Dr. Louis Brown Ogbeifun

Accredited Mediator | Certified Professional Manager and Trainer in Workplace Conflicts


Reflections on Nigeria’s Present State: A Nation at a Crossroads

Nigeria is not at war yet; its military is deployed in the nooks and crannies of the geo-political zones. I thought the police should deal with internal security and the military to defend the nation against external aggressors. Road checks dot every 500 meters on some highways, thereby making movent for the people nightmarish. In contrast, one could travel thousands of kilometers in many parts of Europe, America, Asia, etc., and one would only notice visibility patrol cars. Except when one breaches traffic rules, one may not be stopped for checks for many years.

Nigeria is not at war yet; its citizens cannot access the cash deposited with their banks. Since we want to go cashless, the logical thing to do is allow easy withdrawal of regulated cash through ATMs. Unfortunately, one virtually sleeps at automated cash points and goes home empty-handed at the end of the day. It is either an “inoperable transaction, inability to dispense cash, or no internet connectivity,” In some instances, after six hours of waiting for cash, the ATMs would debit without dispensing cash. In some cases, one is debited without reversal. Regrettably still, one cannot access the banking hall to customer service. The alternative source of the use of the POS, Nigerians loses about 30% to POS operators as transaction charges.

Nigeria is not at war yet, most hotels and airlines have lost more than 50% of their customers, and manufacturing industries are closing down at dizzying paces.

Nigeria is not at war yet; citizens undergo intermittent fuel shortages and long queues at gas stations.

Nigeria is not at war yet; citizens cannot freely venture out of their homes without solemn prayers to cast and bind the human demons in the guise of kidnappers, ritual killers, and fears of the unknown.

Nigeria is not at war yet; road travel has become a nightmare because one may end up in one of the terror cells operating in the forests across all the geo-political zones.

Nigeria is not at war yet; school students cannot complete a calendar year without disruption.

Nigeria is not at war yet; our people in the diaspora stay put in cities and beckon their relations to see them in hotel rooms.

Nigeria is not at war yet; our people can no longer service obligations to their wards outside the country because of the hopeless state of the Naira.

So, briefly close your eyes and imagine Nigeria in a civil war. Your guess on what will happen to us as a people is as good as mine.

Let nobody be under the illusion that those oozing out the sounds of fury through the internet will have the elites fight their battles when push comes to shove. I can assure you that before the actual war starts, these guys are off to the comfort of their homes outside this country, and you shall be the ones to be conscripted into the military to fight and end the war.

Look to the left and the right, then ask where the children of the ruling class are. Check whether they are on the ground to join you in fighting for freedom. But when the ashes of war settle, they will return to canvass for your votes. That is the way it is.

For me, violence should never be an option in resolving national imperfections. For example, when the cash crunch started, bank workers were attacked, and banks were burnt. That did not bring cash back to the banks. Instead, the suffering has increased because some banks are closed, many bank workers resigned for fear of losing their lives, while others refuse to surface at work.

If anyone asks me, I will boldly say that a silent revolution has commenced without violence. This was alluded to by Governor Obaseki of Edo State when he warned the older generation of politicians that what he saw with youths was a movement that could dislodge the status quo. He was mocked. Now they know better.

For those who are agitating that the polls should be canceled, let them have a rethink because in football, if a lower team did not succeed in beating a more skillful higher side, the second meeting may be disastrous for the lower team. What you have now, you hold. Build on it and work for bigger stakes as you progress.

With the shocking revelations of Obi’s emergence and winning elections from the South, West, East, and North, the ruling elites now know that it can no longer be business as usual. Shockingly, about nine state Governors who saw it as their birthright to retire to the Senate have retired. That is a revolution because it could not have happened two years ago.

The ruling class has been silently warned and taught a lesson that unless they abandon the ways of their old and throw all manners of trash at the masses without considering the effects on them, the new ways of doing things will leave them and push them to irrelevance.

On this note, voters should not be discouraged by what is happening in the political spaces. They should go out there to win more House of Representatives and Governorship seats because the powers to abandon the status quo will lie in them.

Grace and peace!!!