Stella Dimoko Weekend Arena - Nigerians Play Too Much With Serious Issues


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Friday, July 17, 2020

Weekend Arena - Nigerians Play Too Much With Serious Issues

If there is something Nigerians have gotten better at, over the years, it is mastering the art of insulating their misery as a people. 

In the course of our daily lives, somehow, very serious issues are surprisingly brushed aside for inanities. When they are even paid any attention, be sure that something else (oftentimes less weighty) would soon happen to displace their interest. This leaves everyone pointing fingers at corruption as the devil behind all our woes; as if corruption is not an indulgence of humans, Nigerians.

In the past couple of years, the country has literally been overtaken by banditry of all sorts. Aside the more sophisticated and organised terrorism, ravaging the Northeast region of the country, there are rising cases of gun attacks in the Northwest and herder-farmer skirmishes in the Northcentral.

 The southern part of the country has not fared any better with cases of kidnapping, armed robbery and cultism, which are taking the lives of innocent Nigerians on a daily basis. These have made the entire country a theatre of lawlessness, prompting some to imagine us as a failed nation, though I fail to subscribe to this, because things are still redeemable with the ideal leadership.

In the midst of all these, nothing is as disheartening as the horror that exemplifies the daily living for Nigerians, using the highway from Kogi state, through Abuja to Kaduna state. That stretch of the country could be termed: ‘the axis of brazen banditry’. Unhindered, or so it seems, gunmen (of both sexes o) constitute themselves into gangs to lay siege on their preferred spots on the highway. Their victims (which often include members of our security agencies) are robbed and in special cases, marched several kilometres into the forest, where they are held hostage until they are able to negotiate their freedom. Status does not save anyone. Ransoms are imposed according to perceived degree of affluence. And sometimes, the gangs misjudge personalities based on looks; and victims who look rich but fail to ‘act’ so by raising the imposed ransoms are termed recalcitrant and killed!

With killings lately spiking on the Okene-Lokoja-Abuja axis, it is surprising that Nigerians carry on as if it is normal. The media-social and tradition- seems more concerned with less burdensome issues, indulging in them as if lives in the country depended on such. It is obvious that the political class, whom I blame for all these, understands the sensibilities of Nigerians which is why they throw such distractions at us, once in a while to divert our attention.

 Imagine how Godswill Akpabio, the Niger Delta Minister, brushing aside the allegations by Joy Nunieh, the sacked managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, currently swimming in colossal fraud to talk about the lady’s private life with her supposed ex-husbands. Imagine how Ned Nwoke’s assertion that he met his young wife, Regina Daniels, an actress, a virgin, has been dominating the discourse amongst Nigerians in a week where issues of fraud in government are in the air, like the harmattan haze.

Perhaps, we play too much as a nation!

The truth is that the worsening security situation between Okene and Abuja should worry everyone. Yes, we can blame the police, but the stark realities in the police system are hardly the making of the policemen but the system that constitutes the country. The security architecture in the country, created by the political class, prefers protecting the powerful at the expense of the vulnerable, which is why despite the abysmally low number of officers (219 police officer to 100,000 Nigerians) one of the lowest in the world, you see the officers clustering around politicians and their family members. 

The ranking by the World Internal Security and Police Index currently rates our police as 127th out of 127 countries, far behind countries like Botswana (47th), Rwanda (50th), Algeria (58th) and Senegal (68th).

Some have suggested that numbers does not matter in policing but technology. Yes, but funds are needed to deploy the right technology. Out of the about N403b allocated to the Nigeria Police Force this year, a fraction of what the South African Police got (R112b), only about N14b is designated by NPF for capital expenditure, not minding that in most cases, budgetary allocations are usually not entirely released to government agencies. In the name of democracy, politicians who contribute far less in the system corner the bulk of our resources as allowances at the expense of everyone.

This same system which has refused to deploy the adequate security system to suppress the hoodlum on Okene-Abuja Road has the manpower to constitute road blocks (500 metres apart, some argue) on the Lagos-Onitsha highway and would probably deploy about 35,000 policemen for the election in Edo State later in the year.

Many of the police bosses we have had in the recent past, apparently know where the problems in our security architecture are, but appear stifled to talk about it or take action against it when they are in office. You will notice this when you read their interviews post-retirement, where they usually propound ideals far at variance from what was obtainable when they were in office. Like a friend, who was kidnapped and released on that route recently said: ‘that road is highway to perdition’. Pray whenever you are there.

Ngozi is available for adverts on Instagram at very cheap rates and to support him,I will be reposting his adverts for the Month of July....So please instead of coming to me to pay a large amount,go thru Ngozi and pay less....Offer lasts only for the month of July.


  1. You said it all. Once they retire,granting interview is where they will open up.

    God pls give us the right direction. Biafra k'anyi na acho.


  3. Too blessed to be cursed17 July 2020 at 13:31

    Very strange for me when i hear a man bearing a feminine name, Had a classmate called kemi one wicked lecture didn’t release his result thinking his a female until guy confronted him

  4. Well, I guess the "play" as you put it is our own way of managing stress, disappointment, bad government, economy etc.

    If we rave and shout from now till next year, the government is corrupt and that is not about to change (except by God's special intervention), so we just try to make ourselves happy by what I would term "selective amnesia".

    May God help us 🀷‍♀️

  5. We turn our Lemons to Lemonade πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚

  6. "This same system which has refused to deploy the adequate security system to suppress the hoodlum on Okene-Abuja Road has the manpower to constitute road blocks (500 metres apart, some argue) on the Lagos-Onitsha highway and would probably deploy about 35,000 policemen for the election in Edo State later in the year."

    This caught my attention. It shows the priority of our leaders/politicians

  7. E hug for you bro. I notice that blog visitors here hardly comment on Ngozi's column, maybe because he is not talking about Ike and mercy, or tacha and titans or sex and Regina daniels, Things that has no impact or better well being of our society. Rather he choose something beneficial, that we learn from and lend our voice to. But no we are not interested. Maybe as he said " we play to much in Nigeria".
    Very soon the new BBN show will kick off, you will see our lazy youth killing themselves on social and SDK over a toxic show. I weep for this country.

  8. The leaders of yesterday has stolen the future of the present generation and the generation to come by remaining in power to date, corrupting everything corruptible in their path.

    When that corrupt generation of leaders dies off in this wilderness of a corrupt country nothing will be left for this generation that makes a joke of corruption and " is mastering the art of insulating their misery as a people."

    A people that bury their heads in the sand will soon realise the whirlwind can blow the sand away. πŸ™ƒ

  9. Praying for a true leader πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™
    That will redeem our country.

    As always, you do justice Mr. Ngozi

  10. Sir you forgot to mention Benin-Ekpoma high way. Is it that the government is not aware of the evil happening on these routes on a daily bases or they choose not to care afterall,they and their households move about with excort while poor Nigerians are left to their fate. I believe that the reason the government turns a blind eye to these kidnappings and armed robbery is because somehow,they need the services of these people as thugs during elections and their political wars. At the end of the day,they are all in it together. The problem of Nigeria is foundational and complex. We keep complaining and grumbling,we have no idea when all these will come to an end

  11. Whenever I read reports like this, I just feel so helpless as a Nigerian.

    When will our vote count?
    We have the people that care do help the situation of this country as leaders but the powers that be will not allow them to be voted in.

    We know what we want, Nigerians have even tried, but to no availπŸ˜₯😫😫

  12. Stella, you're a very kind woman for giving your friend Ngozi this platform. May God continue to bless you and enrich your family.

  13. Ngozi you have said the obvious truth.

    The most Complex B

  14. A society that must progress must have youths that are engaged in civil society and are ready to use their platform for change. Nigerian youths have blogs and SM to use but they prefer stories that have no impact on their present and future, allowing thieves, Government jobbers and politicians to “chop the life of their children and grandchildren with their own” leaving them no structure to thrive. When you nudge them they ask why you stay abroad and urge them to “fight” for a better society for themselves!

    They forget that a lot of the emigrants in the nineties up to early 2000’s demonstrated for June 12 and the very little freedom they have now. A lot are now dual citizens who like the children of Israel sat “by the rivers of Babylon and wept when they remembered Zion” Now the northern oligarchy is back with a vengeance, using some southerners as usual, placing each other in strategic positions that may make true lasting democracy become history in Nigeria.

    Fight against cronyism, corruption, contract inflation, cultism etc. They are not victimless crimes. If you get a contract to fix a road and you pocket it or “chop” it, you can live inside church or mosque camp, God will require the blood of those that perished on that road due to the state you left it when you were paid to fix it. Even the children and the house you spent the blood money on will pay. It’s the same in all facets of our society, electricity, water, security etc. Madam that uses a policeman to carry her purse, God will judge you. Nigeria is the only country that has Christianity without Christians, Islam without Muslims. Look at Saudi citizens, UAE citizens. I have a hard time with many Nigerians when they start quoting the Bible they don’t believe in! No curses, it backfires!

  15. We play too much truly but yet i see it as a means to less the suffering and burden in this yeye country. May God help us all


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