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Does Nigeria have any problems?

Nigeria had existed from time immemorial, and her citizens dwelt in peace and harmony. There was no cause for alarm, and they had no reason to blame anyone for their woes and problems. Fatefully, in the early 19th century, Nigeria witnessed an intrusion and a preoccupation of her territory from the Atlantic in the south and from the desert in the north. The Hausa man in the north knew very little about power, cattle rearing, and violence.

They were merely farmers in their enclave until they were surrendered by turbaned men in the desert, whose faces were covered, sitting on their camels, and you could barely see their eyes. They sat on top of their camels, aiming their poisonous arrows at the local residents. These archers were ruthless in coercing the Hausas to submission and servitude.

On the other hand, the Igbos in the South resisted by scaring the British sailors who had landed from the Atlantic away. These sailors were determined, dressed like mafias, armed, and in the likeness of Christopher Columbus. They did not find it easy to strike a deal, be welcomed, or have a bargain on the slave trade routes. When the British had completely emasculated the indigenous people of Nigeria, they sought ways of sharing the booty and continuing their beneficial interaction with Nigeria. The Fulani in the North entered into a bargain with the British, promising that they would use Hausa. That was how the marginalisation of the indigenous people of Nigeria persisted, and that has led us to think today that Nigeria has a problem even after independence and colonial rule.

Therefore, some would still ask, What colour is the problem of Nigeria? And I would respond by saying that the problem of Nigeria is a tinted colour meant to deceive, frustrate, and mislead a passionate seeker. One would be wishing for an exposure into the intriguing, stifling condition of the national and individual lives of Nigerian citizens, but the truth is that Nigeria has no problems. It is an invaded space, occupied and preoccupied. It is an area for hunting where the hunters came in with different species of dogs and hounds. Nigeria is yielding a lot of dividends and returns to the invaders, but the indigenous people are used as guinea pigs.

In 2019, Aljazeera reported that Nigeria has a mental health problem, and in 2024, some are of the view that governance failure, crime, and insecurity are the problems. Nigeria is a rich country, blessed with both human and natural resources. Solid minerals mined from Nigeria include uranium, tin, iron ore, coal, gold, limestone, lead, niobium, zinc, etc. Nigeria has arable land, and even after the discovery of oil (petroleum, natural gas, etc.), our leaders in the 1980s went on to introduce austerity measures.

Nigeria’s problems have been attributed to various factors, including bad habits, stubborn wills, inflated egos, evil thoughts, fears, secret prejudices, and misguided ambitions. Many leaders after Nigeria’s independence were non-indigenes who followed western powers and European neo-colonialism, not improving the people’s condition. The high demand for red crude in Bonny Island led to high-profile government officials claiming Nigeria is a poor country, causing a negative perception among youth and impressionable young minds.

The governance in Nigeria is characterised by cruelty and temerity, as the government is legally responsible for introducing new laws and organising public services. This implies that the government contributes to crimes, poverty, death, and citizens’ livelihoods. The government’s three levels intimidate and frighten the masses, like hungry lions. It is possible that the government will enjoy generating revenue from citizens walking on asphalted roads, as the country faces challenges like high inflation and limited access to drinking water.

Read also: Nigeria’s problems demand spiritual solutions, says Adeboye

Nigeria’s recession is a result of man-made and corruption-induced issues, with instability and mismanagement being a major concern for politicians. The culture of looting and embezzlement persists, but change is necessary. Nigeria’s wealth is a matter of ‘turns’, with opportunists scamming for the national treasury. Citizens in Nigeria cannot make peaceful plans, as selfish rule, greedy policies, and an unstable economy frustrate genuine intentions and frustration. No one can criminalise politics in Africa.

Most manufacturing companies in Nigeria have left, leading to reduced quality and increased prices for the masses. Nigerians should assess their economic conditions, make efforts, and take action to address the situation. Waiting is a waste of time, as the situation is likely to worsen. Many countries have taken similar actions, leading to transformation.

The author welcomes Nigerians to the big leagues, stating that they face personal battles such as tribalism, nepotism, corruption, marginalisation, intimidation, and fear. They argue that Nigerians are eagerly waiting for positive changes in their conditions, but the government and politicians are willing to give them the worst. They believe that the common enemy in Nigeria is hardship and suffering, and that anyone can challenge the enemy holding Nigeria and its citizens hostage.

Obiotika Wilfred Toochukwu: St. Anthony’s Catholic Comprehensive Institute, Agulu – Anambra State.

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