6:21 pm, 14 May 2050
It is Sunday, the evening sun is gloriously warm and gentle, a light breeze caressed the palm trees in the front yard, making it sway gently, it wrapped around me like a lover’s embrace. The sunset is beautiful, the sky is bright orange with sparse grey clouds drifting lazily, and the world is awash in sepia. It would make a pretty picture, this sight.
I am sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of my house, my habit these evenings to get away from excessive screen time, as advised by my doctor but also it was an opportunity to appreciate the serenity. I close my eyes and take in a deep breath.
There was a time when I thought we wouldn’t have this for much longer due to the deterioration of the climate but then, here we are, thirty years later. I love my house; it is a cosy two-storey, designed in the old Victorian style, I thought I wanted a change from the ultra-modern housing towers that have dominated this city. It has a wide compound covered completely with carpet grass except for the concrete walkways and has tall palm trees along the perimeter of the fence. It is my pride and joy.
I will turn fifty-one come June and the years have taught me to take pleasures in small things, like the wetness of the tiny leaves of new grass from dew in the morning, or the muffled whirring of the electric trains as they make their hourly rounds. It is so quiet now, personal fuel-driven cars were banned twelve years ago in a bid to reduce the damage fossil-fuels have done to the environment; the noise is greatly reduced now. The overhead light comes on as it has been programmed to do at 6:30 p.m., electricity never goes off now. I still cannot believe how we lived through those years of constant blackouts.
I think of my children in school and of my husband, who is on a business trip. I do not feel a jolt of panic that something bad might happen to them as they go about their daily activities, I feel safe in the knowledge that we now live in a safe country. The same could not be said of my mother at the same age though, she was always worried about something.
I reminisce about the days of my youth; when I wouldn’t listen to any news outlets because they always carried depressing news, even the ones about sport. My only source of information was What Sapp and even that sometimes contained contents like funding schemes for sick people, strikes countdowns and leaked sex tapes. I smile sentimentally.
This change did not come easily. At the turn of the 2020s, Nigeria had just been declared a state with high exposure to climate hazard facing multi-faceted challenges. Her fragility was considered the worst in West Africa, with concerns in all four spheres of state-society interaction—political, security, economic and social.
All states had their own problems; there were rainfall anomalies at the eastern edge and central to southern regions, chronic aridity in the north, wildfires in the southern regions close to the coast and floods in the coastal zones. Along with these came challenges such as conflict and violence in the north, conflict between herders and farmers in the middle belt and mismanagement of natural resources in the Niger-Delta. The North particularly suffered with famine risks—not only caused by climate factors—but by longstanding environmental stress coupled with poor national management of the security, economic and social affairs in that region.
The following years after the term of Buhari played a critical role in where we are today. The newly instated government eradicated the 1999 constitution and gave power to each state along with the implementation of new policies, which now meant that no Nigerian politician still in office could send members of their families abroad for education. There are now jail terms without bail for leaders found guilty of corruption at some point or another while in office. Each state formed their respective security bodies, which led to proper management of crimes and vices.
The region with the most progress has to be the North, from what the news said—for I started purchasing the daily paper again three years ago when the country was announced the second most peaceful country in west Africa—the rate of secondary school graduates last year compared to 2025 showed a 425 per cent increase, 43 per cent of which were girls.
We are not there yet, but we have come so far from where we were⎈
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