written by Odilichukwu Frances September 19, 2020

Who is the Nigeria system?”

“Is the system really immuned to pragmatic democracy?”

These questions have stared me in the face, and dwelled in my head over time. Regardless of its intensity, the answers seem to be far fetched.

 On some days, unfolding events sing the praises of the citizens, the streets robe the roads ahead of their steps, and even the breeze blows currency notes their way.

Election campaigns are the only event capable of such. The one event that makes the executives and legislatures prostate, posing to be servants with whom Nigeria will reach the promised land. They seek to physically meet with the masses in the streets, the markets, the church and the public places. Moreso they plant billboards that echo “ultimate importance”— a strategy to make citizens feel that they own the system; a democratic practice. 

Soon, they shed some skin and their identities are revealed; ambassadors of chronic poverty. 

The billboards that echoed ‘change’, in 2015 are still evergreen in my memory. They were at strategic points stirring debates among the people in commercial buses, in market places, in clubs, in bars, in schools, in newspapers, on TV, everywhere.  While the masses were absorbing that, the assurance to equate =N=1 to $1 was given without any insurance! It rang an alarming bell because coins have gone extinct in Nigeria and =N=1 has no place in the currency notes. How can the one Naira we see only in figures be equated to one Dollar? Albeit we are five years past 2015, under the regime of the same government that made the awaiting promises above, yet sachet water does not sell at =N=1. Nigerians are skillful in all forms of inflation adaptations, so we have adapted to the situation that nothing sells at =N=5 and now see it as ‘normal’. Maybe that’s why there is =N=5 always added to our fuel price (=N=125, =N=145, =N=165) — to add relevance to the note that cannot afford a sachet of table water. 

Unbearably, after two months of total lock down in Nigeria, businesses and works resumed, but the economic effect of the pandemic left a heavy yoke on the necks of the populace — the proletariats. The Federal Government, in the tenure of General Muhammadu Buhari (President), and His Excellency Prof. Yemi Osibanjo(Vice president) thought that like other African countries who temporarily relieved citizens of fundamental bills, and the developed countries who paid their citizens allowances, that Nigerians deserved proper reliefs aside the media camouflage decided to send Nigerians their packages in parcels they considered appealing. 

We need a relief not a burden!

The power sector, the bank, and the oil industry, were the suitable delivery men for such relief package. 

Fuel price has been increased from =N=125.00 to =N=165.00. The same fuel that Nigerians were promised will sell at =N=40.00 once this incumbent took over in 2015 and later, in 2019. When was the last time fuel sold below =N=100? 

Furthermore, to make sure this Covid-19 palliative was properly distributed, there was an increase in the price of units for the prepaid meter. In 2008, =N=1,999.62 could buy 317.4 power units(kWh), and vat was 95.22 at 5%. As at June 2020, =N=10,000 could buy 271.4 power unites (KWh), at rate 34.28, and vat 697.67. Yet, an increase has been made. 

Bank charges keep beeping slowly yet =N=5,000 in a savings account become =N=3,000 over time. The transfer charges that were reduced from =N=50.00 to =N=10.00, have suddenly risen to =N=16.00. 

How convenient?

How heart warming is the parcel from FG? 

Jean Jacque Rousseau asserted; “we all give up our rights that the Government will through the general will’ protect the state and her properties”. A means to abolish the brutish state of nature, perhaps the system in Nigeria is immuned to this. 

 Peaceful protesters are either arrested or bullied of the streets, and all the pleadings to revert these hikes seem to fall on deaf ears! 

Road users who have their paper for road worthiness are made to pay for the loads in their wheel barrows, or cars, or trucks, or tricycles. My heart bled when a food hawker was asked to pay “for load”(the food cooler on her head)before me. The weapons and brutality that clothes the perpetrators didn’t let me move a muscle, that hawker explained she had paid already =N=100.00 twice at different  junctions without making sales, but she was made to pay again, and was told that it is generating revenue for the government. What people oriented government unleashes touts on its citizens? Arrest them today, they get released and double up the next day. 

Democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people. Ironically, the actions of the government are clothed in tyranny, neatly adorned in the labels of “democracy”. 

The Federal Government should prioritize the interest of Nigerians. Nigerians deserve that in their father land and should not be expected to adapt to an economic downward slope that leads to inflation, and impoverishes the people! That’s not why the heroes labored and died!!

#REVERT fuel price

#REVERT bank charges

#REVERT electricity bill

#END brutality on road users

Nigerians should be the priority here

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Dr chioma September 20, 2020 - 11:35 am

Very good

Odilichukwu Frances September 20, 2020 - 1:15 pm

Thank you

Victor Shalom September 20, 2020 - 12:28 pm

Love the declamatory approach and the well turned phrases. The government need to represent her people and not milk the citizens to enrich themselves.

Odilichukwu Frances September 20, 2020 - 1:14 pm

Thank you.

I hope that this messages get to the right ears. Anyways, we keep pushing and speaking up

Dirim Nella September 20, 2020 - 12:44 pm


Odilichukwu Frances September 20, 2020 - 1:13 pm

Thank you

Akunna Rita September 20, 2020 - 1:39 pm

I truly wish this message gets to the right persons. Good one Frances! Well Worded.

Odilichukwu Frances September 28, 2020 - 8:29 am

One day at a time! We will get somewhere better

Onyinye Obiora-Okafor September 20, 2020 - 3:21 pm

Beautifully articulated piece. Sadly the government really is not perturbed with the sufferings of the people.

Odilichukwu Frances September 28, 2020 - 8:31 am

I hope the people speak up soon enough

Mandy September 20, 2020 - 3:43 pm

Weldone 👍

Odilichukwu Frances September 28, 2020 - 8:31 am

Thanks for reading

Nwaeke Ije Justina September 20, 2020 - 3:43 pm

If only these words will get into the right ears. We are being extorted by our government.

Odilichukwu Frances September 28, 2020 - 8:32 am

Maybe with time. All hands should be on deck

Ereh Amaka obi September 20, 2020 - 3:45 pm

Beautiful piece.hope it get to the right authorities
Kudos O.D

Odilichukwu Frances September 28, 2020 - 8:34 am

Thank you. Until it gets to them, we will keep doing our bit.

Ihetu Jennifer September 20, 2020 - 3:53 pm

Our Little Effort Counts, A tiny drop of water can’t make an Ocean but when it becomes DROPS and is CONSTANT, then the heat can’t dry it all up and the wind will have a tough time Oppressing it.

Odilichukwu Frances September 28, 2020 - 8:42 am

Sure! Together we are stronger!

I am because you are, we all exist for each other.

The second stanza of FGGC Owerri’s stanza says:
“We know that the mighty River Niger
Began as a trickle then a stream
And gathers up it strength From
The land of its birth to flow through the nation
East, west, north and south”

Ihuoma September 20, 2020 - 5:01 pm

Our country is a mess. I felt shattered after reading the part of the food seller, our only hope is God. When will Nigeria ever be restored🤧🤧

Once again, brilliant article. I am enlightened 👍

Odilichukwu Frances September 28, 2020 - 8:44 am

As long as we do our bit, time will take us there. We just need to intentionally do our part in building the future we desire.

Chezbyk Edwin September 20, 2020 - 8:34 pm

With the words of prolific Achebe, I boldly can say that “There was a country”. If we continue this way as a people, what way leads to our paradise, then?

In all things, with the tinniest hope of an almost dead man, we pray that the light shines. It wont matter when, but through who?

Thumbs up, writer 👍
You’re big on this.

Odilichukwu Frances September 28, 2020 - 8:45 am

Through patriots and generational leaders. So everyone has a role to play.


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