Saturday 28 December 2019

Do Not Urinate Here

I was thinking this morning.... about evolution and reverse development. Some school of thought believe that with time man had evolved from lower forms of primates into anatomically modern humans. If we follow this line of thought, it should be expected that with each passing year, humans should be making progress behaviourally and democratically. But observing events in the past few days has made me question whether as the world develops, Nigeria is not developing in reverse.

'How do you mean?' you might ask. My niece was returning home to Nigeria for Christmas after so many years of sojourn in the UK. She was returning with the two issues the Lord has blessed her with during the period. By 'issues' I mean children and not problems. On arrival at the Murtala Mohammed International airport, Lagos. Her 11 year old daughter observed where it was written on a wall 'Do not urinate here.' With a curious look, she asked 'Mum, why did they write 'Do not urinate here' on that wall?' 'Because, they don't want anyone to urinate by the wall,' her mum responded. With an even more curious look and maybe a tint of surprise, she asked further 'But why do they have to be told?' Hmm!!! Why must you tell an adult to only urinate in a toilet? As I thought about it, I concluded that behaviourally we may be developing in reverse. 

Like we say in Warri, 'I wonder wetin dey work us.' My niece probably understood why, because she was born and grew up in Nigeria until she travelled out about 15 years ago. What she however did not bargain for, having been driving in the UK for years, was how torturous driving in Nigeria has become. After taking to the steering for a few days, she swore to never drive in Nigeria again. 'There are no driving rules in this country anymore. People drive like they are insane. I wonder why there are not a lot more accidents.' She had lamented. If you drove during this festive period in any of our cities, you will understand where she was coming from. Whew!!! It was hellish in Lagos. Added to the terrible driving behaviour, the roads are bad. As I wondered why the Infrastructures are not improving with time, I recalled the report in the Economist Pocket book that says Lagos is the second worst city to live in after Damascus in Syria (a war zone). When I considered that Lagos was the third worst city in 2018, I concluded that in terms of infrastructure, our development may be in reverse. 

At the national level nko? When it comes to democratic nations, one of the indices of a matured democracy is the obedience of the rule of law. With this year marking 20 years of unbroken democracy in Nigeria, it would have been expected that our democracy should be maturing. Colonel Sambo Dasuki and activist Omoyele Sowore were accused of different offences and thrown into DSS detention. They were taken to court and the courts granted them bail. The DSS refused to release them in spite of protests by well meaning Nigerians. Then on the 20th of December, the US Congress wrote a strongly worded letter to the Attorney General of the Federation (AG) about the implications of disobedience of court orders and how we should behave like a democratic nation. Suddenly, the AG announced the release of both men on Christmas eve. Have we made progress? Yes, but democratically, our development or maturity seems to be in reverse. 

Oh, how this little girl opened my eyes as another year counts down. Why must we be told to do the right thing? Why must we be told to behave? Else, if we continue with this attitude, we will start seeing signs like 'Please do defecate on the bed' in hotel rooms and 'Please do not eat sand.' If truly we have developed from lower forms of primates to anatomically modern humans, there are some things we should not be doing. James 4:17 says, 'Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.' As we enter 2020, I am praying, 'Lord, please help us to behave.'

Happy Sunday and New Year (in a few days).

.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey. 

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