The following article is my article in Sunday Telegraph, written on 2nd November, 2014 (nearly 6 years ago). Nothing has changed.
HERE COMES THE SEASON OF ANOMIE
The season is here again. The season of the locusts. The season of the tricksters. The season of professor Peller’s abracadabra magicians. The season of “the more you look, the less you see”. The season of masses’ gullibility. The season of Political buccaneers, Irredentists and turncoats. The season of the typical, archetypal Nigerian Politrician. They call them Politicians. I call them Politricians who play “Politricks”. They have already started assaulting our psyche, and insulting our individual and collective sensibilities, promising paradise on earth, banishment of poverty, enthronement of genuine and lasting democracy, Rule of Law, human rights and democratic dividends. They are already promising to replicate the Asian Tigers’ economic wizardry in our country. They will put to shame these Asian Tigers, namely, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. What can he not do? Nothing!
Here comes the Chameleon, the Nigerian Politrician. He has wares to market. Dirty, odious wares. Wares of crass deceit. Wares of double speak. Wares of perfidy. Wares of treachery. Wares of hallucinatory grandeau of delusion. He has them all, except clean wares that activate societal regeneration and a spirit of nationalism.
EMPTY PROMISES: INANITY
In canvassing for votes, even within his own political party for the purpose of winning the party primaries, he has started his well-worn game of empty, hifalutin promises of doing the impossible. He will relocate us from mother earth to another of the nine planets, possibly Mars, Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Pluto, Venus. He does not rule out the Moon, or even the sun. The sun’s hot rays will not burn us. He would provide the ready antidote. The Nigerian Politrician is the only homo sapien that can cover the sun with his palm. He can even hide behind his finger and pretend no one is seeing him. His immersion in higgledy – piggledy, raggle – taggle behavior is legendary.
He would tar all the roads in Nigeria, when he takes over, to every nook and cranny of every city and hamlet. Indeed, some of the roads would be tarred into the forests and farmlands, to help our beleaguered farmers with easy movement of their harvests from farmlands to city centres. What can he not do? Nothing!
Lest the farmer erroneously thinks he will be left alone in the lurch to till the soil, the Politrician will banish the use of antiquated hoe, cutlass, axe and shovel. He will purchase for the farmer’s use, harrows, harvesters, tractors, caterpillars and bulldozers. He would be given sacks, nay, barns of fertilizers, to ensure that the crops do very well. He will then be afforded silos to ensure the crops are well preserved. What can he not do? Nothing!
The Nigerian Politrician will promise to build bridges on dry land, and install dams in the wet, rainy Niger Delta. He will ensure that crops grow in our rivers, while fish will effortlessly swim on dry land. What can he not do? Nothing!
What about shelter for Nigerians? Oh, very simple! The Politrician is going to build houses for the about 174.9 million Nigerians, including little babies still in their mother’s womb, and those on their mother’s laps. All the houses will be furnished with latest furniture, gadgets and conveniences. Even domestic animals will have special quarters to live in, lest they disturb our peace and tranquility. We, God’s own chosen people, must not be disturbed by mere animals. What can he not do? Nothing!
Medicare challenges will be a thing of the past. Didn’t we defeat Ebola? Are more advanced Countries of the World, including the numero uno democracy, America, not now seeking our intervention as to how to curb the deadly terminal virus? So, for now, we are the new World whiz kids of medicine. If we can defeat Ebola, HIV/AIDS will be a piece of cake for us to conquer. Fathers of Medicine will applaud us from their graves: Hippocrates (remember his popular cliché, “desperate diseases require desperate remedies”?), Florence Nightingale (the most famous Nurse ever, otherwise called “the Lady with the Lamp”, Archibald Mclndoe, Sigmund Freud, Marie Curie, James Blundell, Joseph Lister, Joseph Murray, Alexander Fleming and Edward Jenner. Are you all medical pathfinders, not giving kudos to Nigeria from your graves?
Owning cars, choice cars, for that matter, the Nigerian Politrician will promise, will be as easy as buying groundnuts from a roadside hawker. Every Nigerian will ride any car of his choice, from Jaguar, Prado, Escalade, Expedition, Porsche, Cadillac, Excursion, Camry, Siena, Infinity, to Limousine, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Ford SUV, to Caravan. Those who are tired of riding cars can fly their own private jets, or helicopters. The Nigerian politrician will ensure this. What can he not do? Nothing!
Cripples and other physically challenged Nigerians currently on wheel chairs should better turn them into archival relics, because they would not have any need for them. All of them will drive cars of their choice. They only need to do one thing: vote the Politrician into office, and bingo, all his problems of mobility are over. For those who prefer artificial limbs, oh yes, Indian, American, European, Chinese, and Japanese limbs will be imported in 40Ft containers to substitute for their natural limbs.
THE RENTED CROWD
Amidst a surge of a rented crowd (the hungry hoi polloi that are paid between N200 and N1000 to swell the crowd and give a similitude and verisimilitude of a crowd puller), the Politrician verbalizes: “Fellow countrymen, my beloved kinsmen, I will not disappoint you. I will make a lasting difference. I am the redeemer and liberator you have been waiting for, the avatar of your fortunes, the Lamb of God that taketh away all your sorrows, pains, anguish, pangs and serial disappointments. I will empower the powerless, give voice to the voiceless, strengthen the weak, give hope to the hopeless, encourage the downcast and hapless and defend the defenceless. Read my lips: I will train all your children from crèche to the university, give wives to all the bachelors and husbands to all the spinsters. Never again will any of you be shoeless at zero age, even whilst in your mother’s womb, let alone walking shoeless at the age of 10, like our Otuoke – born President Goodluck Jonathan. You will be luckier than this Goodluck.
I will banish hunger and annul (pardon me, IBB), the consumption of ordinary home-made yams, maize, garri, akpu, fufu, amala, elubo, eba, fura da nunu, miakuka, edikangikong, ofensala, nkwobi, atsu, ewedu and all such unhealthy local foods. “Stomach infrastructure” or “democracy of the stomach” will be my first and primary concern when you elect me into office.
My reign will ensure that your breakfast shall comprise of toasted bread, sausage, spring rolls, bacon, and prawns in batter; your lunch, fried pigeon, pork ribs, shrimps in chili sauce and mashed potatoes; while your dinner will be Singapore noodles, crabs, boneless sweet and sour duck, lobsters in black bean sauce and asparagus, broccoli with mixed vegetable”. What can he not do? Nothing! Nigeria befuddles me.
ONLY IN NIGERIA
It is only in Nigeria that a Politrician will be elected on the platform of a political party, stay put and enjoy the party’s protection and reputation for seven years, quietly or tumultuously decamps to an opposition political party in the 8th year, and suddenly realize that his original political party is satanic, luciferous, odious, backward, useless and indeed consists of political lepers and thieves of our common wealth. Only in Nigeria.
It is only in Nigeria that a Governor will cajole and coax a crowd of people drawn from all nooks and crannies of all the Local Governments of his state, just for the purpose of commissioning a five kilometer road project whose touted cost is actually more than 500% of the actual cost. The money used in organizing the attendant, “Commissioning” is nearly as much as the project cost. Only in Nigeria. The poor, cheated and hoodwinked plebians will sing their hearts out, tattoo their bodies with uli and ume, and dance atilogwu, mpokiti, igioge, igbokobia, igieleghe and even egbabonalimhi dance. Only in Nigeria.
It is only in Nigeria you will hear a Governor “vow” to build roads, provide shelter and education, give water and Medicare to citizens of his state, as if he was elected for a different purpose. Only in Nigeria. It is only in Nigeria that a community will welcome their son or daughter with open arms where he or she can show and demonstrate overt evidence of vulgar opulence, and stolen money. Indeed, the more the “son of the soil”, or “daughter of the soil” stole from the National till, the more he/she is venerated and idolised. The sudden wealth must luminate in sprawling mansions, in all parts of the world, a fleet of countless cars, vast acres of farmlands, micro industries, and escort – heralded convoy of vehicles. Only in Nigeria.
Woe betides the retiree who comes back empty hand, in the name of prudence, patriotism, honesty and probity, while in service. He/she will be shunned, avoided, derided, scorned, mocked and spat at, for being a fool while in service. Only in Nigeria.
It is only in Nigeria that elders will pour libation and pray for their children thus; “May God and our ancestors increase your wealth (money), but not your work. May you find, or stumble on money that is not owned by any one”. Gracious God! Holy Moses!! Only in Nigeria.
It is only in Nigeria that certificated criminals who have stolen from our commonwealth will be rewarded and have their necks garlanded with medals and National Honours. They will be awarded high sounding chieftaincy titles, all of them ending with one (1). There is no number two or three. That is a taboo. It is Ogbini 1, Ogbaleghe 1, Okpughukpughu 1, Onwa 1, MajeKobaje 1, Yerimah 1, etc. such criminal elements will be accorded prominent seats and mats in the front pews and spaces of our churches and mosques, scrambling for spaces with our liturgical and clerical officials such as canons and Imams. Only in Nigeria. It is only in Nigeria that small level officials of Government will easily pocket billions of naira and smile home after a judicial slap on their wrist. Only in Nigeria.
It is only in Nigeria that Boko Haram will abduct our innocent daughters from Chibok and rather than unite as a Nation and fight a common enemy, the Haramists, as the Americans did on 11th of September, 2001, when her national pride and symbol of strength, the New York twin towers were leveled to ground zero, we vilify the President and helpless Governor of the receiving state. We abuse and denigrate the military that is fighting the “Civil” war, men and women of honour and valour, who left their loved families and the comfort of their homes, to fight in the damp, cold forests and hot desert to ensure our collective security. Nigerian Politricians turn the entire issue in to a political game of musical chairs, Baba Sala’s Alawada Kerikeri’s histrionics and theatricals. Only in Nigeria. It is only in Nigeria that elected officials of Government will use the first of a four year term to study their governance or legislative structure and organogram, including making appointments; use the second year to work for the people who elected them; and use the remaining two years politicking and amassing vulgar wealth. He enjoys Politicking without governance. Only in Nigeria. It is so sad, so debasing, so amazing and so idiotic.
Nigeria, we hail thee.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“Politicians have to be committed to people in equal measures.” (Angela Merkel).