An archbishop was on the news saying that journalists should take care not to report news that paints Nigeria in a bad light.
While I understand that there are ways news can be portrayed to inflame emotions, I hope he is not asking us to let things slide because talking about them would make us look bad.
There is a similar rift between Nigerian writers in the country and those outside it or returning. About what things we can talk about and whether our criticisms are legitimate and constructive or just complaints from people who haven’t really seen Nigerian (and aren’t Nigerian enough to complain).
Like most arguments, there are two extremes.
There are people, perhaps the arch bishop is one of them, who do not want to hear a lick of bad news about the country. Stop complaining, they say, Nigeria is improving. You had no power for one week. What about us we had no power for months?
Well, yes it is improving. But it isn’t improving because people said nothing and pretended to be happy.
And on the other extreme are the people who have made a career out of whining about wherever they are. Often these aren’t the hardest hit people, and they aren’t crying out for the rights of a marginalised group. They punch out their rants in relative comfort while paying bribes to bypass what little order we have.
When they clash, both groups cancel themselves out, creating bright sparks that don’t translate into any progress.
I’m sure there is a happy medium. Not one I know, but to those determined to paint others as outsiders, I say, no one has a monopoly on suffering and its definition. And to the complainers, if you took a break from your whining, you might find much to like, there are people doing good work here.
Having said that, environmental sanitation is a joke.
It is the culmination of everything that is wrong here. That there has to be a law restricting us to our homes once a month or else we won’t clean up is the peak of irresponsibility.
It is the equivalent of telling your child he can’t leave his room until he tidies up, but to an entire country of 150 million, many of them adults.