My heart bleeds for my country Nigeria.

Through the special grace of God I was privileged to be at the birth of my second grandson in the United States of America.

I arrived at the hospital with my daughter, her husband and their first son at about 5.50am. We were politely welcomed and checked in by the security people at the entrance who in line with their anti-child theft policy placed security coded tags on our wrists. We were thereafter ushered into the neo natal unit where a friendly reception team checked my daughter’s details and admitted her into a room identified as the triage.

From that moment on my daughter was treated like a royalty. We had nurses and doctors all dotting around her explaining what will happen and at what time. In my usual inquisitiveness and curiosity I asked many mad questions and respectfully got very polite answers. However, as the coward I can sometimes be, I refused to go into the theatre with my daughter, her husband and a team of medics who surrounded us. I simply could not bear to watch anyone cut up my own child. So I was shown into a waiting area and advised to help myself to any refreshment I fancied. I immediately regretted this constant weight watching madness because I would have fed like a king at no cost at all. After all who does not like freebies but never mind there will be another day.

I always believed that I have a heart of steel but discovered how wrong I have been because nature soon kicked in and anxiety and fear took over the best of me.  I could not work my phones or laptop and became even more anxious and restless going through what for convenience I will describe as every mother’s “ifs and buts”. My only friend became my Catholic Rosary. I did not realise that I could still pray that much but I did. God in his majesty as always calmed my nerves and sent me into a deep sleep. Thank God that I did not have to worry about any hungry angry petty thief speeding off with my hand bag because they would have even stolen me if they tried. That was how deep I slept. I give it to God all the time. I was totally blank and had no dream which was quite unusual too. My dad used to call me Joseph the dreamer and he was never wrong. I am a friend of good and weird dreams.

I suddenly woke up and as audacious as I can get sometimes I marched straight off to the reception to ask about progress and why they were taking so long. As I approached the reception desk the doctor who led her team of about ten medical professionals came rubbing her hands with sanitizer and said “congratulations, it’s all done, mum and baby are fine.

Nathaniel Bassey and Gabrial Eziashi would surely be very proud to know that I entertained Oyibos with their Imela and aka aka ya tunes because I immediately erupted into a dance move which only God knows what style it was but I had to dance and sure did dance well because I could see that the doctor was amused. Fast forward, I met my new grandson, my daughter and her husband and could not believe how kind God has been to me again.

As I held the baby and hugged my daughter I fought back tears of joy but deep inside my soul I was in distress and hurting very badly. I thought about our Chibok girls in captivity and their parents. The joy these people may rob them of if they are not found and returned to their parents as soon as possible, the average Nigerian expectant mother sleeping on a hospital floor with their wrappers and their new born babies who then followed later after hard labours in some dirty labour rooms.  Some mother and their new babies who may have died needlessly because there was insufficient or no care at all for them and then compared them to the first class treatment my daughter and her baby are receiving. I told myself that “there was indeed a country called Nigeria” and wondered if we will ever have it back.

I thought that I had seen it all at the triage but I was wrong because the best was yet to come. We were ushered into what I thought was a joke in the name of a mum and baby ward. For the sake of modesty I will conservatively describe it as a 4 star hotel because that is what it is. It is a self-contained unit with everything you see in five star hotels and extras too.  Again, I was joyous but sad for my people especially young mothers, children, and the elderly, mentally and physically challenged in my country Nigeria. I have heard stories of people dying of minor aliments at home or hospital corridors because they have no means of getting any form of treatment.

I was more touched and angry because many of our leaders and their families use our money to come over to the USA and take advantage of the country’s safe and beautiful health and education care facilities while leaving my people to die in vain” I was even more distressed because many of my people who bear the full weight of the irresponsibility and recklessness of many of our leaders because of our age long inherited sectional and religious politics will defend these people and still vote for them while  people like me who speak about these ills are the trouble makers and enemies of one government or another who live in diaspora and must be denied the right to vote”

Although my daughter and her husband specifically invited me over, they do not really need me to be at the hospital. There is everything that my daughter needs. She does not have to go out to buy food, drinks, and syringe, medications (fake or real) or have to be denied treatment because she has no money. Her husband and his friends are constantly around her without him excusing himself to go and buy anything or borrow to pay their hospital bill. (I remember arriving in Nigeria once and having to head straight to the hospital to pay for blood and medicine for a relative to avoid her being sent home to go and die needlessly). The doctors and nurses have been trooping in and out checking up on their patient and new baby plus advising on child care and support.  The way they check the baby from sickle cell, hearing etc. is so amazing that I now think that my handsome boy is already a world leader like Obama and others. What child with such a start in life would ever fail?

To top it off, in addition to providing the baby with everything from diaper up to comb for his hair, there is also a card from the office of the governor of their state welcoming the new baby. I nearly fell off my chair laughing at that wondering if apart from coming to give people expired bags of rice, bread and money in exchange for votes, how many governors in my country cares about who lives or dies in their states needless to talk about who gets a card from their offices. It is certainly a very long journey to freedom from self-destruction for Nigeria and many other African countries for sure but I am not sure when we are going to start taking that first step into our journey of one thousand miles and if we will ever start that journey.

I have got so much on my mind and therefore not sure how to end this amazing eye opening story of the experience I have had in another man’s land. I am somehow angrily compelled to advise Nigerians and Africans to wake up, hold hands and confront the common enemy; bad leadership.

We must begin to campaign against our leaders and their families travelling abroad for medical treatment or education. If the hospitals and schools they ‘built and are maintaining’ in our countries are good enough for the ordinary suffering Nigerian/African citizen, then they should also be good enough for them and their families.  We are all born equal before the Lord and law. Forcing yourself on others as a leader does not make you more important or special than anyone. At the end of the day we are all going down 6ft and so should be treated the same.

To start our journey into freedom from self-emasculation and unconscious preference of evil over good, we must consider starting a peaceful and very successful revolution against the evils of bad leadership in our country and continent, we must hold hands and forget these people and their usual lies about religion and tribe. The two are powerful weapons of mass confusion and control which they are determined to continue to use in distorting our minds over what is right or wrong so long as we continue to wallow in ignorance and fall for their tricks. Succumbing to their tricks prevents us from sharing the rewarding joy of mutual love, tolerance and unity while they carry on with the looting and plundering spree unperturbed under our watch.   

We must recognise that our common enemies have a common agenda which is to continue to rule our minds, lead us and our generations and then ensure that we are kept down while they climb higher and higher enjoying and dissipating our common inheritance.

We must be courageous and fight for our freedom from bad leadership. Our major weapons must never be guns, bombs, knives or hatred. They must only be unity, understanding, tribal and religious tolerance and above all trust in our collective ability to lead ourselves and be led by good and great leaders who we must encourage to emerge through good democratic practices.

We must discourage monetisation of politics which makes leadership the preserve of a few whose fathers or god fathers have benefited from the bad leadership of the past years that has produced and continue to produce billionaires whose only preoccupation is stealing from the same people they are supposed to be serving. This will not only give us some sense of belonging and ownership of our country and future but also allow good competent leaders of merit to emerge. If we fail to do so posterity will judge us very badly.  

The current jokes by our political parties about millions of naira as expression of interest and application fees for various political offices is simply a class act evidencing the determination of the bad, crooked, hideous and totally selfish to continue to lead whether we like it or not and must be resisted.

I could not stop laughing while despairing too when I read about some politicians talking about how their people and some long term unemployed youth have asked them to run for political offices and even bought tickets for them.  In my mind but God please forgive me that was the biggest joke on them making them look like a special class of clowns but Nigerians are used to stomaching that sort of foolery and nonsense so they think that we are fools.

May God forgive and help us  out of our self-imposed punishment inspired by greed and controlled by our silence in the face of evil.

JCO Nov.2014 ©

 

8 comments for “My heart bleeds for my country Nigeria.

  1. Chinedu Monwuba Peter
    November 20, 2014 at 22:50
    • Editor
      November 24, 2014 at 02:50

      Thanks for stopping by Chinedu.

  2. sylviaonyii@yahoo.com
    November 21, 2014 at 05:41

    Superb writeup! I strongly believe that as a nation, we can transcend from being a developing country to a developed country. We have the resources and the man power but if and only if our mindset of greed and wickedness is reoriented. God help us!

    • Editor
      November 24, 2014 at 02:54

      Thanks Sylvia.

      I agree with you but my greatest fear is that we have not even started laying the foundation which will help us to begin to take steps into that mindset journey and not many of us seem to be aware of the direction of this ill wind.

      Someone I know started a project which he titled mindset reorientation. I thought that our people would have jumped on it to begin that long journey into freedom from greed and selfishness but guess that since he was not talking about sharing money no one took him seriously.

      I hope that we will get there some day soon.

  3. angelbusiness1@aol.com
    November 23, 2014 at 03:39

    Hi Jenny,

    Interesting read. Points well made. The problems as you made out, are particularly African. But Nigeria’s special situation is worse.

    Africa’s leading evonomy; Africa’s most populous country; a country with most renowned international evangelists from Africa; It is also Africa’s most corrupt country!

    With all that oil from the 1970’s, Africans should be seeing Nigeria as their most developed country. Yet South Africa is. Why? It’s the curse of the Black man and Bad leadership.

    Security in Nigeria for an individual is one of the worse in Africa. You cannot take one’s personal freedom for granted from harassment, armed robbery and petty theft. You slept deep and woke up with your person and bag intact. It is possible to deliver such safety and services in Africa. But it is up to us Africans to start doing something to change things rather than complain.

    In Ghana where I originally come from, we are launching a campaign for the diasporans to vote with their wallet to bring change in Ghana’s next election in 2016. Our National Health Service was almost first class – comparable to any western country until this last government came in 5 years ago and turned the country upside down – the elections was fought in court for 9 months until the Supreme court made a verdict.

    But It is possible to change the government by raising campaign finance though the diaspora to stop the bad leaders using stolen money to steal and or buy votes that will perpetuate the plight of Africans.

    I am happy to help with my team to raise campaign finance for any political outfit – be it local, state or federal level elections. It is possible for Africa’s most populous and largest economy to deliver first class health, education and security services. Nigeria has the human capital. It has the wealth. It lacks selfless and courageous people to fight a peaceful war on bad leadership.
    You my dear, have started a war against bad leadership in your country. You must work on finishing it by engaging like minded people from Nigeria, although not necessarily, to do something about it.

    Great read. Well done!

    Doug

    • Editor
      November 24, 2014 at 04:26

      Hi Doug,

      Thanks for your kind encouraging words.

      The dilemma facing Africa and Nigeria in particular is man made.

      You kindly picked on the main points of my write up. Security of the person and property. In my younger days we had freedom to go and come as we liked but today that is something about history and the generation after me may never know that we had a time like that.

      Our people have been reduced to beggars and desperation has taken over the need for hard work. I was raised to understand that there is dignity in labour but today get rich quick and prosperity preaching have taken over common sense. Nobody wants to work. We rather want something for nothing just like many of our criminal minded politicians. So the attitude has changed from hard work to the business of governance by fire by force or sleeping and living in church for manner to fall from above.

      Then you talk about the Nigerian Diaspora who have had the privilege of leaving in developed democracies and enjoying the benefits of it. Many of us have become money launderers for our politicians. Instead of taking home and sharing what we have learned we go home very equipped to rob our less privileged brothers and sisters blind. I am pleased to hear that you guys have a great agenda for the future of Ghana which hopefully will put her back on the road to full survival. It is very disheartening to think that Ghana is now drifting too.

      I visited Ghana a while ago and was disappointed to be taken to a wonderful development where agents told me that about 60% of the development is owned by Nigerian politicians who regularly come there to have lewd parties and turning young Ghanaian University girls into things you many not care to hear about. I despaired because i know that they are going to ruin Ghana.

      The state of our hospitals, schools, colleges and universities along with others is very deplorable. I am hoping that your fellow Diasporas will answer your clarion call and do the needful before Ghana drifts beyond control.

      The security situation in Nigeria is frightening but our leaders seem to be under estimating the dangers because they are always with heavy security.

      Although I must say that I am not optimistic, I am keeping my fingers crossed for 2015.

      Good luck with your project.

  4. Kate
    November 23, 2014 at 11:17

    Well documented and and we thank God for all His mercy. My dear our hearts are also bleeding and will never stop as there seems no light at the beginning of the tunnel, not to talk of the end. For Nigeria and Africa the journey has not began. Look at what Ebola is doing to life’s in West Africa. Does it mean we don’t have enough billionaires and millionaires that can offer their surplus money to build new treatment centres and eradicate this hideous parasite for once? Why do we have to wait for foreign aids? At this 21st century, our leaders have no shame and conscience. We can have state of the art of anything we require in that continent, but it will never happen, until our greed and appetite for foreign health care reverses. When we realise that we can not improve our healthcare by running out of the country for treatment then we begin to address the issues. That is the moment we can address the point you raised e.g high infant and maternal mortality rate, extreme poverty etc. For Chibok girls our prayer remains with the parents and we pray that one day their release will be a reality.

  5. Editor
    November 24, 2014 at 04:37

    Hi Kate,

    Thanks for your kind comment.

    Where we have found ourselves out of greed is frightening.

    You touched on a very important point here, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Sadly the millionaires and Billionaires know how to take but not how to give.

    I listened to conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory when Ebola arrived and then the blame game where we always feel that the west owes us. The most interesting thing is that we have mot heard about large donations by any of our big shorts yet their next door neighbours are dying. We simply do not know how to give and that is one of our biggest challenge.

    In respect of the Chibok girls, I doubt that our leaders still remember them but they will remain in my prayers until the last one of them returns home. .

    Its ll so so sad in Nigeria but you do not know where to turn to.

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