Is this 59 years of Independence?

She screamed

I heard it so loud from my room, where I was sitting, combing my hair. The first thing that came to my mind was; “Who would be shouting like this at 11pm”. The thing is, this street is noisy, sometimes even at night.

I heard it again; this time louder and I also heard other voices. What was happening?
“Maybe somebody suddenly ran mad” I thought again.
Instincts said something was wrong.

When she screamed the third time, I knew something was wrong. We went out to the corridor and saw a house in flames, just down the street. This girl was screaming, throwing herself on the ground, trying to make phone calls. A lot of questions went through my mind but I decided to watch. People from other houses had come out too. Many were trying to make phone calls to get through to fire fighters. Let’s cut the story short because this paragraph is what kept repeating itself. She kept screaming and trying to call different people; she prayed. Others also kept trying to call.

The fire fighters arrived.

They arrived about 20mins after I came out to the corridor.

Before they arrived, I found myself crying. I couldn’t control the tears; couldn’t watch that girl in that state. I’m glad the fire fighters came, but there was really nothing they could rescue from the house. The house had burnt. It was already up in flames when we got to the corridor; we could see the flames from where we stood. No one really knows the cause of the fire, but some said it was electricity. They just brought the light few minutes ago; after the rain had fallen. So, from what we heard, it was a spark.

I was sad

I just remembered one of my colleagues at work asked me in the afternoon ‘how we were going to turn up’ to celebrate the independence. He said we needed to celebrate. I thought about it. 59 years of independence? Was I pessimistic to say I didn’t see anything to celebrate? Well, this night; independence day eve, just told me I wasn’t.

I stumbled upon an interdenominational independence day service and the minister kept on saying we shouldn’t give up on Nigeria. He said God had a plan for Nigeria. Let me just be honest to say that I am so tired of hearing statements like this. I think a lot of us; especially Christians, use this statement to turn a blind eye to the truth.

Let’s celebrate independence. Let’s celebrate the fact that we got rich, only just for some authorised pockets.

Let’s celebrate independence. Let’s celebrate the fact that leadership is now a game of ‘who can be more selfish’

Let’s celebrate independence. Let’s celebrate the fact that we’re still a ‘developing’ country even after 59 years and we’re now the world’s poverty capital.

Let’s celebrate independence. Let’s celebrate the fact that a lot of deaths are unaccounted for on a daily basis.

Let’s celebrate independence. Let’s celebrate the extremely funny responses and excuses our leaders give us, thinking they are fooling us.

Let’s celebrate independence. Let’s celebrate the fact that those who set the laws are the ones rubbishing the law

Those that regulate electricity in this area will now have a ‘solid reason’ why they wouldn’t give us light after rain to avoid situations like this. But how do we have wrong connections like this after 59 years?

How about the fire fighters? The ones that finally came are even from a different location. How don’t we have a reliable fire service after 59 years?
People die in hospitals because of lack of needed materials. How is this happening after 59 years?

Many of those that ask us to hope are also the same people who come to give testimony of the opportunity they got to ‘travel out’

How do we all celebrate the birthday of child we don’t see? Try to think of it. It would be sad. People would ask questions; “Where is she? What happened? Is everything okay?”

I’ll keep praying in my heart for God to intervene, but I won’t turn a blind eye to everything that’s happening and pretend it’s how it’s supposed to be.
I can be optimistic at this point to say that everyone has to wake up and make a change in this country, but the truth is, I’m speechless. I was speechless while I was crying. Something dawned on me. I can’t place what it was, but I know something I was running from, a truth perhaps. I couldn’t stomach the trauma the girl and the people she’s living with would face. Even seeing her in that state was traumatizing.

The Local government chairman has a great house and is sleeping right now. How about the governor? Let’s not even go there. Our president? Tomorrow, life will go on. The victims will have to accept what happened, loose everything and suffer for it, while our leaders will definitely still enjoy their independence. Go for some rallies, parties, who knows?

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