If you put a frog in boiling water, it will jump out, but if you put it in cold water and heat it slowly, it will boil to death.
When I first heard this metaphor of the boiling frog in the movie ‘Dante’s Peak’, it stuck. There is a lesson in this anecdote: people react quicker to sudden, drastic events, but are hardly aware of gradual change so that by the time a reaction comes, it may be too late.
Nigeria has been slowly degrading in all sectors for decades, that is why I believe many in government and the electorate are not connecting the dots and acting urgently. We are like that slowly boiling frog.
The majority of Nigerians underestimate the kind of action and the speed of action necessary to effect change in many sectors almost at once, in order to put this country back on track: Education, Jobs, Power, Corruption, the size of government and security are issues that will take a minimum of TEN years before the effects of change are felt, assuming things begin to change NOW.
None of the issues raised by Nigerian leaders over a period of 40 years have improved. They have only gotten worse.
Nigeria has gone from coups to assassinations, then pipelines being blown up, then kidnapping and now bombs going off everywhere. We wonder why NYSC members aren’t protected, then we realise that our police cannot even protect themselves.
Education has gone from cultism to ASUU strikes to half baked graduates, now we have those that don’t even enter the oven at all. In their millions.
This country doesn’t look like one that has earned N40 trillion (and counting) since 1999. Those who quote the ‘4th fastest growing economy in the world’ statistic conveniently forget to mention that the growth is all down to increased extraction and sale of our oil resources, without an increase in those with jobs. Economists call it jobless growth.
These and other factors are slowly converging on us. Nigeria does not have even a year to waste. We must demand (and keep demanding) results from our leaders at all levels now. The water is boiling…Follow @je_mc2