NIGERIA: 50 YEARS IN DARKNESS


History is the reminder of events; a bank of memory for the many faces yet unborn – Alexander Thandi Ubani


It is over 50 years since the exodus of the White men who used us to achieve their set goals. After years of domination in the name of colonization, they unwillingly left our abode for the sake of good conscience. (I think they should have stayed more to at least make our power sector effective). Through the years of abuse, exploitation, domination and control, the men who spoke as if through their noses gave up.


We thought we were in good hands when our fellow brothers took over the mantle of leadership. We fought with them for the emancipation of our people from the White men in hope for good fortune. But more than 50 years have elapsed with nothing to show for it.


We are in darkness; Nigerians have been in literal and figurative darkness in the hands of the politicians for over 50 years now. The elite – selected and elected leaders – have continued to wreck havoc on the masses with impunity and total disregard for good conscience. They have masterminded series and chains of institutionalized failures.


Rewind back to October 1st 1960, the day Nigeria gained her independence from Britain; since then, what has changed? The only visible change has been the coming and going of clueless politicians who have in one way or the other ruined the lives of our people. The dearth of infrastructural development, unavailability of social amenities, and absence of state and grass root development is a clear indication of their lackluster performance. The power sector has been the worst hit. Then we ask “Is it that the cutlass is not sharp enough or that the person wielding it does not know how to use it?” This and many more questions have begged for answers over the years.


The clueless spirit of our leaders is seen in their inability to fulfill a simple responsibility they owe to every citizen of the state – the provision of a steady power supply at an affordable rate. This right of every citizen is freely enjoyed in most civilized societies by all and sundry. The inability of our leaders to tackle this issue even in the face of billions of oil money is a broad-day-light robbery on the masses who watch helplessly as billions of Naira are stolen and diverted by the politicians for selfish use without repercussion. This disappointing episodic slaughter of conscience on the part of the political elite is a gross act of misconduct that must be met with total outcry on the part of every true Nigerian.



In today’s world, citizens of other developing nations such as South Africa, Algeria, Libya, Ghana and many more are already enjoying the dividends of good governance. Sadly, Nigerians are faced with cut-throat prices of epileptic power supply (which is not even seen for days, months and years counting). This dastardly act must be checked! The question is, “What does it cost the government to make steady the power supply? Are they that clueless, goonish and foolish enough not to restrategize or borrow the 'drawing-board' of some nations already enjoying this dividend? The insincerity on the part of our elected (selected) leaders who over the course of years have failed to orchestrate a solution to this problem is a clear indication that our enemies are within. They – the politicians – are our enemies.


A fact finding mission takes us across the trials and errors witnessed in the power sector in a bid to wrestle it from the hands of chaos.

It all began in 1951, when the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) was tasked to regulate, manage generation and supply of electricity in Nigeria; up till then, electricity supply in Nigeria was like the sighting of a mermaid in the dark. However, in 1972 borne out of a bid to provide better generation and supply of electricity, the ECN was merged with Niger Dams Authority (NDA) which had the responsibility of building and managing dams for power generation to form the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).

NEPA as a government owned corporation was saddled with the sole responsibility to generate, transmit, distribute and trade electricity to all parts of Nigeria. Sadly, NEPA failed to live up to its billing; it condemned the nation to total darkness. Through years of epileptic power supply, exorbitant tariff charges, corruption and vandalization of NEPA equipment as a result of discontent from the citizens, the government deemed it fit to effect a rapid rebirth of the Power Sector.


It was as if the prayer of the masses was about to be answered. Many have complained because of the epileptic service rendered by the corrupt-minded NEPA officials who took turns to inflict us with pains. Many argued that because NEPA was a government-owned corporation, no wonder the total disregard for a positive change since government workers are known for their nonchalant and I-don’t-care attitude to duty. If it was a private-owned establishment, they would have been forced to live up to expectations. these accusations and countered accusations deafened our ears.

In March of 2005, a bill was passed into law effecting the much needed change in the Power Sector. As a rebranding technique, NEPA was changed to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) by the Obasanjo government. This move wrestled power supply away from government into the hands of private companies and investors. The sector was privatized; a call, many saw as a good omen.

The National Electric Regulatory Commission (NERC) serves as the regulatory body. Everyone believed this to be the last hope for the common man who over the years have witnessed institutionalized failure on the part of NEPA. They believed it to be the turning point in the Power Sector.


How have they fared over the years?

It is noteworthy to reveal that we have witnessed little or no change since the re-branding and privatization of the Power Sector. Sad to say, things have continued the same, even worse.

It seems like the Power Sector is under a jinx. The Private Companies in control of the Power Sector who are divided into 18 companies have failed to lift the curse of darkness dashed them by NEPA. Many years have counted and all they can show is a production rate of 4,500 MW of electricity which cannot even serve half of the over 160 million Nigerians.

How wicked and pathetic that the government will leave us to this nightmare to die in darkness while they go about their duties unperturbed.

Most bad of all, these private companies charge exorbitant prices even when they fall short of their responsibility to provide steady power supply. The thoughtless idea to hike VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT) at a jaw-breaking 750 Naira is a direct assault on the masses. The masses are forced to part with 750 Naira every month, use light or not. (So when you want to recharge say for a 5-month period, you have to calculate 750 x 5 separate from the money for your light. Then, if you've not exhausted the light you recharged after another 5 months, when you come for a recharge, 5 past months will be calculated with the additional months you want to buy just for VAT) How incredulous!!

Certainly, it is right to call for the help of NERC. It must stand up to its duties and come to the party by acting on our behalf. Right till this moment, power failure have continued to be a menace too big for our leaders to tackle. Their effort amounts to nothing but shame!!



It is a shame that while the majority of Nigerians languish in total darkness every night, the political elite sit in well lit mansions strategizing on how to loot the nation’s treasury.


Now, I am calling on you Nigerians to come and find a solution. Will you not come? Chai! There is god ooo!!


By and large, the burden is on the citizens who experience a bulk of the hardship thrust upon them by those in authority. Rather than alleviate the sufferings of the masses, the government and its agencies create means to extort, harass and exploit the masses in order to make more money. The excessive charges, bills and tolls are many of the government’s exploitory means which does not in any way serve the cause of the common man.


The inability of our leaders to provide basic infrastructure amidst excess wealth is a pointer to this fact. The wickedness, cluelessness, shamelessness, hopelessness and abuse of power on the part of the elite shows the depth of their misplaced identity.


How Nigerians still happily get deceived with some cups of rice and cheap naira notes for votes still baffles me. When citizens of other nations boast of political awareness and social responsibility, Nigerians in the 21st century still reside in the courtyard of oblivion to be deceived and be blown about like chaff.



No wonder, some people are of the opinion that they – masses – are the architect of their own misfortune. The inability of the masses to stage a revolution against the elitist class to hush this rampant misapplication of power and abuse of office has resulted in their being taken for granted. Sad as it may be, the solution to the problems seem far-fetched.


In summary, the repeated and misguided tantrum calculated against our people by our leaders must stop! Instead of allowing them the liberty to exploit their own people, it is duty-placed on them to alleviate rather than multiply the problems of the people.

It is a shame on the part of the elite – our leaders – that after years of underdevelopment, suffering, and ‘wuru-wuru’, they still bribe the electorates with petty money and cups of rice in exchange for votes. It is glaringly clear to all observers that our elected (selected) leaders have not our interest at heart; this is obvious in the policies they have formulated and implemented over the years. Their ineptitude and nonchalant attitude on critical matters that are supposed to salvage the cause of the common man is a clear pointer to their recklessness in service. How we wonder then that after over 50 years of self-rule, no past let alone present government could muster the boldness to at least make power failure a thing of the past? Gutless hypocrites!


Instead of investing their time in creative and meaningful ventures, the elite plan and strategize on the latest avenues to loot the nation’s treasury in a bid to save for their unborn children. They ride in siren-blaring expensive and exotic cars ready to knock, manhandle and kill the same masses that elected (selected) them via cups of rice, tin tomatoes and petty naira notes.

The high-rate of corruption on the part of our elected leaders shows how smeared their consciences have become. Many cases of corruption go unattended with the toothless Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) playing to the gallery. It is obvious to all that our leaders have long planned to kill rather than save us.

No wonder our president was proud to say “There is no corruption but mere stealing” that is why politicians exploit power for their own personal gain; they steal knowing quite well that no one dares hold them accountable. Stealing and corruption are same and evil!



How unkind of these loafers to condescend so low as to sell their own people for ill-gotten riches. Each government come with promises that become far-fetched and empty immediately they claim the mantle of leadership. They and their cohorts use the masses for their show of superiority: beating, flogging, reckless driving and show of superior power is their in-thing. The police have become agents of oppression used to intimidate and harass people. Over 50 years since independence, one would assume we do have grown. In the literal context, when a person is 50 years and still does not know his left from his right, the person is considered a fool forever.


In that sense, Nigeria is a failed state. It is duty-bound on the masses to stage an all out attack on all those elected (selected) to govern them. The era of corruption, inability to provide social amenities, election rigging, physical and violent fist cups between (shameless) legislators, killing and kidnapping of political rivals, bribery, abduction of chibok girls, bombing of innocent citizens, hiking of PMS price without recourse to its bad effect on the masses, purchase of bulletproof cars and hiring of private jets with taxpayers' money for personal purposes while the poor languish in penury are acts that must be totally wiped from the system.

#Bringbackourgirls

In this 21st century, the people must show signs of enlightenment and do away with those orchestrating this rippling foul fart. They must repel all unnecessary domination meant to force pain down their throats. They must be resolute and avoid taking cups of rice and petty cash for votes.


But how can they live up to this billing when the elite have structured things in a way that poverty rules the land? Poverty is the nemesis of my people; no wonder then that the politicians ride them at will.



In an egalitarian society, all are considered equal. Therefore, all citizens in a state must speak out with one voice against their oppressors. Let the sycophants and saboteurs become silent!

The excesses of those in leadership positions must be halted to forestall a total eclipse of good. Yes! Go tell the dolts – our leaders – that their inability to stage a simple task of making power supply consistent is the bane of our development. This assembly of calamitous blunders has no space in our common aspiration.



Then we ask, “What positives have we witnessed since the removal of the FUEL SUBSIDY and the hike of PMS Price for petrol?

It is clear even to a blind man that our leaders are a bunch of insincere liars, thieves, saboteurs, junk-heads, sycophants, dullards and clueless messengers of evil.

Their opposition to the removal of immunity clause and imposition of capital punishment on corrupt officials says more of their intentions. The sad news is that we are yet to face the reality of our present predicament. We must stand up and say no to their excesses! After all, no be only them waka come!!


It is sad to note that only a few people in government (If there is any at all) would stand to it that a handshake is a contract and man’s word is his bond – not our leaders. They will stab you in the back while smiling to the ruthlessness of their spilled guts. Too bad!


Photo credit:

Olu’Seun Esan

nigeriastandardnewspaper

Vanguard Newspaper

Information Nigeria

Daily Post Nigera

Asokwo E.B

NairaLand

AmnestyInternational

Creative roots



A piece of creative writing by
Alexander Thandi
A Poet, Playwright, Writer and Thespian
©®Copyright 2014

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20 comments

always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Oh Thandy. I fear for your safty, please be careful. This piece of writing deserves an award for bravery. My prayers are with you and your people. Greed rules the world, not having electric power is a travesty. Shame on them. God be with you my friend..


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

I just cant get over what humans do to humans.. Keep writing about it Uban... maybe the more they see... voted a must read


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

A wonderful and brave hub Thandi. It is terrible what many Governments think they can get away with. They are supposed to put the welfare of the people first and supply at least reliable basic needs, and electricity is one of those. The level of corruption is wrong and has to be addressed. Fortunately in this country people don't have to fear the Government and can take a stand against injustice which is happening here now to some extent. Our Government also wants to get rid of the fuel subsidy as well as other cuts. I hope you are safe having written this hub, and I am sharing so others can no the plight facing your people.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Alexander......Thank you for this powerful expose of the profound abuse of political powers thrust upon the people of Nigeria. It is through the courageous voices of people as yourself that the world becomes aware of the plights of the masses everywhere.

It is due to the fierce compassion for and loyalty to one's countrymen that realistic change is born. Government corruption, greed and deceit is widespread and like a cancer, destroys humanity bit by bit.

I applaud you Alexander and encourage you to continue speaking out in truth for the sake of pulling your country from darkness.

If the opportunity exists for you to birth a grass roots organization of the people of Nigeria, I strongly encourage you to go forward. It is clear the time is long overdue.

Your wisdom and courage is astounding. And it is because of men with your intelligence and passion that CHANGE for the better becomes reality. ....Up+++ pinned, tweeted and shared.


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Alexander what an impressive and well written hub on the situations in Nigeria. I loved your pictures.

When I read that you seem to think that South Africa is enjoying the dividends of good governance, I wonder where you got that idea from? Our ANC government has for the last five years, ever since Zuma became president, exploited the masses shamefully in order to make more money. Their own greed has overshadowed every positive movement Nelson Mandela started. Our last election was truly rigged by the reserve / central bank when It came to the new Ubuntu party with more than 200.000 followers. Only 8.000 votes were counted. Why? Because they want to establish a peoples bank!

What needs to happen is the total collapse off all the financial institutions on a global scale, but before that is taking place a new more unified exchange system between every global citizen must be established. As a visionary novelist your hub grabbed me deeply, especially that after years of underdevelopment and suffering due to poverty even Nigeria, a country that is today seen as the most developed African state after South Africa is still in darkness. Voted up


dragonflycolor 2 years ago

It's sad that the only thing that most governments strive for is power, an intangible asset. It can make all the difference in the hands of the good, but be catastrophic in the hands of the bad. It is that which does not exist but still makes us do things out of desperation. Very brave and touching article!


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 2 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Nice and informative hub about Nigeria's current situation. It's sad though but the reality is its happening i fear not only in Nigeria of course your situation might be worst. I personally think all these bastards promise the world when they need your votes. After the election you become a "a want' they no longer need you.

Its even sad about what has taken place with the Boko Haram kidnappings of the young girls. What an unfortunate event i feel sorry for the girls and their parents and families who are hoping and waiting for their return. May God intervene in this horrid situation is my prayer.

Thanks for sharing :)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

We are hearing much about your country here in America. My heart and prayers go out to you at this time for your safety. Your sharing here is courageous and helps us to understand what is happening in your part of the world. Sadly, politics is the same here; greed and power control most decisions affecting the good of people.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos Author

Hi Ruby, hope you are doing fine?

Thanks for all the words here.

It is really sad that humans (especially those in leadership positions think much alike). They are a bunch of sadist who get satisfied seeing others suffer. It is more shameful that my people have fallen bait to their misgivings. The politicians wear the cloak of greed and lust for power no wonder their utter disregard for positive change. They are blind to our needs, only to see when they get out of power. Too bad!

Here, people have become tired of complaining that they gallantly followed the old saying "if you cant beat 'em, join 'em". It is greed that will kill 'em. Because those in power do not have any of the pains the masses witness and the fact that they live and dine to their satisfaction, whatever happens to the people is not their business. No wonder they kill all in the name of power. Shame on them!

I will be careful. Actually, I don't fancy political editorials just got forced to it.

I tire for them sef. (Sorry for the late reply; I'm having browsing issues)

Have an awesome day!


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos Author

Thanks, Frank. I will do my best possible to inform people of the need to fight for what is RIGHT.

Kind regards,

Thandi.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos Author

Hi Jodah, glad to read from you. Well, your society is better than what we have here since your people can stand up for what is right and not be cowered by the stinking breathe of the politicians and saboteurs. In this part of the world, Politicians are gods! They do at will what their crazy minds deem fit whether good or bad they don't care. Sad days indeed for us all.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a most awesome day.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos Author

Thanks, Paula. Indeed, the time is long overdue cos people need to be liberated. But sad to say, I can't ever have anything to do with politics. However, I believe it is the right of all to fight for what is good. Politicians and politics in Nigeria is a do-or-die affair. It is really sad!

thanks for stopping by, blessings.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos Author

Hi Nadine,

thanks for stopping by. It is really sad to note that politicians are the same everywhere (just that some are too mean). Well, atleast you have not experienced what we suffer here in the hands of PHCN. Election rigging is the specialty of Politicians and their cohorts - INEC. It is more sad to know that South Africa, after all the exploits of Madiba, has yet to be lifted from the shackles of bad leaders. Too bad!

I buy your idea of a total overhaul even in the face of Nigeria being taunted as the largest economy in Africa with a GDP of $509.9bn, I still fail to understand where that figure is coming from?

Something is really really wrong!

Thanks for your input, it is very invaluable.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos Author

Hi Mari,

you have said it all. The hunger for power can lead to things unimaginable. It is sad that the people are the most hit when such is the case.

Thanks for the response. Good mercies to your kind heart.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos Author

Hi LadyFiddler,

Glad to have you here. I agree with you in all your postulations. The fact that politicians gather for the purpose of cooking plans to unleash chapters upon chapters of calamity calls for a rethink on the part of the people. But that dream is far-fetched cos the people are still blind to the unfolding events at their very before. Too bad!

The worst part is that they get deceived with paltry gifts and petty cash for votes to the chagrin of the informed. Isn't that ridiculous?

Thanks for your time, blessed woman. Have a great day.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos Author

Hi teaches...,

Yes, you are right "Sadly, politics is the same here; greed and power control most decisions affecting the good of people"

They never change, still playing the same game with our lives.

too sad indeed!

thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful day.


cecileportilla profile image

cecileportilla 2 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

Hi Ubani:

Thank you for having the courage to highlight these problems that exist in your country. I hope that there are changes in Nigeria soon. The title of your hub is powerful. Voted up!


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos Author

Hi Cecile,

Your hope is my hope. But sad to say that the elite/leaders do not share such ideas. As of now, they are already strategizing on how to win more elections in order to retain power.

Thanks for stopping by and adding your great voice in words to this wake up call. I wish you a most awesome day.


DrBillSmithWriter profile image

DrBillSmithWriter 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

So much we don't know about African nations. Thanks for sharing this useful information and your views. I look forward to reading more of your writings! ;-)


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos Author

Thanks, DrBillSmithWriter for your thought. Glad you could stop by. Hope to read from you too. :)

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