Economy and Development

Last Night: Testimony of a beleaguered Nigerian.

Our country, our lives!

I knew something was going to happen. But I didn’t know it was going to be so sudden.

In a flash, I saw them coming after me. So many of them. They picked up whatever weapons they could find. Tree branches, stones from the roadside and all sorts of objects.

I ran faster than my legs could carry me. There was so much flying in the air. I could hardly see my way forward. All the same I ran towards my house, my refuge.

I could feel my bunch of keys jangling in my pocket. I hoped that it would not fall out by any means. Otherwise I will be doomed.

Meters away from my door, I reached for bunch of keys, mentally figured out the right one and plunge it into the keyhole of my door. My assailants were a few meters away when I slammed and locked the door.

I took a deep breath, ready to enjoy my successful escape. But alas, my house was already an enemy territory. Many had gained entry well ahead of my arrival.

They were everywhere. On the floor, on top of the television, piano, chairs, tables and my bed too!

Strangely, they asked me not to panic. They claimed they were forcibly ejected by the winds from their homes in the untarred roads in the area. I was relieved.

Just then I heard a loud blast outside.

Nepa had struck and plunged all of us into a blinding darkness. I cursed under my breath.

My house began to quake like a airplane going through a thick cloud. I thought my roof would come off or the house will crumble like those Lagos houses we have heard about so much.

Then it started to rain like the skies were angry, really angry. The wind was out of breath and had stopped running wild. The dust and all the debris in the air came down humbly and were washed away into the drainage.

I dusted my bed, curled up and dozed off almost instantly.

But not for too long. My two neighbours drove in like they were chased by demons. I could hear their creaking gates being flung open.

Even in the rain, they went straight to their generators.

Oh lord, I mourned.

Graaaaa! Graaaaa! Graaaaa!

Graaaaaaaaaa!

And the little peace I had brokered for myself was gone.

I thought it would just be for a while. May be by 11pm or 12am they would switch off their sets and allow everyone to sleep in peace.

I couldn’t be more presumptuous

The freaks ran their noisy generators all night.

I don’t know what made me to think they would switch off by midnight. May be it was just wishful thinking.

My neighbours are generator lovers. Even when NEPA restores electricity, they sometimes continue to run their generators as if they are performing surgery in their houses and can’t afford to a switch to the grid until they are done.

All the same, dawn came. Doesn’t it always come no matter what happens during the night?

I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

But the morning was fresh, cool and exquisitely beautiful.

However, the violent wind and rain had taken a heavy toll: One plantain sucker was lying on the ground. I didn’t care so much. It was not looking good in the first place.

A number of very ripe cashew fruits I was too lazy to pluck the previous morning were splashed on the ground like bad bananas. I didn’t care either. I had eaten myself silly with many already.

But I broke down and wept for the many unripe mangoes that were forced from their high places to share a spot with dogs poo-poo under the mango tree. They were big and alluring. Now they were useless and gone.

I wanted to curse the wind. But it was the wind that moved the clouds that brought the first rain of April which flagged off the real beginning of the rainy season.

I went back inside the house and began the work of cleaning the dust that had settled everywhere.

I was glad the terrible heat was on its way out. The sweet rains are on their way in.

Nevertheless, I worried whether my roof can stay in place to the end of the season.

Or whether my house will remain standing after every down pour.

Or whether there will be ‘light’ to watch television and console myself whenever it rains.

Such is my life. Such is my country. Everything comes with its own problem. Peace is only a wish. And wishes are not horses that anyone can simply ride.

It was Saturday morning. I had no where to go. And I could not chat with my friends or call them or browse the internet to kill time.

My phone’s battery was flat and I had no clue when NEPA will restore electricity.

I dread light out because my estimated bill runs whether I have electricity or not.

Blimey, it has been 123 years since the first power plant was built in Lagos. Can you believe that?

What else can I say? That we summon our founding fathers into the witness box to tell us how else we shall be afflicted?

Lost in my thoughts, I pulled a chair and sat close to a window feeling sorry for myself and everyone else who say we are a good people and a great country.

Hey, may be we are. May be I just don’t have enough faith to see all the miracles happening around me.

Next time I pray, I will ask God to open my eyes.

Now my brethren, Let us pray before God falls asleep due to weariness over our problems.

About author
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Newspackng.
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