Having being out of the unemployed circle for a while, one tends to forget the horror and difficulties that young Nigerian graduates go through on a daily basis. I remember with distaste being part of a humongous crowd when I was applying for a job in the civil service some time ago and I thank God everyday that today, I am employed and can at least afford to cater for my basic needs to an extent.
The unemployment rate in Nigeria is perhaps one of the biggest threats to national security. It is a difficult pill to swallow that after more than a decade in a democracy (pseudo-democracy more like) and with our great endowment by nature, nothing has changed despite the fact that the Minister of Finance and co-ordinating minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has continued to reel out meaningless facts and figures of how our economy is growing; statistics that have absolutely no bearing on the life of the common Nigerian. The reality is that things have never gotten better; they have astronomically gotten worse.
More heartbreaking is the fact that the reckless brigandage supervised by the ruling party PDP has continued unabated. On a frequent basis, Nigerians have been stunned to the point of numbness at ridiculous amounts of monies meant for curing the nation of its ills that have found their way into the accounts and pockets of a miniscule percentage of the population without consequence while poverty reigns supreme.
It is no rocket science to understand why there’s been an upsurge in crime and violence in recent times. People have lost hope and now have nothing else to lose. In a nation where the government doesn’t give a damn about her citizens, people must survive. We have been cast back to the stone ages in terms of quality of life; we now live in a society where a man must hurt another in order to survive. In a lot of ways, we have regressed to the state of nature where life is “nasty, brutish and short” as aptly captured in the Social Contract treatise of Thomas Hobbes.
A friend alerted me to a post on Linda Ikeji’s blog yesterday evening about the Immigrations Recruitment exercise that was slated for yesterday. A first glance at the pictures of the mamoth crowd in different states where the exercise held had me wondering if this was actually a recruitment exercise. It felt more like a soccer match, World Cup finals between Nigeria and Brazil which was particularly ironical as some of the venues were in stadiums.
In all states where this sham, this testimonial to the failure of governance held, the story was the same. For less than 5,000 positions, the number of graduates who turned out nationwide was way above half a million mark! If the Goodluck Jonathan administration ever got to see this and did not squirm in their seats or feel an ounce of remorse for the pathetic condition of these people, then by God, they deserve to die horrible deaths!
I write this article with bitterness in my heart because for many years, the Nigerian government has committed the greatest crime against Nigerians. A government that persistently refuses to empower the supposed “leaders of tomorrow” is a million times worse than the frightful menace of terrorism and insurgency.
Boko Haram as a terrorist group is a lot more useful than this administration. Their objective is terror and wanton destruction; a goal to which they have achieved resounding success time and time again. The government on the other hand, that is supposed to be the custodian and the equitable distributor of the nation’s wealth has FAILED in their purpose every single time. Even worse is their indifference to the worsening plight of the masses while they luxuriate in the opulence of ill-gotten wealth and wallow in the stupidity of mediocrity.
Tragedy in such inhuman conditions is bound to occur and occur it did. Reports have it that as much as 19 persons lost their lives in their search for a means of livelihood. Even worse are reports that amongst these unfortunate souls was a young woman heavy with child. This, in my opinion, is just as bad as the brutal murder of school children in their sleep.
I have consistently maintained that our elitist government is out to drain her citizens of their essence like vampires. Over half a million applicants, yet the Immigration Service deemed it fit to turn the exercise into a revenue generating one by collecting a registration fee of N1000 from UNEMPLOYED graduates. If this is not cruelty, then I don’t know what cruelty is.
This is consistent with the behaviour of government agencies who arbitrarily bring up all sorts of ridiculous exercises at heartless prices in order to bleed the already ailing masses dry. Take the new number plates for example. Apart from the Nigerian map on it, its no different from the previous one. I am yet to be convinced how it would aid crime detection as some claim when in 2014, Nigeria still has no database that stores information on her citizens. Yet, the change has been made mandatory and it is ridiculously pricey.
The thought of such a large army of unemployed graduates extinguishes any flicker of hope in my mind for the future in Nigeria. The fact that the government has consistently failed to function and do her primary duty of delivering basic amenities to her citizens is a recipe for anarchy.
May the souls of those who lost their lives in this latest unfortunate venture rest in peace.
Photo Credits: Linda Ikeji’s Blog