“What bothers me most about Nigeria is our population”

by Soogun Omoniyi

When you ask me what bothers me about Nigeria, don’t expect me to start writing corruption, security, yadda yadda yadda.

I’m tired of those already.

What really bothers me about Nigeria is our population.

We’re ‘overpopulated’, and the number keeps swelling. We’re growing faster that we can manage, than the ‘available’ means can sustain us.

Do we have the resources to take care of what we’re growing into? Sure.

But are these resources getting harnessed? No.

No one eats lands or rides on crude oil. The resources won’t utilize themselves. Until exploited properly, natural resources are just naturally useless.

If the government has been so mean, shouldn’t we the citizens at least help ourselves by not strangling ourselves to death?

You’ll see a family earning less than fifty thousand naira a month, with two wives and eight kids. Is there a better recipe for crime and nuisance?

What exactly is happening? I’m forced to think that the lack of electricity and other basic things that make life fun have sent more Nigerians seeking solace in indiscriminate and unprotected sex.

Natural fun is cheaper after all.

What’s the joy in having kids you cannot cater for? There’s only sadness and depression in looking at your failed responsibilities. Somehow, these kids grow too and find their happiness in indiscriminate and unprotected sex.

And the number continues to swell.

I don’t get how these things happen. One would have thought; the much, the better. Abundant human resources, right?

But see, the Nigerian population is like a paralyzed giant with numerous heads. The giant wants to work, prove its prowess, but something ‘unknown’ just keeps holding it down.

And miraculously, despite the palsy, new heads keep sprouting at the speed of light, feeding off the giant, giving back little or none, steadily reducing it to a malnourished frame.

One day, when the bony frame can no longer the take load, it will crumble.

Maybe then, the heads will stop coming and the giant can make do with the available nutrients.

According to the United Nations, urban Nigeria would have swollen by 200 million by 2050.

Another thing that bothers me is our indifference; how we’re tending towards becoming so comfortable in this mess, how we have come to ‘accept our destiny’.

We suffer and smile.

Nigerians can adapt to any situation, we always tell ourselves.

Heroic right? It’s a national pride.

No one should get comfortable with an educational system that churns out graduates who can’t even define what they’ve spent years studying, a country whose health system her president is too afraid to use.

I returned to Nigeria recently and I’ve quickly adapted to the darkness. I no longer plan things with electricity, I hate getting my heart broken.

It is scary how comfortable I’m getting.

How about the senseless traffic jams? Jams that could have been avoided with simple traffic lights.

Do you remember the story of the frog that got boiled to death because it kept adapting to the increasing temperature?

I’m afraid we will keep adjusting and getting comfortable till it seems hell is norm, till we evolve into something that is not normal.

Till we all roast and die.

It’s like there’s nothing we can do about it.


I’m bothered.

Very much so!

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