Something Isn’t Just Right, Here! By Emmanuel Onwubiko 

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Emmanuel Onwubiko
“We are living in dystopia, in a world that is dominated by technology and disconnect, alienation, loneliness, and dysfunction”. ~Steven Wilson.
 “The ultimate dystopia is the inside of one’s own head”.~ J.G BALLARD.
There are existential dangers that man faces that would force him to ask and to seek for deeper knowledge so as to very accurately ascertain what exactly is going on around the world and indeed why such situations seem more complicated within the immediate environment of the knowledge seeker.
Such mundane issues as to why the costs of basic foodstuffs are serially unstable are becoming metaphysical in character because answers to the inquiry on why their costs are getting way beyond the reach of most people in Nigeria, the answer isn’t easily deciphered except that we can situate the unstable pricing trends to the common adversary of happiness of man which are aspect of our human concupiscensces known collectively as GREED. We do actually situate the blame for lack of price control on the sellers. Not one person has bothered to find out what transpired at the stages of production and transportation of these basic goods and services that are now too costly for the comfort and the purchasing capacity of mullions of Nigerians. So why are millions of Nigerians too poor to eat quality meals thruce per day even when the Country is resource rich? We may reduce it to social inequality. Yes, that is correct. But what brings about social inequality if not the weak and rapidly weakeing institutions in Nigeria? These things are interconnected and to solve the underlying problem would take place only if we tackle the entire issues from the ground to the top or top to bottom in whichever way is more clinical and effective to give back economic empowerment to the greatest percentage of the citizens. This is the import of constitutional democracy.
Now, why is it that finding the seamless means of transportation from one spot to the next especially in a well urbanised city such as Abuja is becoming tough to find. Then of course we know that a society isn’t working if these social services which must be made available and as affordable as possible because that would become the satisfaction of the fundamental human right to freedom of movement, but getting this simple, organised and functional mode of transportation in Nigeria is cumbersome and problematic. Even the few commercial taxi operators engaged in the provision of transportation services, do not bother to provide the other basic needs of the vehicles such as good infrastructures that power the movement and convenience of both the vehicle and the passengers. Such things as minimum as air conditioner is becoming a luxury in Nigeria. Most cars plying our roads are dysfunctional.
There is the high probability that 9 out of every ten bolt drivers or those drivers you get through the special applications on the modern days handsets are not complying to simple etiquette of keeping their cars in good serviceable form and are quick to blame the high cost of fuel for their inability to keep their vehicles in serviceable format.
This attitude is totally unacceptable but then, these service providers at the level of taxi transportation service providers, often see the politicians occupying public offices as their models. They copy the lying lifestyle of politicians and they expect you the unfortunate passengers to understand why they operate based on lies and incapacitating operational environment which affects the comfort of their passengers. Why are these passengers paying through their noses yet getting next to nothing by way of comfort? Why are the passengers not rebelling to demand improvement? Why are the passengers prepared to listen to the drivers who lie about the cost of fuel as their reason for not meeting up with the irreducible minimum standard of service they are obliged to give to their clients or are customers not kings here in Nigeria?
What really is going on that these cab men that operate their virtually unserviceable, rickety cars on these APP-hailing car hire services have devised the clever-by -half way of extorting their passengers of their hard-earned money by failing to make available the change that should be handed back to their passengers based on the cost of their travel? This is obtaining by trick. We the passengers should resist it by paying through electronic transfers but the snag is the poor Internet services in the Country. The thing is, if you pay by transfer, you may have to just wait for hours until the driver gets the alerts. Can we the passengers say no to this new way of scamming us off?
This is stealing by other ways and this thievery has become a new normal. To think that individuals are being robbed incrementally through this deception and nothing is being said or done about  changing this scam that is becoming acceptable, is to know that Nigeria has become very dysfunctional and needs to be rescued before anarchy sets in. It is a society headed for doom if stealing becomes fashionable.
What is going on when people now think that collective bargaining is unacceptable and that embarking on industrial action is an anathema? We are living through a situation whereby negotiations for new living wages in the society is becoming like a game of blame shifting and media orchestrated blackmail. Soft lies and tales of woes are becoming the daily bouquet in the hundreds of FM radio broadcast stations that are all over the airwaves as if to say that the propaganda department of the executive arm of government has successfully procured these stations to focus more on making nonsense of the wage demands by Labour. It is ridiculous that broadcasters whose main salaries in a month per each reporter can’t buy them a bag of rice, are the agents being deployed by the overpaid politicians to blackmail the Labour unions agitating for better improved pay which should be made during well organised negotiations.
The sad thing about the Nigerian situation is that the bunch of poor and oppressed proletarian masses are the weapons deployed by the oppressors or the Bourgeoisie to keep the greater percentage of the people in perpetual destitution and dependency on the few insanely enriched elite who dominate the corridors of political power.
How else can we explain that whereas the poor people ought not to accept to be bought over by the elite through bribery for votes, the majority if the electorate who are exactly the poorest of the poor, have rather chosen the bizarre option of mortgaging their consciences and selling out their votes for pittance which empowers the few corrupt elite to continuously inflict poverty-stricken economic policies aimed at the pauperisation of the greatest numbers of the citizens and therefore subject them to the ordeals of serial hunger, poverty and debilitating destitution that is just so inhumane, inhuman, cruel and abominably unprecedented.
I ask again: what’s going on in the Nigerian public space that we can’t easily find genuinely qualified artisans like mechanics, technicians and other small scale service providers. Rather than have the fortune of hiring qualified hands to fix the broken down vehicles,  toilet facilities and household electricity connection system, what we now have is a large army of quacks whose primary reason for posing to be what they are not trained to be, is all about the quest for money by all means because even in the proverbs formulated by the natives who are knowledgeable,  money is said to be what defines a man as being of the finest quality. Those who wrote the proverb quoted above, meant money is good if well earned as a result of hardwork, dedicated service and the assurance of quality services to the clients. Now, most people don’t really care how the money is earned. What they care about is the loads of money available at their beck and call. Not many bother to ask how the cash was made. Such is the state of our society at the moment. This general degeneration of morals worries me a lot and which is why I have asked what’s going on here?
The other day, the president of Nigeria promised free train rides to Abuja residents till December beginning from May 29. Today is 2nd of June but I have asked from over 6 dozen residents like myself, but not one person has seen the free trains in Abuja. What’s going on? We were lied to by the NNPC that a cheaper fuel would be on sell but for Months the fuel we buy are rather going up daily to the extent that small businesses that power their production and service lines with generators that use fuel, are closing shops. I ask again: what’s going on here? It is unbelievable that NNPCL tells more of lies about the refineries that billions of dollars have been injected into under the guise of turn around maintenance. NNPCL staff have turned around and maintained their private pockets because the refineries are moribund and are as dysfunctional as the Ajaokuta steel rolling mill that is a money guzzling gambit used by politicians to line their pockets with filthy lucre and the rest of us look on powerlessly. One Onitsha bridge head prophet promised to give us the different genres of powers to change things for the better in Nigeria but we are still not too sure what kind of power he intends to package. He went ahead to give us a rendition of a song about these genres of power and many of us believe that this is exactly the end of his so-called power. Any hope of a renewed hope for the economic situation of most Nigerians are becoming a mirage.
Also, in terms of political conscientisation, the media of mass communication is not carrying out their social responsibility role appropriately.  This is because it is now anything goes. The media have the penchant of elevating nitwits with practically no moral values embedded in themselves, but these are exactly the sets of interviewees featuring prominently in the Nigerian media space.
In the Western societies, you must earn it before you grace their front pages of their respected news media. The media should know that presenting fraudsters as the main talking points, creates the false narrative that moral degeneration is the new normal.  Can we please return to the old ways of instilling quality control inhouse on what the media themselves will package as news products? This is critical or else, the media may lose the title of the conscience of the nation because when the soul of the nation associates with the soulless and edify that which is profane, then the society will reassess her status in the affairs of men(in generic terms).
Besides, the newspapers now devote more of their news pages to run pure propaganda materials for government officials who are not doing their work as prescribed by law.
The media should chastise evil practices and advocate social justice and not the other way round.
Can someone tell me what’s going on here? Nigeria is losing her humanity.
Nigeria is losing her quality as a leader in Africa and majority of the people in Nigeria hardly engage in deep thinking but they think things are just cool. But things aren’t cool over here. If things are cool, we wouldn’t have thousands of our youngsters being forced out of Nigeria by corruption, by insecurity and by general state of instability.
Nigeria is now a place whereby the citizens are everywhere in chains and yet believe that they are practicing democracy but this distorted democracy is without the ingredients expected of a functional society.
When will Nigeria be fortunate to elect a Philosopher king when majority of us who should vote out of convictions are voting out of bribery and corruption and out of tribalism and religious sentiments. Imagine that someone is asking adherents of a certain religion not to go on strike because both the president and his vice are Muslims? This is a sad commentary.
Emmanuel Onwubiko is head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA and was NATIONAL COMMISSIONER OF THE NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF NIGERIA.

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