Is being born in Nigeria a crime?
In the Christian religion, it is believed that marriage is for better for worse. I guess this is the Nigerian language because except for the Northern region, others are no more seeing better times ahead in this union called Nigeria but are not being allowed to leave. In fact, these regions are threatened to stay and in some cases killed if they want to be apart so badly.
In the history of Nigeria, there has never been a worse time to be a Nigerian living in Nigeria than these times.
Well maybe during the civil war between Nigeria and Biafra which many Nigerians do not know the full story because that part of history is conveniently not taught in schools. We only rely on hearsay from the lips of those that might have experienced it one way or the other probably at their tender ages. In fact in Nigeria, it is said that history repeats itself because we fail to learn from history. But how do we learn from history when Nigeria’s history is not even taught in schools?
We are in times the government is fighting against its youths on all fronts. Or else how do you justify the Lekki Massacre that happened on the 20th of October 2020?
To make matters worse, the government in its fight against its youths has ban cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria
In a time when the rest of the world is investing massively in cryptocurrency and bitcoin, Nigeria is banning it just to fight its youths it seems.
It can be recalled that during the End SARS protest in Nigeria last year 2020, commercial banks started freezing accounts of youths that raised funds to support the movement and the only way out was for youths to boycott these commercial banks altogether and donate in bitcoins. This move was a move the Nigerian government never saw coming and could not block it at that point in time.
Since the Lekki Massacre incident where the Nigerian Army allegedly shot at youths and some were even allegedly killed, the heat of the End SARS protest has calmed down a bit. This has been the perfect time for the Nigerian Government to implement policies that would checkmate the youths from taking such bold steps again in the future. I guess the government especially the Lagos state government cannot afford another lockdown in Nigeria brought about by another protest.
The first policy to be implemented was the compulsory linking of National Identification Number (NIN) to mobile numbers, Nigerian Passports, and almost every other thing you need to do as a Nigerian. This would ensure easy monitoring and tracking. Although one can argue that it would help monitor the crime rate in Nigeria, the problem is that the timing of such policy makes it a fight against the youths.
One wonder if expatriates coming into the country or tourists would need to get a National Identification Number also before getting a mobile phone number? But this is a story for another day and I believe maybe the foreigners coming into Nigeria are not the target audience.
The second policy to be implemented after the End SARS protest was the order by The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ban Cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria. Adamu Garba a popular Twitter influencer called on youths to invest in cows instead of bitcoin.
He cited that cow raring and trading is a better investment to embark on for the Nigerian youths. As expected, he received a lot of backlashes. Even billionaire Elon Musk made out time from his busy schedule to reply ‘wow’ to his tweet. Well, one must give it to him, he did make us laugh but only for a few hours before the reality set back in.
When the fun and teasing on Twitter was over, we then began to face the reality that banning cryptocurrency in Nigeria means FinTech companies and startups will be affected negatively. In a time Nigeria is battling recession, one could only imagine that policies be made in order to encourage and promote startup companies by making the economic condition favorable for them to thrive. But in Nigeria, it seems the reverse is the case. It only goes to send the message that the government is willing to fight against its youths even if it means stagnating the economy. Or maybe their intention is to keep the youths in poverty because only then can the youths be controlled.
Although many have tried to argue for the government that they banned bitcoin because it is not contributing anything to the economy. What I always ask is ‘were these FinTech companies not paying their fair share of taxes to the government? Is this not a contribution to Nigeria’s economy?’ Some have also justified the banning claiming that bitcoin can be used to launder money. In as much as such tendencies are possible, it is wiser to tackle money laundering as an issue not ban cryptocurrency. Because money laundering is nothing new in the financial sector and cryptocurrency or bitcoin trading did not invent it. Why haven’t the government shut down commercial banks for money laundering issues?
Also one cannot overlook the fact that maybe in a crazy way of thinking, the Central Bank of Nigeria governor thinks that people are no more investing in shares because all their funds are being put in cryptocurrency. If that be the case, banning cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria will not solve the issue. People just don’t see buying shares as a viable option anymore. Reason being that Nigeria’s currency has no value.
In fact, it seems the naira keeps losing its value by the minute and there are rumors that Nigeria is considering further devaluating its currency. What this means is that when you buy Nigerian shares for about one hundred thousand naira (100,000) when naira was 160 naira to a dollar, even if the share rises from the one hundred thousand naira (100,000) to one hundred and fifty thousand naira (150,000) and naira is now 460 naira to a dollar, you are still running at a loss. From this example, you can clearly see that you invested six hundred and twenty-five dollars ($625) initially but now even with the rise in shares, you only have approximately three hundred and twenty-six dollars ($326). I don’t know about you but I consider that bad investments and youths know that for now, Nigeria’s currency will continue to drop against dollars, and investing in shares is a no-go area.
The problem with Nigeria fighting its youths is that Nigeria is not tackling the real problems in the country.
Every day on the news we see different forms of terrorism.
The government has found a way to sugarcoat some of these crimes and terrorism by making it a religious affair.
On one news station, you will hear about the bombing of the university and public places by the Boko Haram terrorists while in another news station you will hear about the destroying of lives and properties by the Fulani herdsmen bandits (one still wonders why they are only referred to bandits and not terrorists despite the number of lives lost in their hands).
Even when youths tried to voice out about the carrying of sophisticated weapons by these Fulani herdsmen who are meant to be merely looking after cows, a northern state governor came out on a news station to defend their carrying of guns for protection.
It seems kidnapping is now the order of the day. Every day it is like we are switching news stations from one bad news to another one ranging from kidnapping, to government negotiating with terrorists and contemplating paying eight hundred million naira (800M Naira) ransom.
To make matters worse, the ease at which gunmen abduct school children nowadays is alarming. From the adoption of Kankara boys from school in Katsina State (President Buhari’s own state) to the more recent Zamfara school girls’ abduction, some things are just off and not right about the news of these events. Imagine Kankara boys and returning them well-fed and healthy with clean clothes. The government even claiming they did not have to pay a naira for their release makes it even more suspicious. Why always kidnap and release with no culprit caught?
In recent events, The Niger Delta Militants have come out to threaten Nigeria stating that they are ready to carry out havoc on Nigeria starting with Lagos state and Abuja. Although Nigerians are still going about their usual every day to day livelihood, many of them do not know the gravity of the threat. Threats like this should not be taken likely by any serious government.
To worsen issues, Twitter influencer Adamu Garba has likened the Boko Haram terrorists to Northern freedom fighters based on religious sentiments.
Sometimes I wonder how we got here as a country in which religion has so blinded our sense of judgment. Religion now determines our sense of right and wrong even when it is clear that religion in Nigeria is just another way of extorting the general public. It has become a tool in which the rich keep the poor in line. And more recently, it is an excuse to commit crimes and quote the so-called holy book to back it up.
These are only a few of Nigeria’s problems.
We have different regions wanting to break away from Nigeria claiming that Nigeria is just a bad marriage forced on all parties with nothing connecting the different regions and their people together.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOD) under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who is on the run from Nigeria’s government have been asking for a referendum that will allow the Igbos to vote their way out of Nigeria since God knows when. And in turn, IPOD has been tagged as a terrorist group in Nigeria with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu branded an outcast.
More recently, due to the insecurity in the country and the reluctance of the government to tackle Fulani herdsmen’s destruction of lives and properties in the South-West, the Yoruba people in that region are requesting their own Oduduwa Nation.
Sunday Igboho an activist has instructed that Fulani herdsmen leave Yoruba land and he has faced his own share of challenges with his house in Oyo State burnt down. The Department of State Service (DSS) even attempted to arrest him but failed many thanks to his supporters.
Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria which is an advocacy group centered on promoting the Fulani cattle breeders in Nigeria has called that the North stop taking foodstuffs most especially beef/cattle to the South until the South stops harassing Fulani herdsmen. Miyetti Allah also mentioned that it is unfair that Fulani herdsmen are being accused of all the crimes in the country and this has to stop.
As it stands, due to foodstuffs scarcity, prices will soar high making foodstuffs almost out of reach of an average Nigerian in the South.
Although an average northerner especially a Fulani northerner would likely agree with the decision of Miyetti Allah but it seems a little unfair that the North can just wake up and threaten not to send foodstuffs to the south but the south cannot just wake up and threaten to stop oil circulation throughout the country.
This is why the Niger Delta Agitators and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOD) make a mockery of one Nigeria. Because if the North can starve the nation, the south should be able to keep their oil to themselves.
Now let us review what would be the effect if the South was to cut off just the oil supplies to the North. What would the North use to power their machines for mechanized farming? Not to talk about what would happen to Nigeria’s economy that is just recovering from a recession.
Considering the fact that the North seems to control their gold and other resources while the South does not have control over their resources is an indication that Nigeria is not a fair country to all.
Right now, it seems all that can possibly go wrong in Nigeria is going wrong which has prompted many to term Nigeria a bad experiment by Britain and nothing binds these regions together, not even language or religion.
In truth, there has never been a time in history that Nigeria has been so biased.
Many blame it on President Muhammadu Buhari but I often ask, ‘was he any better when he was Head of State? Under what criteria was he elected president at the expense of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan back in 2015? Was Jonathan really that bad or we voted Buhari then based on religion and tribe?’ I guess the fact that Buhari was a Muslim man that was willing to take a Christian who is not only a Christian but a Redeem Christian Church of God pastor as his running mate and Vice President clouded our judgments back then in 2015. But then again, what happened during the 2019 presidential elections?
It is hard to believe that news suggests that Aisha Buhari, the wife of the President who ought to be the First Lady of Nigeria has relocated to Dubai. This has in turn raised questions about if the man in Aso Rock is really her husband. One can recall that it was rumored by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu that President Buhari had passed away claiming that the person in Aso Rock was an imposter Jubril from Sudan. Well, I guess there is no fire without smoke.
Be that as it may, it is even harder for me to believe that after enduring 4 years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s first tenure, there are still so many people that approve of his administration to the extent of re-electing him for the second term. I guess history truly does repeats itself in Nigeria. Or maybe we Nigerians enjoy suffering and we are used to it. It could also be the case of ‘the devil you know is better than an angel you do not know’. Either way, Nigerians truly deserve Buhari because a country’s President in most cases is a true reflection of the people of such a country.
With the way events are unfolding in Nigeria, many have in turn called for either restructuring or the separation of Nigeria with South West forming Oduduwa nation, South East Biafra, South-South Niger Delta, and North Arewa. Who knows? Maybe Nigeria would be better off if the country’s map was different.
Right now it seems there are more than 7 reasons why Nigeria cannot continue like this and we can end up writing unending tales of woes and misfortunes that have befallen Nigeria in recent times.
But in your opinion, what do you believe Nigeria’s biggest problem is?