For many months now, Nigerians both home and away, had battled the stigma of being classified as the headquarters of poverty, successfully taking over from India.
This sort of classification was a sore in the hearts of many people, who thought the country deserved better, but could not contest the statistics conceding that “horrible status” to them.
As if that was not enough, just a few days ago, a new status was added to this classification and that’s Nigeria, dusting India again to become the headquarters of under-five deaths in the world.
UNICEF, in a report titled: ‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality’, claimed Nigeria recorded an estimated average of 858,000 under-five deaths in 2019 as against India, which ranked second with 824,000 deaths out of 5.2 million under-five deaths globally.
Curiously, this is coming two years earlier than the World Bank had projected that Nigeria would take over from India as the world capital for deaths of children under the age of five by 2021.
Whatever it is, this is a clarion call to leadership for service and good governance. Nigerians cannot continue to be calibrated in the worst of assessment, when the indices for such justifications can be turned around, where leadership is up to the challenge. Being the capital for all sorts of afflictions isn’t cool and government must rise up to this challenge.