Dr. ChiChi Aniagolu-Okoye
Illustration above credit: Protest people crowd silhouette. ©Getty Images/iStockphoto
The Nigerian middle class has to a large extent existed without paying heed to our political leadership.
When we are ill, we go to private hospitals in Nigeria or go abroad. We educate our children in private schools in Nigeria or take them abroad. We risk our lives to have children abroad so they can have a better life. We migrate to Canada, UK or America if we are lucky. We banter about how bad things are on social media but by and large we generally mind our own business.
Then comes a COVID-19 and we suddenly realise that surviving inspite of our government has its limits. Going abroad including India for medical tourism has become impossible. Sending our children to schools abroad is suddenly not the safest thing to do anymore. We are now all like the ‘poor’ who have no control over their vulnerability. We suddenly realise that the quality or lack thereof of our leadership matters after all.
Everyone is saying that the COVID-19 situation will force our leadership to think twice about how they govern. Of course we know that will never happen as we can see that even the funds to fight the virus and ensure all our survival are turning to vapour. Those we elected or better still barged into office can’t change because of a virus, because they never went to office to serve. If anything needs to change it’s the middle class that have sat docile for too long.
It is time to rescue ourselves from these vermins or they will destroy us all. Clearly the money in our pockets (which is fast disappearing, by the way, with the devaluation of the Naira) can’t translate into hospitals, schools, infrastructure when borders are shut. We can no longer afford rudderless, vision less leaders. They will kill us all because they don’t know better. They themselves need good leadership to save them from themselves. There is no magic formula, see Zimbabwe, see Somalia etc. It can get worse. We need to chase these pick pockets out of office.
The time to start organizing in every state is now!
- Dr. ChiChi Aniagolu-Okoye, Country Director, TechnoServe Nigeria. is a Development Sociologist.