So recently I have not had the motivation to write.
Except you live in a cave, you would know that Nigeria has had major challenges, for long enough, but the situation is getting worse.
Looking at reports from different agencies, here is a link to one of many reports about the situation of some people who have lost everything.
The government seems more concerned about the upcoming elections in February and tends to 'treat the war with indifference'. See this article from the Economist.
The others (Nigerians, non politicians), not all, but many, are probably indifferent in a way. I have heard different opinions from people and these are some of my impressions:
1) It is a Northern problem, they can solve it. The Northern leaders need to pacify the insurgents to stop. How could a presidential aspirant say war against the insurgents is war against Northern Nigeria.
2) It has not got to me or my loved ones, so we are not exactly bothered.
3) Taking to the streets may not achieve much. We may get shot at, harassed, or absolutely nothing might come out of it. It is pointless wasting all that energy, time and effort.
4) If it comes down to it, I could get out of this country, how does it concern me?
5) There are some who are passionate and worried, and would like to contribute in any way to compel the government to act but their voices are drowned in the general indifference. What could they possibly do?
Traffic has been at an all time high around Abuja and its environs. Having watched a bomb go off in April last year, I still get agitated when I am in traffic. I can't say whether this has to do with anything in particular but I am making the point all the same.
Concerning the elections, many of us have still not managed to get our permanent voter's cards. I heard on the news that a set of people were appealing to the government to allow us use temporary cards. I do not know if they also asked for the transfer process to be made easier. By transfer process I mean - if I was registered in Borno state for the last elections, I would have to return there to cast my vote. There is a process however to transfer my voting right to another state but it is a long and tiring process as most bureaucratic processes are. We are counting about three weeks to the elections, time is running out.
The last elections 'were adjudged to be free and fair', but the violence that followed ruined it all for me. I was in Kaduna state where violence broke out, we was trapped indoors for days. Some people I know did not have the basic things that were needed to survive, it was a horrible time. That alone will make many people buy things in bulk ahead of the elections this year. Where I was, was relatively safe but we lived in fear. I know that I do not want to feel the fear and anger I felt at that time again (you do not want to know more!). I have heard a few people say they will go to their villages during the period. That already accounts for a good number out of the eligible voters.
We are said to practice democracy in Nigeria where people express themselves openly, but not many of these voices are heard, not much action follows the freedom of expression either. Different predictions have been made about the elections that will hold next month. I have even heard it already labelled as the fiercest competition between presidential aspirants, but I am not expecting any miracle after the elections. It will take years to correct many things in Nigeria especially the mindset. Instead, I worry about what could follow right after.
Should I be asking anyone to vote wisely?
Also keep everyone in the North East of Nigeria and those who have lost everything in your thoughts.