• EngoZ

Every Nigerian Is His Own Government

Updated: Dec 11, 2018

Mustafah Abdulaziz, “Water Stories”


Water used to flow out of a certain tap in my back yard but suddenly it didn't flow any more. I wasn't startled. Like with everything Nigerian you tend to look for alternatives yourself in an environment that boasted of going from bad to worse. In the neighbourhood, neighbours had started digging into the ground, not to make a well, but to plant a tap in a cemented ground with three or four steps because according to water corporation which I'm sure my parents paid monthly fees to, water could not flow into our taps that was high above the ground. I was too young to understand the dynamics of this, maybe the pressure was too low, maybe someone had burst a pipe somewhere and so on. 


Nevertheless, these issues were left unanswered because water corporation never fixed the problem. So we were left with figuring out our problems ourselves. It was normal to do so. So after being water beggars for a year or so to our neighbours who had already set up the scheme of planting a tap 3-6 feet into the ground, my parents decided to do ours. And so viola, we solved our problem. Soon a lot of people joined in this ingenious idea. This didn't bode well for us because the tap wouldn't run if those closest to the main pipes had theirs turned on. 


Finally we got a water pumping machine to deal with our water woes, while still paying fees to water corporation. And this depended on electricity which has to be one of the worst in the world. So we still could not breathe a sigh of relief because if there was no light for days, we would not have water.


The ease at which we resorted to taking care of our problems ourselves, sorting for alternatives, short cuts, relaxed, less threatening ways out of every predicament is bothersome. It didn't matter if it was illegal or not, as far as we were not demanding from public officials our God given rights and holding them to ransom for inadequate and sickening services, then all is well. 


To the Nigerian, the supposed government is a foreign body totally dissociated from the people. A planetary body that exists in its own universe discovered by only the brazen and flagrant. A government not of/for the people, set up to make life difficult for anyone with a moral fibre. 


The Nigerian is his own government, providing social and public amenities for himself. The individual, or community often seek for donations to build a public water system, roads, seek for alternate electricity while paying monthly fees to the government,  and there is a sitting governor in that state. Not only a governor, but a senator of that community and a local government chairman benefiting from monthly allocations from the State and Federal government. It begs the question- has the Nigerian government done anything to warrant patriotism from its citizens? The answer is NO, since every Nigerian caters for himself and is a government unto himself.

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