I Pass My Neighbor

This article was first published in 2013. It is rather curious that energy is one facility that has eluded Nigeria, the largest African country. Year in year out, trillions of dollars are expended on providing electricity that continues to remain elusive. Its 9 years now, yet the story basically remains the same.

Just recently, I bought my first generating set. How come I am just ‘passing my neighbor after all these years? Simply because considerate compassionate and God fearing Hubby will not have it.

‘Musulunci ya haramta ka shiga hakkin makwabcin ka’ he always says. ‘Idan muka sayi Genarator ya dame su da hayaki da kara mun shiag hakkin su kuma idan basu yafe man aba sai Allah ya saka masu’ he argues.

For over a decade, we had have to endure noise and air pollution from other people’s generating sets, one of them even put his behind my bedroom window..‘

Ba komi’ says Hubby, wata rana sai labari. So long as we can get up to 5 hours of electricity supply in a day, I don’t think we have anything to complain about’, he added in a consoling voice.

It is no secret that despite the continuous allocation and monies supposedly being expended to ensure and improve power generation, electricity in Nigeria just seems to be going from bad to worse. And so after having wasted all my one month grocery purchase for two consecutive months, I finally succeeded in convincing Hubby to buy a generator. ‘I can’t stand the noise, how are you going to cope with the pollution’ he argues. But convince him I did.

At the point of purchase, Sunny the  Igbo merchant from whom the generator was bought   complained  about how the country and economy keeps deteriorating. ‘You see now Aunty, if to say this Government gree give us light, I go dey sell something else nah! he lamented.  ‘look at all the wahala that is going on now?  dem say dem wan divide country, which country dem wan divide? We that dem born here for North where dem wan make we go? Wetin go happen to us?’ he went on and on and on. We left his shop amidst lamentations and complains about the country, economy, people  and Government and headed home. 

That evening, as each of my neighbors put on their generating sets, I switched on mine as well, and the whole compound was engulfed in a cacophony of noise and gas emissions.

Now, I too have joined the league. I did not only pass my neighbors, I outdid them big time, after all mine is bigger and better. But then, so what? Does it make me a better person? Nah. Does it increase me in faith? No way.  Does it make my life any better? Possibly, but only temporarily. Does it make me any happier? No it does not.

Owning a generating set does not put me above my neighbors or anyone else. It only put me in the league of those who contribute immensely in environmental degradation, pollution and deterioration.  With each passing day, we are slowly but surely tearing the only world we have to leave our Children into pieces with our very own hands.

Just recently, I discovered that rain water is no longer sparkling clean as it used to be. Just fetch the water when it rains and what you will get is black water. No matter how long it stays and the dirt settles, it remains black.  My colleague and I were talking about it one day and she is of the opinion that our sins blackened it while I say ‘POLLUTION’ with capital letters.

We  have no industries, but  Nigeria is a highly polluted country. We pollute the air we breathe, the water we drink and the environment we live in. Nigerians use the oldest cars in the world; and the most corrupt fuel. We also are the ones with the highest use of motorcycles as  well as generating sets. We have the poorest sanitation system as well as the dirtiest and murkiest of tap water.We have so many resources from which to tap energy, including God given sunshine for solar energy, but all in vain.

That is what our Nigeria has become today, bringing out the worst in its citizens. We did never intend to own a generating set, but we had no choice. Such circumstances apply to so many people in Nigeria today. Made to do the evil and bad things they never intend under certain circumstance. Our Government as well as those in positions of authority accumulate, siphon, steal, embezzle and destroy the power project all in the bid to make money. I have heard several times of how some people will do anything to make sure that ensuring steady and available power in Nigeria remains a fairy tale.

To these people and those aspiring to be these kinds of people, remember that Nigeria is the one and only country you have to leave your Children in, it is the same Nigeria that you are party to destroying. And one day, if your Children do not curse you for that, your grand Children or your great grand Children will.

Whereas we the citizens and masses, give our own contribution in using generating sets, plenty of cars and dumping refuse anyhow without any discipline or moral.

Unfortunately for me, I have just joined that league. But what can I do?

Published by jiddare

Multimedia Journalist. Feminist Social Enterprenuer Anti PA Campaigner Publisher: www.sheroes.ng

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