Here is how it feels when your partner disappoints, frustrates you like Nigeria does its citizens -


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Sunday, 17 February 2019

Here is how it feels when your partner disappoints, frustrates you like Nigeria does its citizens

If INEC were human and had a relationship, this is what that relationship would feel like...
when your partner disappoints, frustrates you like Nigeria does its citizens. [Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings]

Few hours before election 2019 was supposed to begin, Nigeria’s electoral body, INEC, bails out on the hopeful masses who had been hoping to cast their votes – just as certain partners often do when they have plans with their significant other.

The announcement which was remorselessly made by the chairman of the body on election day triggers a feeling of dé-javu across the nation. We have been here before. There was disappointment in 2011, same thing happened in 2015, and now in 2019, the same thing happens and that familiar frustration broods on the nation like a hen covering its eggs under its feathers.

What Nigeria and bad relationships have in common

While this is a national, political matter, a parallel can be drawn between it and romantic relationships. INEC’s, and more generally, Nigeria’s relationship with its people feels like being with a partner who fails at everything they are supposed to get right, no matter how small or simple such thing is supposed to be; and this whole drama comes in handy in the discussion about the kind of struggle you go through and have to deal with regularly when you date such stressful men or women.
The struggle of dating someone who is just as stressful as Nigeria is to its citizens [Credit: Shutterstock]
At the start of the relationship, there is usually a potential for things to work out just well. They make you promises [just like INEC did], say what you want to hear and assure you of their commitment so you hop into the relationship, ride with the potential for growth and hope for the best. But soon enough, you realise that your partner is actually awful at this love thing. You realise that they are either incapable, or they intentionally choose to make simple relationship provisions like care, affection, communication, and looking out for you so scarce that you question their intentions when they actually express or show these things - just like how Nigerians become suspicious when electricity, a very basic need in a 21st century society which should be on 24/7, is available for more than 15 hours at a stretch. Other basic human needs like security, good water, roads and adequate infrastructure are just as obviously absent.
It is easy to get sucked into a bad relationship by the initial honeymoon phase [Credit: CISB]
In a relationship with a partner who disappoints, of course you can’t bank on them to get anything right or remember to play their part. You will be stressed to no small measure as they are either forgetting or refusing to pay attention to simple things that can make you happy. Your special days don’t mean much to such partner, they make you feel all alone.
When you are in a relationship and you play your part, you expect your partner to do the same. When you show love and display affection to him or her in ways they like, you expect them to do same. That is how good relationships work. That’s how they stay healthy and actually grow. But of course, some partners rarely play their part or do so only sparingly - just like how we pay taxes to Nigeria and get next to nothing in return [I have been paying mine unfailingly since I got my first job].
Some people give their best in a relationship and get the worst. [Credit: The root]
What often happens with people in bad relationships, especially women, is that after sticking around, hoping that the man would change for good, it gets to a stage that it actually becomes difficult and really scary to leave in order to restart with someone else. People often look at the effort they’ve put in, how much time they invested in that relationship and many times, this is what usually prompts them to stay, as opposed to being genuinely happy in the relationship.
It is disappointing to hope for the best in a relationship and get the worst. [Credit: xoNecole]
The hopes of the man living up to the potential they saw at the beginning becomes really slim but they still cling anyway. Because, as the saying goes… the devil you know is better than the angel you’ve not seen.
Sure, Nigerians also know a thing or two about being stuck in a bad relationship. As crappy as the government has been over the years, there isn’t much that a Nigerian can do apart from vote every four years and hope things actually change or apply for a visa to a saner country and never return except for annual Christmas celebrations.
When you are with a partner who seems to never bother to get anything right or put in any reasonable effort to do right by you, it’s possible to stop bothering them. You just become either resentful or totally indifferent to them in order to stay sane and maintain whatever is left of your inner peace.

You need to get out

Going by public opinion being expressed on the streets and especially on social media, the disconnect and indifference to the country from its citizenry is actually at an all-time high and if everyone who so desires can actually lay their hands on visas to other countries – Canada, especially - just to get away from Nigeria for good, I won’t be surprised if the population of the country falls to less than half of the present count before the end of one year. That’s how much people desire to get out of what has once been [accurately?] described as a shithole.
Unlike your citizenship, you can renounce a bad relationship and go for a better partner... for good. [Credit : Video Blocks]
The similarities between a terrible romantic relationship and what Nigerians have with the government are obvious and continue to feel realer with each ‘emotional abuse’ the government metes out on its people.
The difference, however, and why you are better in a bad relationship than being a citizen of Nigeria, is that the power to leave is in your hand. You can leave whenever you truly choose to. It’s impossible to renounce your citizenship. You can renounce your relationship in the pursuit of happiness.
And if you are in one right now or find yourself in one in the future, that is exactly what you need to do.

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