The story of the collapse of a 21 storey building in the highbrow Ikoyi, Lagos is highly regrettable. The developer being one of the victims of the damage is more so. We pray that God will give the family of the entire victims the fortitude to bear the loss of the lives of their dear ones. The building is symbolic with the state of our country Nigeria. While the building in Ikoyi has collapsed, Nigeria as a state is at the brink of collapsing too if nothing is done immediately. Many people cast blames on various stakeholders of the Ikoyi building. Some attribute blames on the developer, some on the government, some on the builders and others on the environment. The real cause would be identified by the panel of inquiry set up for the purpose. However, the building is gone for good with the financial and human resources imputed in it. There are other buildings at the brink of collapse in the country with no one blinking an eye to them. Many of our tertiary institutions are known to have been selling certificates to non qualified candidates in the areas of medicine, engineering, law, pharmacy, communications and education and nobody seems to be blinking an eye on the “developers” in these higher institutions.
It has rather become a norm. The sector is cracked and would soon collapse. Our markets are filled with sub standard motor parts, materials, products and many other items. In most cases, these items pass through the regulators who are said to have been compromised on their core duties before these items were allowed into the market. It is known all over the world that Nigeria is the dumping ground of adulterated drugs, substandard products and food substances. These are exhibited openly in Nigerian markets without efforts from the government, regulators and the people batting an eyelid. The markets have already collapsed. It is no longer secret that arms and ammunitions were sold to criminals in the country who in turn use such to destroy the citizens. In most cases, the armed forces were said to have aided these criminals in all sections of the country to carry out nefarious activities and yet pretend as if these criminal activities are mysterious.
While most sections of the government see these as difficult to resolve, the armed forces and the federal government treat these activities with levity. For them, they may not be victims until the rot collapses on their heads. Politicians no longer hide their breeding of thugs, who they use in rigging elections, getting back at their opponents and rivals as well as those challenging their evil activities. The people, who in most cases have assumed that politics is evil which must be accommodated, collect money from these politicians and look away. For such people, they cannot be victims of the outcome of such acts. The electoral process has been jeopardized and politicians and political parties abuse the process from the primary to the uppermost levels. The INEC, security agencies, pressure groups, religious organizations and other stakeholders pretend as if it is normal. In most cases, the regulators compromise in the milieu.
The pressure groups sent to observe the proceedings show evidence of such without doing anything to stop it. And we say that the political building would not collapse? Pastors are exploiting the people at every nook and cranny of the society and the people are encouraging them. Most of them dubiously exploit the congregation using the name of God for their own personal and selfish ends and people are looking away as if this is normal. Almost every street in the major streets of the country have religious worship centres and yet most of the crimes committed in the country are by members of these religious groups. Our faith organizations are at the brink of collapse and would fall on the heads of the clergy if appropriate action is not taken.
Almost every parent in the country has stagnated the future of their children by adopting the syndrome; “I suffered and my children will not suffer too.” Discipline to them is suffering. As a result of this, they take over the responsibilities of their children. After training them in school, they build houses for them, provide lucrative jobs for them, marry for them, provide all they need throughout their lives and in so doing, they mortgage their future. This is why old men are still in leadership positions while the youths are clamouring for opportunities all over the place. That’s why we have a wasted generation. A particular generation is at the brink of collapse on the heads of parents and the society. If the Nigerian society collapses, it would consume all and even the future generation. One who throws stones into the marketplace won’t know if the stone would hit on the mother’s head. There are many other institutional and structural buildings waiting to collapse. The time to rehabilitate them is now. It is better to stop the construction of such defective buildings than to remove the rubbles when they have consumed the members of our society.