This is a guest post from fellow blogger (now on hiatus) Aloofar.
"Surely not tomorrow, but soon"
University of Ibadan, not too long ago. The occasion was the maiden edition of a public speaking contest, and the hall was brimming with students. And even more students were outside scheming to enter the hall against the organiser’s request that the entrance be shut for fear of choking the hall beyond its capacity, or as I suspect, for fear of causing a stampede or a reduction of the hall to smithereens from a possible heat emanating from a roomful of excited young people. About two thousand of them. Someone was scheduled to recite a poem, as part of the program.
I recited my poem to the attentive ears of the students and lecturers. I must have done a hell of a good job as my audience punctuated my recital with the right kind of response. They clapped, laughed and said resounding amens to the curses I hurled at the “offsprings of the monsters whose monstrous idiocy have chequered our tomorrow” … as young people.
But I left the hall saddened. Not even the applause that greeted my performance could allay the heaviness of my depression.
The internal dialoguing that took place in my mind, during and after that performance, requested that I resign into some strange musings as I regretted not exploiting that platform to press for an agenda - a paradigm shifting, a staging of a progressive mutiny, a kindling of the embers of an upheaval, an open call to young Nigerians, as represented in that hall, to take their future in their hands in a headstrong show of rebellion - against a nearly failing polity called Nigeria. Well, I assume it hasn’t failed yet!
Call it a personal burden. But, is it asking for too much or asking for the impossible if someone ask for mutiny, a total usurping of the present status quo because of the reverse rate of Nigeria’s development? The current state of affairs has dragged for too long.
One is tempted to think that, notwithstanding all the cries about the direction in which this country is heading, Nigerians - the world’s happiest people - are simply comfortable with the state of events. It has become like a living case of a cancer patient who is already used to routine chemotherapy that s/he is not perturbed, at the least, on the doctor’s newest announcement of another cancerous development. The patient now responds with disdain at such announcement. “Na today? E don tay!” If possible, s/he would tell the doctor to “bring it on” or ask the doctor to concoct more cancer. “I no send!”
We are not yet pushed to the threshold. That is what it means.
Critics may whisk this off as another writer forecasting dooms day. That is fine. But I am certain of what will soon happen, if not tomorrow (surely not tomorrow). Nigerians will react in a most callous form of rebellion that will make rubbish of the militancy in Niger-Delta or the insurrection of Biafra. The story will be told of a people pushed to the threshold who turned the door, not just the table, on their leaders and pressed for a change in the affairs of their country.
Nigeria is an insane country! The proportion of insane citizens to sane citizens may not be easily estimable. But a sizable proportion of the former are readily housed in corridors of power, deciding the affairs of the rest of us who populate the latter. Or more correctly - deciding their selfish affairs in a circus display of arrant stupidity and wanton ignorance of the necessity of governance.
On that day, not too long ago, at the University of Ibadan, I did raise false optimism as I recited that poem:
… it will be heard beyond our shores
The unsilenceable echoes of our orgasm
Rising like scents from lush pomegranate
From Kaduna to Canada, from Abuja to Abidjan, it will spread
like flakes blown by a good-fated wind
From Lagos to Los Angeles, Benin to Berlin, the chorus will travel
Not as modulations from wailing slaves heading to a New World
But of a people cavorting at the dawn of a new day
We haven’t gotten the cheque for the “new days” yet. It hasn’t been written. But surely soon, it will be written with the sweat and grime, blood and wails of a people who scream ENOUGH-IS-ENOUGH!
It will come in various shades: intellectual mutiny, ethnic mutiny, students mutiny, market women mutiny, and perhaps religious mutiny (which I doubt, though).
These people will be fed up of celebrating the achievement of other lands - Ghana?, India?, Singapore?- that it will become a national imperative to replicate the same on the home front. A strange smugness attends my sensibilities when I think about the frenzy that has come to define my fellow citizen’s awkward reverence of Barrack Obama as he became the president of a country far, far, far away. It’s now cliché to use his name in a sentence. I acknowledge his candidacy and ultimately - his emergence as the president of the United States but it has rather become obnoxious to see people, especially the idiots amongst us, make too big a deal of the whole Obamaic affair that one would believe that his next tenure as president will be as Nigeria’s president. Crap!
This country is rotten. It will take revolution to make it stand on its feet. It may not happen tomorrow, but surely, it’s on its way.
Much thanks to Aloofar of Aloof and Afar for contributing to Nigerian Curiosity as the Honorary Guest Writer for March 2009. Aloofar is a highly respected and published writer and his blog Aloof and Afar focuses on everything and anything, but most importantly, exciting things.
If you would like to be a Guest Writer for Nigerian Curiosity, please use the 'Contact' button above to reach SolomonSydelle, the blog administrator.
Related Articles of Interest:
- Economics of Nollywood: Price (written by guest writer, Oz)
- I Think Nigeria Needs A Revolution
- Putting A Nigerian Revolution in Context
- The Nigerian Psyche
- Persistent Psychological Paralysis
- The Significance of Persistent Psychological Paralysis