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Challenges before Nigerians in 2021

The year 2020 threw up a rash of challenges, none more formidable than the COVID-19 pandemic, which swept the world, spreading panic and death, while…

The year 2020 threw up a rash of challenges, none more formidable than the COVID-19 pandemic, which swept the world, spreading panic and death, while crippling livelihoods and whole economies. It is now 2021 and at least 2020 has been left behind on paper. Yet, the challenges remain and are ever more present.

For starters, health data is emphatic that cases of COVID-19 are resurging worldwide including in Nigeria. There are whispers that another lockdown is imminent. There is great pain at the prospect of another lockdown.  Nigerians cannot forget in a hurry the inconveniences foisted on them by the nationwide lockdown that went into effect at the onset of the pandemic sometime last year.

The average Nigerian family is also poised for another testy and rocky year. Grave economic difficulties predated the COVID-19 pandemic which also served to lay bare Nigeria`s grinding inequalities. Entire households have perched precipitously on the precipice for many years since Nigeria`s downward economic spiral began. The Buhari administration came in with promises to reverse the ugly decline but even the administration with all its promises has continued to struggle.

In fact, the gravest economic outlook Nigeria has had in many years has coincided with the Muhammadu Buhari presidency which began in 2015. For many Nigerians, for whom hope has nightmarishly morphed into desperate despair, there is no coincidence however. Instead, what exists is a cause and effect situation. To them, the situation in the country is the effect of the President`s policies.

Then there is the insecurity that is visiting a grievous destruction on the country. So the cycle of pain continues, with no end in sight.

Nigerians must gird themselves for a long year ahead. There is a lot of difficulties in the country at the moment and Nigerians must prepare for even more difficult days ahead. Nigerians have always had a lot of fortitude to go round.

We must prepare to salvage what little is left of our country and the future of our children. Most critically, Nigerians must hold their leaders to account.

 

Kene Obiezu, Abuja.

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