This question may sound ridiculous to some people in some countries, but is trite in this environment.
I spent my Christmas without electricity from the power supply company and it has been like that for over seven weeks. The power distributing company has run out of excuses now and conspiracy is rife as to their justification for cutting electricity supply to the community.
I do not have electricity supply but reply on my own source of electricity: generator. That comes with its own challenge, of course. High cost of running the family, environmental pollution, particularly as everybody who could afford it depends on generators too.
Do people really still depend on the government for anything? From lack of electricity to lack of public pipe-borne water to shortage of motorable roads to lack of nondisruptive comprehensive health care delivery and lack of effective community policing and safety of lives and property.
These things are taken for granted in environments where social services work. But, here the presence of local authorities is nonexistence except when elections are near and they paste campaign posters to advertise their faces and political parties. Citizens provide basic amenities for themselves or pay exhorbitant service charges to enjoy them.
Citizens should begin to engage public officers and service providers and task them to deliver on services they commit to offer.
Let us resolve to change our approach in the New Year. Sitting quiet and resorting to self help will solve our personal problems and provide temporary relief at a high cost that is avoidable. But, what about others who cannot afford to provide the services for themselves? A collaborative efforts should be accelerated to drive home the citizens’ resolve to engage public officers and service providers.
There is no reason any Nigerian, either in the city or rural area should spend their Christmas or any other day for that matter in darkness.
There is no reason the life of any Nigerian should be lost to infant or maternal mortality, or even malaria because of poor health care delivery.
There is no reason the life of any Nigerian should be lost to autocrash because of bad roads.
There is no reason Nigerians should spend over three hours on the road for a journey that should take only thirty minutes within Lagos because of bad-road induced traffic congestion.
There is no reason the precious lives of Nigerians should be lost to typhoid because of drinking bad water.
Seriously speaking, we deserve a better deal with political leadership.