Aaaarggh……….how time flies! Tomorrow October 1st, the global space will be colonised and the yearly ritual of Independence celebration will be in the air. Behind the meaningless red carpet; the billeted of dignitaries in Abuja posh hotels, the military salute, the hypocritical patriotism behind the green-white-green flag of this embattled nation, the over-inflated accounting of events organizers, the lies of paid acolytes, the leader’s empty promises, the simpering foolish ‘gloriana’ of the much ballyhooed image of Nigeria as a giant of Africa, there must be a probing pause of how bad we have fared as a nation.
In literary genre, there is the use of coda as a tool to round up thought or storyline of the main body of work. In journalism, there is the ever bright punch line which summarises the woven tapestry of a riveting story. Tomorrow, Nigeria, a once proud nation, now badly totemised to the very bottom of the world’s socio-economic pole will be 59 years old. We have added another year to the unbroken sorrow of a promising nation, hijacked since independence by illiterate, stubborn Fulanised hegemony that have succeeded in imposing graft-driven circus, called governance.
Welcome to Nigeria’s 59 circus years of nightmare. Independence Remembrance Day is no longer the thanksgiving day of freedom from servitude and colonial imposition. It is no longer the day when we remembered the birth of a new nation; a new destiny and a new dream. Rather, Independence Day is today a day to remember the death of a nation. When you sampled all the verbalized and written jousts of opinion of our independence remembrance, the whole exercise crystallized into one enigma: mourning.
There is a mournful passing away of Nigeria, a belief shared even among the hardened optimists. Every man, woman and child talks of our social rot; corruption, moral failure, official pilferage, blinkered leaders, stagnant progress and spiritual castration. From the tribes of enlightened people I spoke to, no one could deny the fact that the blighted contortions of the last 59 circus years have damaged our image globally. However, with mystifying silence, we merely watched our worsening condition with powerless alarm.
With our broad support, we merely watched the wreckage of the economy as the Northern regents of our civic values, the Fulani shapers of our public policy and the illiterate pundits of our democratic deliberations all package Nigeria for self-aggrandizement. As we celebrate 59 circus years, Nigeria is still obscured by shameless orgy of political vulgarity, impunity and oppression. Our political class continue to wave a banner of irredeemable insanity and cold indifference that make the mind sick. Daily, Nigerians are mulcted of their common wealth by a rapacious band of dimwit diviners called politicians who unleashed on us ludicrous legislations passed to serve and protect selfish interest as against national interest.
Characteristically, our politicians are marooned within their cloistered political castles while the ruled are torn between weepy regret and self-absorbed depression. Check this out. The cost of maintaining the vanity-oriented rogues in both our National Assembly and House of Representatives has become the burden and misery the Nigerian state has to carry on its fragile shoulders. It is intellectually absurd and morally repugnant to think that the same petrol-dollar being used in feeding our parasite class – politicians – is denied to the poorer mortals among us. Why would a supposedly rich nation like Nigeria continue to waste resources on the vanity of its senator-politicians, who, according to President Muhammadu Buhari, have contributed nothing to national rehabilitation for the past 20 years of our democratic experimentation?
Why do we need to be feeding the vanities of hounds and scoundrels we call lawmakers? Believe me, we have accommodated 20 years of wicked, vanity-driven and profligate democracy that had bankrupted Nigeria. The cold miserable truth is that 59 years of nationhood has succeeded in producing political lechers who wear their lecherous badge without shame, fear or sense of contrition. I will like to repeat and re-assert President Buhari’s famous argot: In 59 years of independence, where is the light? In 59 years of becoming, where are the jobs? In 59 years of nationhood, where is the peace and prosperity for Nigerians? In 59 years of colonial freedom, where are the sober, conscientious, humble, just, sincere, transparent and public-spirited politicians we can all be proud of? In 59 years of nation building, where are the patriotic, avaricious-averse, dedicated, morally upright and integrity-driven politicians who will alter the contour of our shame, disconnect us from corruption, retune our moral values and recover our stolen paradise from thieving politicians whose sole aim is to steal, kill and destroy?
Who will unbundle the cost of democratic governance? Who will cut out fat allowances, benefits and salaries of our lecher-senators? Who will ban politicians from driving around in darkened SUV and convoy? Who will puncture the bubble of ostentatious and profligate lifestyle of Nigerian politicians and align their expectations with the wishes of the Nigerian people? After 59 years of profligate national project, the question is who will be martyred for a New Nigeria? Who! Who!! Who!!!What really stabs the heart in the case of Nigeria is the enraging, apostatical insult of banding this nation among the poorest nations on earth. Such classification of Nigeria borders on the wilder shores of unreason. What then happened to the colossal resources of our oil, the resourcefulness of our work force and the intellectual muscle of our educated elite? What then happened to the dawning euphoric dream of greatness as seen in the 60’s? Why did we allow the audacity of hope enshrined in the possible greatness of Nigeria atrophied through political non-accountability, traceable corruption, thuggery, tribalism, moneyed politics and class snobbery?
Why is politics, as seen through the lens of Western democracies, seem to have lost its bearings in this realm? Why, at every yearly independence celebration, do we all come out with same sombre narrative? Why do we have to sip, annually, on the hemlock of defeat and stagnant destiny? When are we going to receive light in this darkening vision? How do we stop this recurrent grin-and-bear-it stoicism which Fela Anikulapo-Kuti immortalized uniquely as suffering and smiling?
All the solutions to our problems are obvious, but they have been ruled out by the miserable pygmies and parasites who have taken over our governance. The fundamentalist fringe renowned for its clannish stubbornness and unwillingness to reason still could not brace itself for dissolution from a marriage conceived in hell by one hellish of a guy called Lord Lugard who is now in hell.
Until we pause to map alternative and radical political arrangements that will suit the social, spiritual, economic, tribal and intellectual temper of all the competing but subdued and dominated nationalities, we shall remain indentured slaves to the medieval turbaned hegemony of the North. At 59, the nationhood nightmare continues.