My daughter told me she wanted a pack of biscuits some days ago. So we strolled into the nearest shop and picked up a pack of Yales cabin biscuits. It was lighter than feather! When she made tea, she brought me some biscuits. They were as empty as wafer. I was heart – broken. I pitied this generation who have come to eat the crumbs left by the outgoing, unrelentingly destructive generation.
I remember when we had biscuits as thick as shortbread. A single piece of biscuit would fill your mouth. and it was cheap. Soft drink had not become a mere cocktail of sugar and color. Sausage had not become a hollow piece of flour roll. Suya was still strictly cow-meat. Jeans could last for years (although nobody prays to wear a piece of clothe forever).
There was a time when ice cream didn’t taste like ice block with whitish substance mixed with sugar. I attended a cousin’s wedding and regretted eating the cake. It was all a coat of sugar and a little flesh. I felt like throwing up.
Gone are the days of BIC, Eleganza and Schneider pens. We would use them until the last drop of ink in them was exhausted. We couldn’t stand a pen refusing to write. Nowadays nko? You would thank God if you could use one-tenth of the ink in your pen before it stops writing. You cannot guarantee that the slippers you just bought can take you home. Buy a nylon bag and stand the risk of losing all you put in it. You better have a bag.
A certain guy bought three balls of foofoo, put them in a nylon to go home and use with his soup, I guessed because I was watching him. He walked ten feet to the road to board a bike and boom! The nylon’s hand le cut and his foofoo were on the ground.
He could not summon the courage to pick them up so he walked dejectedly away.
Nothing in Nigeria has any quality!
Here is the surprising thing, the masses are on their own! People sell all kinds of substandard products to the Nigerian masses and get away with it. Pray what is the specific function of the Standard Organization of Nigeria? Quantities have reduced, quality has disappeared but prices are shooting through the roof. What is the function of the State?
In the telecoms industry, subscribers are victims. You get what they call bonus but cannot use it, neither can you use the one you bought with your money. Everyday Nigerians pay anomalous charges on calls they didn’t make. We have a Nigerian Communications Commission which is just not interested in how the masses are shortchanged in their own country!
The banks are not left out. This is the only country where a certain ridiculous ‘ATM card maintenance fee’ is charged. Pray how do you maintain the card that is in my pocket? This is after people pay ATMCard fees before they are given.
The same card does not work most times, and when it gets trapped in a machine for network reasons which s obviously the bank’s fault, the customer pays for another card! Where on earth did that law come from?
What about transportation? Lagos is a typical example of a most chaotic, unorganized place brimming with ill mannered, untrained and thoroughly undisciplined people. People wake up by 4 am and do not get to their houses before midnight. This is for a journey which could have taken at most 30 minutes in a sane society. Besides this, the commuters pay dearly according to the mood of the transporters. A journey for which Mr. A pays N200 could become N800 trip in just 5 minutes. The terrible roads which the governments feel that they do the citizens a favor when they fix them are in such bad shapes that you would prefer to stay at home if you have nothing important to do outside your area of residence.
The police and other law enforcement agents just worsen the case by unashamedly stopping vehicles and demanding money from them as the touts and hoodlums engage in a free for all.
Every man is law unto himself. Any group of people can just rise and constitute nuisance, oppressing others as they deem fit, no one calls them to question.
In the hospitals, patients buy their own drugs, they sleep on cold floors, they face all kinds of harsh conditions.
Yet there are bodies which are supposed to be in charge of these sectors. When government does not change the lives of the people it has failed. That is simple.
A country where foreigners and even the indigenous people feed on citizens without the government doing anything is a failed state. I just wanted to draw attention to that.