Nigeria: The Whore Ecosystem Defiling Its Own

Graphics design by Sola Kjaye

I’m fortunate to still be in this country, at a time like this, when the clamor to leave is high already. And many youths within my age group are desperate to exit — by any means necessary.

Now, that’s quite unfortunate. No existing system is perfect, but while others keep working tirelessly to improve on theirs, ours, ostensibly, appears hell-bent on existing and thriving on its level of dysfunctionality.

The burden of this piece has hunted me since March 2019. While there was an abundance of experiences and tales, circulating the internet and newspapers, to motivate me to write already, it seemed the same overwhelmed. Every day the sickening tales of Nigerians in the hands of wanton government officials and the happy-go-lucky attitude of the system towards them are repugnant.

It is so evident as vague as it is, that most of our agencies are in an undeclared competition to bend Nigerians over and give them — from behind, a carousel experience of hell. That is unless they can afford to pay the bribe to be exempted from the torture. Utter sodomy, ironically, in a very religious state.

These pieces of stories trail me unto this day like bloody footprints in the snow. My initial plan was to piece them together into one. But every time I tried to make a mental note (my ritual before writing), I found my energy being sapped by the thought of beginning the process.

Even my psychology stability was perturbed as I tried to mentally put myself in the shoes of the victims of this system’s whoredom. The aftermath was a dashed heart; pierced, broken, bleeding its last pints of blood; so much I almost gave up.

And then, on the 24th of October 2019, I woke up to the #JusticeForJemima trend on Twitter, a few days after my cousin had lost a friend to almost the same situation. A few hours after, #EndSars followed. And that was it. My plan to sleep in and get a deserved rest after a stressful week had been ruined, and I was saturated and choked of breath being a Nigerian.

I considered going on a tirade — livid as I was, but then as Falz put it in ‘E no Finish’ lyrics: This no be club song, I no come to shout. I might end up doing that, so by any chance, you hate long stories, go and listen to Falz Moral Instruction album. It summarizes the current state of our system as I want to rant about it.

#JusticeForJemima, a trend birthed by the death of Jemima, a sophomore at the University of Jos, according to her brother’s social media post, once again amplifies the unsympathetic negligence of our medical system. Her friend Jennifer, a final year student at the same university, was also a victim as a supposed government hospital, rejected them for urgent medical treatment. And why, you might ask? Apparently, the hospital demanded a police report needed to be provided first before treating them. If only their lives could be hibernated to sufficiently secure a police report.

This case isn’t an exception. A mind-boggling number of Nigerians have lost their lives through this route of death, carefully designed by professionals who have sworn an oath to make saving lives their career priority. This perceived flaw in our medical system led to the enactment of the “Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act 2017.”

This Act mandates hospitals in Nigeria to compulsorily provide treatment and care to victims of gunshots with or without police clearance and payment of an initial deposit. The Act spells out other guidelines and consequences for negligence. Interestingly, the above case didn’t involve gunshot victims, like many other cases. Why then are our hospitals bent on playing God by designing the recipe for death in demanding for a report when life is hanging by a thread?

Being careful not to fall victim to the danger of a one-sided story as explained by Chimamanda at her Tedtalk, I reached out to my friends in the medical sector to hear their own side of the story. Two revelations were revealed.

Firstly, the Act appears not to be powerful enough to protect our doctors from being harassed by the police. Those guys, damn. Secondly, it seems many hospitals haven’t been fully informed and sensitized on this Act. And I’m baffled, because an organized system should have had that memo circulated, at least via email.

And now to focus on the ring leaders of the defiling saga — the Nigeria Police Force. Sometimes, the Nigerian police redefine the police force to mean a law enforcement agency that doesn’t give a damn about the law — they just fling it out of the window like a piece of trash. Some of the force men behave like barbarians; out of order, unorganized, irrational, having no regard for citizens’ lives. And they end up taking a sledgehammer to the law as they please in an erratic fashion — like damn. Just imagine a madman armed with an AK 47.

#EndSARS has almost become the new national anthem on social media by Nigerian youths. They are the age group that is being heavily harassed, brutalized, intimidated, extorted, and, sometimes, robbed and extra-judicially murdered by rogue units of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Thanks to men like Segun Awosanya, a Human Rights activist popularly known as @segalink on twitter, who still fights for and offers hope to most Nigerians. You need to read stories from his thread and moved beyond tears. We need more folks like him in this country.

In addition, many of the Bills and Acts passed into law to protect the citizenry appear to be stunts to score political points as they are, most times, as limp as a weak erection. No thanks to the police for being cheerleaders in defying the law. Other agencies have followed on cue.

A hint at the level of decadence is well revealed in Fisayo Soyombo’s undercover investigation, as published (2 of 3 part series) on the Cable, to track corruption in Nigeria’s criminal justice system. His investigations reveal how officers of the Police and Nigerian Correctional Service (Formerly Nigeria Prisons Service) are not only breeding in corruption but far worse than the inmates. It’s quite funny. Unfortunately, instead of being applauded and efforts put in motion to flush out the rot, there are alleged reports that there’s a plot to arrest Fisayo.

Sadly, as seen above, attempts to bring to light the organized corruption and impunity in the system, has been met with persecution. In 2018 alone, 53 journalists were killed, 34 of whom were targeted for murder in reprisal for their work. This year, at least 36 journalists have been attacked between January and July.

How’s the Government to be held countable if the media is at peace with it? Senator Shehu Sani tweeted it appropriately: If the media can only be at peace when it says things that please and appeases the Government, then it ceases to be a media, but a mouthpiece. An organized whore system defiling its own.

How much more can we take before matching ‘enough is enough’ with action?

What do we make of the sex empire thriving in our decaying educational system and civil service? It’s unthinkable how our daughters, wives, mothers, and sons are degraded and molested in exchange for grades, jobs, or promotions.

Or the employment scam many government agencies run like Ponzi scheme? How on earth can over two million Nigerians be competing for just ten thousand job slots? And then the same agency would be running secret recruitment for some ‘special’ candidates.

Imagine such audacity and nepotism. Like, the rest of us are what — second class citizens? In a social media slang, I’d say: these guys don’t rate us. Mind you; some of these secret recruitments would have gone unheard of if some members of the Senate weren’t disgruntled with the whole number of slot saga.

Our ecosystem has been reversely re-engineered to function well in a dysfunctional and undisciplined state where mediocrity, greed, and corruption are cheered on like heroes. Any attempt to install an order will break the country apart. So, the rich get richer; the poor get poorer. The middle class loses its purchasing power to the rise of inflation. Square pegs are put in round hole job vacancies — thanks to political favors. Taxes get imposed indiscriminately, hypocrites recycled in the political scenes, and our future is mortgaged with loans that are never used for its purpose. And now the screw that was used to perform that unfortunate operation is being used to screw the rest of us (second class citizens).

Now you can understand why many Nigerians are desperate to leave the country — by any means necessary. How else would one explain the exodus to Libya, a country still recovering from their adventure with civil war — like jeez? It really is unfortunate.

The height of this defilement is the disorientation and rape of whatever is left of our morality. Many Nigerians have been disillusioned to believe indiscipline is our new culture, so much so that we are mutating to accept corruption as part of our DNA. And wherever we go, we’d bear that mark of a whore system behaving like whore kids pervading other systems with our filth. And until our minds, individually, have been filtered and reprogrammed to take responsibility for our actions, discipline can never distill in this ecosystem.

So, when I say I’m fortunate to be here still, it’s not like I like Naija until my last breath. What? Hell no. Who loves being defiled, plus I’ve had enough girl issues on my plate. Anyways, based on my experiences so far, I’m not sure she likes me either. So we square.

So, I’m fortunate to be here still to experience firsthand the level of decayedness and impunity that has permeated our ecosystem and crossed thresholds of the past. And, in the future, when posterity is curious about why I never want to return or bring them ‘home,’ I’d have a story to tell.

Finally, to quote Folarin Falana in After All’s Said and Done’: I save this to say that we all have a part to play. *Nitoto ati shina, ati gbegbagi, ati kolu’jamba. Sugbon awa yio dide, ao si tesiwaju. Nitoripe, after all, said and done; we are still the most resilient bunch. If we can redefine love and remember the meaning of humanity. Maybe then we can restore the sanity if we remember to react. To repeatedly refuse to be content with mediocrity. Only then can we be free.

* We’ve missed our steps and have met with disaster. But we will rise and move forward.

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