WHY NIGERIANS ARE THE MOST HAPPY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD
BY UBAKA OKOFU
It predated generations of Nigerians. Whether from the far flung Northern region or the wet regions of the south, Nigerians are known to be ebullient and unbroken even in the face of adversity. The plethora of economic and socio-political upheavals in the country are pointers to the foregoing. It also goes without saying that if you can live in Nigeria as a Nigerian, chances are that you can live anywhere in the world.
But, the question remains: why is it about only in Nigeria that things which ordinarily would have had a nation blown into unimaginable, micro fragments are glossed over here? An answer to the above question may be difficult to arrive at. Perhaps, taking a voyage into history may avail us in part, an answer or answers to the reasons why Nigerians are not readily pushed over, but have only insisted on being happy.
Going down the cusp of history, particularly on how the country was formed, one is bound to observe that, all that had happened in the formative processes of etching out Nigeria were against the volition of the people who had existed as essentially separate ethnic entities long before the forceful amalgamation in the 1900s by the British imperialists.
It has been a story of a long stretch of resistance. There is no gainsaying that our ancestors were subjected to pains and harrowing sorrow. It was believed that in the course of time they were able to develop some adaptable mechanisms with which they had whittled down the excruciating and harrowing dimensions of their pre colonial experiences.
In the foregoing circumstances, it’s might not be impugned that tough times produce tough people. The distinct ethnic nations that were yoked together by the British imperialists were people of robust historical pedigree and high moral responsibility. But, time and experience have changed all that. What used to be mutuality and peaceful coexistence were replaced with exploitation and exportation of humans as common chattels. The stories took quite gory turns, and became execrable! The upsets in the people’s historico-sociological mien was monumental. Virtually every prism of the peoples’ life was dislocated and had to be amputated in extreme cases. From the Sokoto Caliphate to the little Dukedom in old Calabar, all till date bear irreparable signs of the infiltration of the white man’s culture.
Until now, one could not have appreciated Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the Afro beat maestro who once song ‘suffering and smiling’. Indeed, Nigerians smile more in pains than at ease. If not, how does one explain the restoration of a complete orderliness quickly after the #EndSars protest that took place in October? No sooner were men of the military deployed to the streets of Lagos and Abuja than life had returned to normalcy with the protesters going back to their respective businesses.
In most third world nations which Nigeria shares paternity with, youths constitute a very large percentage of the entire population. There have not been any 10years in the history of this country that there wasn’t a major upset! The lingering faceoff between the federal government and university lecturers is almost becoming a new normal in Nigeria. Some have lasted as long as a full academic session, if not more. The recent strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU) was the most regrettable. First, because the party in power, The All Progressives Congress ( APC) has used the lingering ASUU strike as part of its campaign strategies to win votes in 2015. It therefore behooves all that the same party which had slammed the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) for its lackadaisical approach to the ASUU strike imbroglio back then, has in turn fallen into the same pit of incompetency.
Industrial actions by university lecturers have become so rampant that students have now adapted to utilizing the period they were not in the school. It has been observed that the number of students who resumed for lectures usually after such industrial actions have been call off were usually fewer than the number preceding such strike. Unlike previously when they-students idol away during long industrial action, now they are occupied with one vocation or the other.
Perhaps, one of the reasons Nigerians are the most happy people on earth is because they have chosen to be happy in spite of the devastating oddities of nationhood. University students in Nigeria now combine business with studies to remain happy.
Wole Soyinka, Author, Chronicles of the Happiest People n the World