I have always had an issue with my weight; I tend to gain and lose weight easily.
Interestingly, I gain more weight when I am really stressed or going through challenging situations. Therefore, following the peaceful protest I organised to request the audience of the Rivers State Governor, HE Chief Nyesom Wike, to discuss the plight of Rivers State sponsored scholars who graduated over a year ago but have not been able to make much progress with their lives because of the two-year-old debt owed their universities by the Rivers State Government, and the online bullying I suffered in the hands of the Governor’s supporters including his aides, I gained some weight.
The direct consequence of this weight gain was the destruction of my bed. On Wednesday, the left part of my bed base collapsed. I quickly put my hands to work and within a short while, I had fixed it and my bed base became functional again. It was wonky but functional. I knew that there was a chance of another collapse but I was not very worried because I could work to lose some weight and not have to bother about it anymore.
Well, it seems I failed to lose the weight required to eliminate the risk of the collapse of my bed base because the base collapsed again within 36 hours. This time, the entire base, not just the left part, collapsed. The mid-region of the base caved in and when I assessed the damage, I was presented with a few options of possible actions to take.
The first option was to (try and) fix it myself, the second was to call a professional to look at it and attempt to repair it, the third option was to get a new bed base (but retain the bed frame) and the fourth option was to get a new bed (bed base and bed frame). To decide, it was necessary to consider each option carefully by weighing the pros and cons, and making comparisons.
The first option is almost free. I say “almost” because I may need to pay to get any necessary tools that I do not have. However, this option would require a lot of work from me as I may need to do some research on how to fix the problem. I would also be exposing myself to the risks that come with handling and manipulating the material from which the bed base is made, and the possibility of another collapse. This option will also cost me my time; time I could spend on something more productive.
The second option has a price tag of around £50. For this amount, I would get a handy man’s professional opinion and work. It may suffice to mention that their opinion may be for me to take the third or fourth option. However, it would be professional opinion. Choosing this option will give me the freedom to spend my time and effort on more productive activities and eliminate (part of) the risks of another collapse and self-sustained work-related injury.
The third and fourth options cost a lost more with the latter costing the most. When purchased, I will be faced with task of getting a professional to assemble the parts or doing it myself. So, even though I will be spending more money, I still must contend with options one and two in a different context. The good thing is that new parts will give me more peace of mind because of factors such as product warranty.
Broadly speaking, my options are confined to fixing the old to make it functional (again) or discarding the old for a new one (or replacement). These options exist, not just for my bed, but for Nigeria. Nigerians can either fix the Nigeria we have now to make it (more) functional or jump ship and seek greener pastures plus another citizenship in a foreign country. Some people may argue that we can scrap the current system and start afresh but that is another discussion, one I do not plan to engage with in this article.
The Nigeria we currently have is very wonky but still functional. However, with every passing day she is collapsing bit by bit. This is common knowledge and so, I do not need to enumerate the daily let downs Nigerians suffer in the hands of our governments across the different tiers.
We can try to fix Nigeria ourselves. For this, we must roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty. The first step may be to register to vote and secure our voter’s cards. We also must take it upon ourselves to gain voter education and to provide it to those of us who have less information than we do. Next, we must get involved in politics from the grassroot level. This may mean that we join political parties, align with political parties and politicians, or vocally advocate political ideologies we subscribe to as independent people.
We could outsource some of these by sponsoring CSOs that work in these areas. Many of these CSOs are composed of professionals with years of experience in doing such work. Of course, it is advisable to check the track records of CSOs before making donations. By donating to them, we would be putting our money to work and freeing up time for ourselves to spend on other activities.
We could jump ship and seek permanent residence and/or citizenship in another country. These options are quite pricey but like the third and fourth options for my bed, we may still have to face the first and second options in the foreign country we move to (and because of our ties in Nigeria, we may face those options for Nigeria as well).
I visited IKEA today to check the costs of the third and fourth options, and I have factored that in my decision making. In the end, what I need is a functional bed for a good sleep and if I achieve that goal, I will be satisfied. In the same vein, we must quickly make up our minds on what we plan to do concerning Nigeria. Time is of essence because just as sleeping on my broken bed poses serious challenges and risks for my health (e.g. body pains), a dysfunctional country is equally a serious challenge for us.