Cleaning up Nigeria

Whenever we want to hide behind one finger when any social issue is being raised, we throw tribe in the ring.

I grew up with awareness of this so often I see issues from the lens of being a Nigerian first. I think the best way to resolve pointing fingers while the real issue eat us to the bone is for everyone to take responsibility for their actions. And also for us to be comfortable enough to call spade its name even if the issue raised is prevalent a tribe.

Last year I wrote an article about how filthy Nigeria is, also about the local stereotype that Yoruba women are the filthiest.

Prior to writing this article a friend who is equally a Yoruba but raised outside asked if this stereotype was true. My response to him was that first of all Yoruba women are mostly in Yorubaland so it is impossible they are the one responsible for all the filth in all of our regions.

A gentleman commented on that article a few days ago that folks were quoting me to solidify their assumptions to ridicule Yoruba women.

To each their own.

How am I to know people are incapable of understanding the piece was to show that, yes, I know about the stereotype and I am not shying away from it but the reality is that most Nigerians regardless of tribe give little thought to sanitation.

Yesterday there was a helicopter crash in Lagos, the first thing that popped out to me was the filthiness of the crash sceneare Yoruba women responsible for that filth too? RIP to the victims.

Also, other part that I did not mention in that article was the fact that Lagos, Abuja or our other big cities can not be used as yardsticks for everything about Nigeria.

A few months ago I was in one of our local markets where there is a river running through, the stalls around this area were of vegetables, meat, fish etc out of curiosity I peeped to see the water – the colour was dark grey with debris of all sorts, the river has refused to flow.

This is not peculiar to this market alone, most of our rivers in smaller towns are clogged with debris hence flooding is common – am I supposed to think the filth was dumped in this river by the alien?

In my state for example, there is no law that says all household or market places must have toilet so it is common that empty land around is another toilet.

Maybe I should have said all Yoruba are filthy just because I am one and I know our surroundings are dirty, also that lots of our homes in small towns have no toilet – now I can expect our men to red arrow me 🙂

My point is that I can not help the troll, they are welcome to pick what they liked while sensible people work to do something about reversing the bad habits in the department of sanitation and public hygiene.

Categories: Nigeria

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12 replies

  1. My only encounter with the Yorubas before now was my stint in Lagos. But then again I don’t really consider Lagos a yorubaland. But I’m puzzled really, do the yorubas have something against toilets? Because I highly doubt you can find a house in the SE without a toilet. Even a pit toilet at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You see, I believe when we look beyond being defensive, there are lessons to learn from one another. My sister who did her NYSC in remote village in Calabar said the same thing that even the poorest home have a pit toilet outside.

      I can not say the same thing about our villages in the SW. And I grew up in this.

      The idea for me isn’t to pretend as it it’s all speculations or propaganda to rubbish folks, but for those in places of authority to be brave enough to see as a challenge that need to be dealt with.

      And there is another issue of not knowing our country. I think there is a need for creating more affordable transportation and accommodation to encourage youths to move about more freely and get to know their country – that is how nation develop

      Liked by 1 person

      • Truly. That’s probably the only thing I hail the NYSC for. Else, I don’t think I’d have ever passed Ekiti on my way to somewhere else let alone respond live there. A friend once told me you can’t know another country without first knowing yours.

        Accommodation is really bad in Nigeria. A person who has just moved into town has to pay two years rent in advance. What is that? What if I only want to spend a week? Stay in a hotel for the duration? That’s like a half year’s rent. It’s things like this that make people not to move around much. You can only have so much family member in a couple states.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I suppose that is one of the reasons NYSC still stands today but I believe it’s not enough as there are many people who would not have that experience ever, I did not.

          Rent in Nigeria is criminal, two or more years rent has been around for a long time, most people who rent do not believe they had any power to protest as no support will follow.

          Well, depending on crashing on family member’s sofa is great but that will never work in a country like ours. When we talk about encouraging tourists, I think the easiest way is to make it easier for locals to travel first, then word will get around.


  2. (One of the few occasions I will say this), God bless you FK, hearing true talk about Nigeria is a ‘breath of fresh air’.
    There can be no excuses for lack of hygiene, you don’t have to be rich or developed just have a sense of cleanliness and responsibility. Without which we are condemning ourselves to live in squalor in fear of preventable diseases which some are willing to put down to witchcraft and the like.
    A campaign needs to be launched to educate people about littering, and a big push on sanitation is urgently needed. All markets and restaurants should have toilets nearby. Rivers are a source of water and as such dumping should be prohibited.
    If Nigeria can’t even manage that, then maybe we deserve to succumb to the diseases that come with the growing piles of filth that are everywhere.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha, ha thank you for the occasional prayers, those probably work better : )

      It is a big problem. A campaign to educate is a brilliant idea but will only work if each community is provided with facilities to drop their rubbish making it easier for pick up trucks, people will happily comply even if they have to pay for it.

      For example my Aunt area get sanitation inspectors visiting the area, on occasions people get fined. There is a flowing river close to my her house, people are warned constantly not to dump rubbish in it to avoid flooding. So now people dump their rubbish at the riverbank in open view.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fola, I found a book that deals with issues when people want change. If you go to this web site you can watch this man from Serbia, Srdja Popovic, being interviewed. He talks about how change can be achieve peacefully.
    Here’s the link
    Srdja Popovic: Blueprint for Revolution (46:33)
    by talesfromtheconspiratum

    Liked by 1 person

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