing their pocket to feed.”

“Few are rich, many are poor, are we built to be streaked by the cold feet of power in the name of obedience to oppression whose inflict cannot favour the essence of democratic living? Ali and Obi, consider the rate at which people are arrested unjustly yet those who criticise and fight are rather mocked by their fellow citizen.”

“The poor and helpless weep daily, who will wipe their tears away, who will ease the tension of their struggles, do we discuss and end here when it is unbearable wandering and looking up to the enforcement and dictation by an individual before we act?”

“Definitely not Mr Abubakar,” Ali replied, “we would seek more advocacy, working hard to create an environment where justice and human right is certain rather than sitting in the confines of our room while individuals die in silence.”

“Are we ready to go the Tunisian way or forever remain silent like the Syrians who have not decried against the infliction imposed on them. The situation has built to think rigidly, when will we explore our thoughts?”

Abubakar ended the conversation with a note from a Malcolm X speech which states thus; “There just has to be a new system of reason and logic devised by us who are the bottom if we want to get some results in this struggle called Negro revolution.”

“Just like Malcolm X emphasized, we need a rethink and reassessment of policies and way of life. If it pushs the individual to march, we should. Good night Abubakar, Ali and Obi see you tommorow.”






Ogunniyi Abayomi

Ogunniyi Abayomi was born July 11, 1991 in the city of Lagos, where he resides. A poet and essayist whose works have been published in various journals.


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