The dark side of Resilience
Hey guys, hope you are maintaining your joy amidst all the chaos in the world right now, especially here in Nigeria, in recent time, fuel and gas explosions have been the bane of our existence especially in places like Lagos, and Lokoja. Lives have been lost and properties have been destroyed. What about the hike in fuel pump price and the continuous argument about who is benefitting from the subsidy? How are farmers coping with recent floods in the north and north central, or the rains and whirlwinds that have pulled down electric poles and unroofed many buildings in various parts of the country? And on top of all that Nigeria celebrates her sixty years of independence, which somehow was like reopening an old wound for many people. You only needed to listen to the media and hear how bitter people were generally about the fact that Nigeria should be better off than where she is right now. Some youths even took to the streets to demonstrate their frustrations with the leadership of the day and the various challenges that has befallen Nigeria ranging from economic hardships to underdevelopment, massive unemployment, massive illiteracy, corruption, police brutality aka #endSARS etc.
I just feel that one attribute that can really help through these challenging times individually and collectively is to develop or increase our resilience but then, Nigerians are popularly known to be resilient people aka “suffering and smiling” people. Since Nigeria’s problems don’t seem like it is going to end any time soon, building our Resilience may be just what we need but what is resilience? It is the ability to adapt or adjust well to traumas, adversity, threats, tragedy and others sources of stress such as the death of a loved one, accidents, relationship problems or break-ups, war, explosions, disease outbreaks, financial indebtedness and loss of any kind, disappoints etc. It is the ability to adapt quickly and bounce back from any of life’s tsunamis. The good thing is that resilience can be practical, for instance, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN defines resilience as “The ability to prevent disasters and crises as well as to anticipate, absorb, accommodate, or recover from them in a timely, efficient and sustainable manner. This includes protecting, restoring and improving livelihoods systems in the face of threats that impact agriculture, nutrition, food security and food safety.”
So, the questions on my mind are as follows: how is the Nigerian government building resilience after all the chaos of the past weeks as mentioned above? How is the problem of flooding being solved so that such an occurrence will not occur next year? Is there a way to prevent in the future, the kind of rainfall that blew off people’s roofs and fell electric poles and trees in Kwara State? Relief efforts are important but they do not typically address the underlying structural vulnerabilies of a population. What policies are being put in place so that trucks will no longer convey fuel and gas from one point to another in Nigeria? Do you think it is okay that the border is still officially under lock and key? Why is the price of rice skyrocketing despite the increase in the growth of local rice? In fact, local rice is more expensive than foreign rice right now. I feel that everyone has a breaking point and that Nigerians despite their “their suffering and smiling quality” are gradually reaching their breaking point which is one of the reasons for the growing protests all over the world. What do you think?