Well, in the last 5 days, Nigeria where I live has made me experience a whole lot of things:
I spent 3 days trying to finish up on my Masters Degree Project.
Then I published a little novel titled “When We Made Men” aimed at teenagers and young adults. I’ve not even checked back to monitor the sales figures.
Then it was Saturday and I woke up to find the whole block empty. All my neighbours had gone for an interview conducted by the Nigerian Immigration Services. Yeah, I remember they told me about it but I decided to just sit back and pray for them. I’m an Engineer (who works privately) and a Writer and I do these things because I love them and I enjoy doing them. The pay packet of a young engineer in Nigeria is still small so they expected me to join them in getting government job. Well, 2 hours after they left, I read on Sahara Reporters News Page that 10 people had died during the interview. I got tensed but not scared. Then, an hour later, BBC reported that 5 more people had died at the interview and several more were injured.
What sort of interview is this? I asked myself.
Then I logged on to the internet and I saw pictures. There were 3000 available positions and approximately 2million people had applied and showed up on the same day and in different venues all over the country. I know you’re shocked but that’s the level of unemployment in Nigeria, the most populous black nation on the planet.
Well, my neighbours returned, all looking really depressed. Many of them summoned up the courage to congratulate me for my foresight. Talk of sticking with my low-paying job. I couldn’t help feeling a little smug but really. I won’t blame them.
Then on Sunday, I decided not to attend church but spend the time doing some statistical analysis on energy demand in Nigeria. Some of us still take pride in a low-paying job. Enough pride to skip Sunday service. Then I read another news on the internet, the President will be inaugurating a National Conference that comprises 492 delegates, each of them receiving 12million Naira for discussing “the Nigerian agenda”. I normally don’t cuss but excuse me, WTF is the Nigerian agenda. The budget for the conference is 7 Billion Naira and there are no youths among the delegates. Some hours later, I try to keep up with the news and I watched as a Nigerian commissioner and political office holder slaps a graduate and manhandles him. That’s barbaric, I thought.
Then, just this morning, I dressed up to get into my department in the faculty of Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. The building was sealed off because security officials believe an explosive – (BOMB, in plain language) has been planted somewhere inside the building. Well, the only problem is – I’m already inside the building, doing my work and updating my blog. I learnt a lesson, though.
It’s a matter of time before the things that happen far away eventually find their way to our doorstep if we keep quiet about them. The Nigerian youth is dying. God save him.