SEE VIDEO: Now, We’re Seriously Under Pressure!!! – By Dapo Falade

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Now, we are seriously and genuinely wailing under pressure. And, seemingly, no succour or help in sight!!! Who is going to come to our aid and relieve us of the great pressure?”

They are prominent Nigerians who have attained certain levels of influence in their chosen professions and careers. They represented and were the voice of the people against oppression and all oppressive tendencies.

Some of them have passed on to the great beyond…many of them are still alive…they mounted the rostrum… They all stood up vociferously in their protest on 9 January, 2012 against the planned removal of fuel subsidy by the then President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Rightly or wrongly, they pontificated on the implications of such an action on the economy and its attendant negative ripple effects on hapless Nigerians.

The late reggae musician, Ras Kimono, loudly sang his popular tune, Under Pressure, during the January 2012 protest. Little did he knew that we were nowhere under pressure then.

Now we are in real gbege as serious pressure is our stark reality…In common parlance, pressure ti wa… The pressure is cutting across all classes…both the rich and the poor are feeling the heat…

Now, more than ever, nature and rudderless leadership have connived to bring unto us untold hardship, pain and suffering. While heat wave, a natural phenomenon, coupled with non-existing power supply, has made living in this part of the world hellish for us, our leaders at various levels are compounding our tales of woe with their various anti-people policies.

We were still enjoying bliss when, in 1987, the great Juju music icon and King of World Beats, Sunny Ade, sang in his timeless album, Merciful God, “iyawo d’alaṣẹ ọkọ n’ilẹ, ọkọ sin ‘yawo re’le ale, nitori atijeun. Ọkọ m’ẹtọ, ọkọ mẹyẹ, airiṣe lo ku ọkọ ni’nu…” (“The wife has gained authority over the husband, husband escorts his wife to her concubine, all because of survival. The husband knows the right thing to do, but joblessness and poverty have taken over the controlling authority of the husband…”)

We now are, indeed, under pressure… Moral values, ethics and norms have been thrown to the winds. Successes and achievements are now being measured by material acquisitions, legitimate or otherwise.

Before our very eyes, businesses are collapsing. Pervading darkness have taken over the land, many thanks to epileptic and non-availability of power supply, many thanks to our non-functional electricity distribution companies.

We are under pressure… Homes are scattering and collapsing, due to the pressure of the biting economic hardship. Husbands are loosing control over their wives and children.

Under Pressure, many youths have embraced yahoo and other vices as a means to survival and breaking even.

Insecurity has become the order of the day. Large-scaled mindless killings, kidnappings, robberies and other vices, occasioned by hopelessness are now the rule, rather than the exemption. Now, the victims are both the rich and the poor.

Though in the 21st Century, we are back in the Hobbesian State of Nature…an existence where each man lives for himself. What we are experiencing is a situation whereby life has become poor, solitary, nasty, brutish and short. This is as against a world where living should be marked by the desire for justice, liberty and equality, as envisioned by John Locke.

In fulfilment of the prophecy of one of the political gladiators of the Second Republic, the late Alhaji Umar Dikko, many Nigerians are now scavenging and rummaging through dustbins to look for leftovers to eat.

We are daily inundated with reports of able-bodied men and pregnant women, young and old, fainting and collapsing on the roads and in other public places, having caved in to the biting pangs of hunger.

In the face of the apparent national collapse, many are choosing the option of Japaing. But they are not smiling, either… The stringent conditions attached to visa procurement has made the abroad not an attractive alternative… The skyrocketing, out-of-pocket cost of air fare is another deterrent to several others. Even local air travel has become a luxury, affordable to only those with deep pockets.

The present administration, before coming to office, made promises of life abundance for the people. But where lies the fate of the downtrodden who cannot go near, even basic essentials, such as food, clothing and shelter?

We read and hear about large chunks of money, running into billions of naira being expended on our behalf by our governments, both at the state and at the national levels. But are we seeing the positive effects of such humongous spendings? How beneficial are these spendings to the people on whose behalf our leaders (or is it rulers?) are occupying the elective or appointive public offices?

There is a worrisome graveyard silence NOW that PMB and PBAT have removed subsidy and everything is terrifyingly snowballing out of control.

Where are those loud voices? If they were passionate about Nigeria and its people THEN, why the deafening and the apparently conspiratorial silence NOW? Where are those voices that once claimed to be the conscience of the nation?

Of course, it will be totally wrong to heap the blame of the fast-decaying national infrastructure and collapsing economy on the President Bola Tinubu administration and his immediate predecessor, former President Muhammadu Buhari. Indeed, what we are witnessing is rather a cumulating effect of successive years of maladministration and clueless leadership.

But for how long shall we continue to grope in the dark? For how long shall we sit idle, reminiscing our once glorious past? For how long shall we continue to bear the now ridiculous appellation, “Nigeria, a crawling giant” at well over 63? When are we going to wake up from our deep sleep and work to claim our rightful place in the comity of decent, well-developed, modern nations?

And I remember the timeless and evergreen song of the late Sonny Okosun: “Which way Nigeria? Which way to go? I love my Fatherland. I want to know. Which way Nigeria is heading to? For how long shall we be patient before we reach the Promised Land? Which way Nigeria is heading to?”

Who is going to rescue us? Who is going to save the country and its people from these oppressively dehumanising hard times?

Dem my people, dem a wailing. Dem my people, dem a weeping, dem are crying. No food, ina we belly. Under pressure, we wail under pressure…”

We are hungry men, we don’t wanna be angry. But who is going to be the messiah and, in the words of the great late Majek Fashek, help us to send down the rain?

Now, we are seriously and genuinely wailing under pressure. And, seemingly, no succour or help in sight!!! Who is going to come to our aid and relieve us of the great pressure?

Dapo Falade is the publisher of NewsCoven.com, an independent on-line news medium

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