I belong to the generation whose major news source is the internet; twitter to be specific. Not because newspapers are extinct or reading online is tedious but because I like to multitask. So, I want to be able to laugh at a cat video and seconds later mumble over a presidential comment.
For many like me who paid attention to the happenings of last week will know there was a rave over President Buhari’s interview with the Telegraph and senator Ben Murray-Bruce’s followers didn’t hold back in their tweets while expressing how displeased they were by a particular comment. This upsetting bit had to do with President Buhari saying Nigerians have a bad reputation abroad because of the number of Nigerians in prisons over drug and human trafficking.
I personally didn’t feel good about that comment but isn’t that what the truth does? It gives an itch to the deceitful butt. And just like Folakemi noted in her post which you can read here, not all Nigerians are criminals and some of us in diaspora are trying our best to positively represent the country. It took Folakemi’s post to make me understand just how frustrated the President is with the corruption level in Nigeria.
“Over the years I have come to realise that criminals exist in all countries but what sets Nigeria apart is our inability to follow through cases and indict criminals so we wait until a minor neighbourhood thief becomes global 419” -Folakemi
And just as I had noted in the comments, this statement was a spot on for me. The main reason why fighting corruption is so tedious is because of the weak judicial system in Nigeria.
With thousands of lawyers being called to the bar every year, the act of taking a case to court and being heard is still considered ‘stressful and expensive’. PMB wouldn’t have to feel like he was in a lone fight against corruption if every Nigerian knew his/her right and was also aware that if these rights were crossed and he/she took the case up to court, he/she would be heard and treated fairly even without having to add an extra kobo to the necessary court fees.
That way, the school teacher who paid the price of a brand new TV but got a second hand one, the tenant whose land lord has been promising for the past 2 years to fix the drainage system, the Akamu steward who got touched in an inappropriate way by her madame’s customers, the tailor who suffered ‘unstated’ side effects from a malaria drug and all other underdogs whose rights have been silenced will be quick to take up their case and get justice served. This will spare us unnecessary self-pity and ‘God dey’ statements.
This is not to say there is no judicial system in Nigeria but let’s be honest, the only people who are really able to benefit from it are the enlightened and wealthy ones and this is because they are able to manipulate it in their favour. Tort law is more theoretical than practical especially for we the masses.