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A short and timely reflection on the nonchalance of some Nigerians in anticipation of the forthcoming Nigerian general elections.


The average Nigerian does not really care about nation-building or making attempts at wanting a better country. They want a better country by words and not by their actions. This is why they will canvas for their oppressors during an election because it is a transactional deal: if you give me some small money (or guarantee me and my people some future benefits), I’ll campaign for you and persuade others to do the same.

Give the average Nigerian a small job with an “average” salary in a company, make his family partially comfortable, and see him lose his sense of reasoning and rationality when it comes to nation-building and voting for competent leaders.

He will buy a fancy (or cheap) car, rent a comfortable house, try to send his kids to an average school in the city, and dress in dazzling agbadas at Owambes every weekend. He will think “he has arrived.” For him, this is life. This is what it means to “live” and enjoy life. And the fact that he has all these things is all he needs to continue to vote in the current political class. After all, he is “comfortable” despite the current grim situation of the country.

The statistics of the deplorable state of the economy of the country, and the insecurity up north (that is now spreading to the south) mean nothing to him. The fact that he provides his own water through a borehole in his house or powers his house with a generator means nothing. After all, he has the means to provide these things for himself, and the inability of other Nigerians to provide these things for themselves and whatever they are facing does not affect him or any of his immediate family members.

He is blind to the fact that tomorrow, his child can get ill and the despicable health system might not be able to save him. I mean, the political elites do not patronize the healthcare system of the country; how much more you: a random, average-ass Lagosian living on vibes and inshallah? He does not think too much of the bad road network because he has a car that can successfully ply the road without a scratch.

In a nutshell, he does not think about the other things the government should be actively working on and providing for the benefit of the masses just because he is comfortable.

His doom comes when he loses his job, tries to get another to no avail, and then plunges into penury. He falls out with his political Lords and he is abandoned. Three destiny awaits: He starts trying other kinds of menial jobs (or jobs below his pay grade) just to survive. He puts his arms up in the air and accepts his fate and then dies in penury. If not, he starts considering to japa elsewhere for greener pastures. If this fails, he starts carrying guns to steal from others to cater to his family’s needs. He probably ends up arrested, jailed, and rots in prison forever. That is the end of the average Nigerian.

My advice to Nigerians in the forthcoming elections is to start thinking about life beyond your bellies, your family, or your tribe and people. Nigeria belongs to everyone and you must make a conscious decision to vote wisely. Because you are comfortable now does not mean the doom of these appalling administrations and the grim situation of the economy will not get to you.

Remember the saying: last last, everybody go chop breakfast. It will get to you sooner than later if you keep recycling old cargoes who do not mean well for this country into power. I pray for your safety, comfort, and prosperity but I also hope you pray for the safety, comfort, and prosperity of the country and act accordingly.

Ire o. 




Sunday Jerome Salami

Sunday Jerome Salami is a young Nigerian passionate about quality education, good governance, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development. He strongly believes that access to quality education and ethical leadership training for young people are at the core of alleviating poverty, fostering strong institutions, and generally achieving sustainable development.