Wednesday, April 22, 2009

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.

Yours sincerely.

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 

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Ms. SpicyTee said...

Wow..and you made me shed a tear for Nigeria...
Just so much truth in this post. Seriously, I don't know what we did wrong that we can't have a great nation despite our rich we are economically, culturally and spiritually. We are just saddled with bad greedy leaders. And that's our major and only problem.Only God can help us and may he see us through.

@Aloofar.. I luv this bro. Though I didn't get to interract much with you before ran away from blogging. Is really a pleasure.

littleangel4christ said...

def. made me think jst as SSD said...
Most esp. "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."

both sentences are on point!
a very interesting yet effective way of describing the mode of governance in our country.

Danny Bagucci said...

very well written.. captures succintly the essence of the myriads of thoughts that coursed through my mind for the better part of the last 12 days!

Chxta said...

Everybody run run run
Everybody scatter scatter
Some people lost some bread
Some one nearly die
Some one just die
Police dey come, Army dey come
Confusion everywhere...

Seven minutes later
All done cool down,
brotherPolice don go away
Army don disappear

Dem leave Sorrow, Tears, and Blood
Dem regular trade mark

My people self dey fear too much
Dem fear for the thing we no see
Dem fear for the air around us
We fear to fight for freedom
We fear to fight for liberty
We fear to fight for justice
We fear to fight for happiness
We always get reason to fear...

We no want die
We no want quench
Mama dey for house
Papa dey for house
I get one wife
I get one car
I get one house
I just build house
I wan enjoy...
So policeman go slap your face
You no go talk...
Army man go whip your yansh
You go dey look like donkey...

Rhodesia dey do dem own
Our leaders dey yab for nothing
South Africa dey do dem own

Dem leave Sorrow, Tears, and Blood
Dem regular trade mark

LoloBloggs said...

Welcome back Aloofar...hopefully we shall see more of this? ;-)

I have to say, it is inherent in our Nigerian culture to have the clarity of vision that allows us to complain about all the things that need action, and even to add extras on top....but we don't seem to like doing things..

We know there are madmen in power, how do we start changing that? Do we really need to wait for a revolution? Can't we start now? Who are these people who will orchestrate the turning of doors? Is it you? Should it be me?

I think we need practical leadership, less abstract articulation and more doing....so Aloofar...where do I sign up to your mandate? What's the first revolutionary act on the list?

New Truth said...

We will read, we will seethe and then we will forget. Do you know why? It's because even the younger generation is corrupt. Yes, it started from the head but it has trickled down to the bottom. We think it okay to cheat in exams, we think it okay works with false NIs (in the UK for instance), we think it okay to backstab, double deal, drag people down, be condescending to the poor, we think it okay to spend our working time blogging, stealing our employers time. We are corrupt! Yes, us! the so-called generation changers, we are corrupt! That's why we can't do anything about what we see. There are only so few who remain untainted. We just don't do it on the same scale but given the chance...

Did we not collectively heave a sigh of relief when Dimeji Bankole got into the senate. Was he not trained like us, young like us and purportedly decent like us...read about him on Next today. We are failing ourselves.

You want true change in Nigeria, change yourself!

My World said...

What a come back that is.....
Love the poem and the way it captures a lot of stuff..

Doja 2.0 said...

God bless Nigeria,by helping Nigeria. Amen.

Tony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tobenna said...

Despondent article.
But then again, its sincere and factual.
I beg to disagree with the last paragraph.
I do not think it will take a revolution.
It has been proven time and time again that we do not revolt.
I rather think we will evolve.
Any yes, it typically takes a long time.

QMoney said...

I couldnt resist coming to check u out.
so brilliantly written,there are days am jus fed up and i think nothing works and can or will work in this country and there are days i feel exactly like u have written,one day soon- enough will be enough

Meanwhile,havnt u finished discovering yourself?

Omo Oba said...

It is good to know u havent forgotten blogville Aloofar. I miss your caustic sarcasm and cutting edge practicality.

I have always wondered y people never rebel when they are stretched beyond the upper-limits of suffering. Rebel is what we should have done during the days of IBB and Abacha, rebel is what we should be doing in Darfur, Somalia, Rwanda...rebel is what we should have done during biafra...unfortunately, middle-class yourbas like my family were too complacent to do anything. so yes, it is a pity that middle class Nigerians (like many on blogville) are too afraid or too complacent to fight stand up to do something, rather we compose flowery and inspiring essays/discourses...I am guilty as accused. We leave our fate to the military and upper-class Nigerians. But, I admire the fact that you aren't satisfied with the present state of things, we need an agenda, we need action! great write up.

babajidesalu said...

I concur with Doja above.....

Just a thought though, are their any brilliant Nigerians talking the talk that a brilliant 'Aloofa' writer can concentrate on for a change....I am getting just a little bit bored and irritated by the doom and gloom.

Agreed, all said about Nigeria is true, however, the easiest thing anyone can do is to positively or even negatively criticise without offering one single solution.

A test, ask anyone to mention 10 things they hate about...versus 10 things to love about....

Enough said.

I do not propose to say I have the solution, however, what I am certain of is like a realist, anything said over and over again becomes a reality.

Sorry guys...
Nothing personal to Aloofar and other critics out there.
doers that we ought writers who can come up.

God Bless you, SSD (for providing the forum)
God Bless Aloofa (for your talent)
God Bless Nigeria( for its journey so far)
God Bless Africa (for its natural resources & beauty)

babajidesalu said...


Sorry guys...
Nothing personal to Aloofar and other critics out there.
I urge doers to out there to be sought out and for brilliant writers to 'Aloofa' about them.

God Bless you, SSD (for providing the forum)
God Bless Aloofa (for your talent)
God Bless Nigeria( for its journey so far)
God Bless Africa (for its natural resources & beauty)

dave said...

I hear you cry. And I feel your pain. Your frustration also fills me unimagination anger. Nigeria is a blessed country, yet we have creatively turned all that outpouring of God's endownment into a permanent source for collective persona. We don't seem able to manage any situation, without first bringing our nation to shame. Take the currently fuel crisis as pointer. Some guys break the law a constituted authority arrests them and they turn around and take the rest of us hostage. And this not helped by the fact that NEPA (I refuse to PHCN) has been keeping us in virtual house arrest for generations. I could go on with the vexing frustrations in Nigeria but that's pointless.
You know, while also in UI, I did an article that was published in Sketch Newspaper, in which I advocated that Nigeria should be sold to another country or a multi national company, to ran as a business, whereby, at the end of every year, every Nigerian will attend a shareholders and be given his or her dividend.
I still hold that view.

Geebee said...

Well said. I suggest a 'repackaging' of this article, word for word and it being sent to every citizen, the corridors of power - Aso Rock, the Senate, House of Reps and every government parastatal both at the state and Federal level so they'd know the impending action of the Nigerian ctizenry. But then, would the so-called 'insane' people up there be moved by that? I honestly doubt it. Yes indeed. What we need in this country is action. Not from the government (they've botched every opportunity they had) but from the very citizenry. We need to let these insane guys up there know that we, the sane ones outnumber them like sands to stones on a seashore. The country is indeed in shambles and we cannot remain complacent with being dubbed 'the happiest people on earth'. That phrase is a pure mockery and an irony of the highest order that stinks to the high heavens and we need to show the world that we have what it takes to be reckoned with on the global scene. Enough of the mockery. Enough of the stupid rebranding sh*t. It all makes no sense and to me, it's a sheer waste of resources and a demonstration of total confusion on the part of our leaders who appear to have totally lost a sense of purpose or direction. Let's call a spade a spade and do something while we can. It's time for a revolution. I'm in on this one. Who else?

PS- Aloofar, that was lovely. Good to hear from you again.
SSD, I love this concept of 'guest writers'. I would love to contribute my quota in future. There's so much to say but then action definitely speaks louder than voice.

Luther Lawoyin said...

Nigeria's future is on us,our elders have already made a mess of it. please check http://greenwhitepolls.com/

Mama Shujaa said...

I echo other commenters commendations on the well-written piece.

In addition where are the Ojukwu's and the Sarawiwas of today? Or will it take the market women to lead the revolution? Guaranteed: as intellectuals and politicians continuing singing the same song, the market women will play a different tune!

chiedu ifeozo said...

Nigerians are very resilient, but more importantly there is a lot of fear as well, There may be small pockets of resistance, but a revolution in every sense of the word, is difficult to conceive in Nigeria, where we mostly deal and adapt to the situation. I liked your poem though, having some hope is what keeps me sane :-)

Shiko-Msa said...

Omo Oba Kenya also needs a rebellion.

Nothing is a big deal any more around here no matter what the leaders do. When we hear of another mega corruption scandal the reaction is that of resigned acceptance. That is very dangerous.

Just this week an outlawed criminal gang killed close to 30 people in one village. This was an expected revenge attack and yet nobody worked towards stopping it. The public outcry is much much less than should be. That happened just few days ago and already it seems to have now been swallowed by news of never ending squabbles within the coalition government. One what their squabbles are for if they cant provide security for their people?

N.I.M.M.O said...

Repeat after me:

The Change I Seek Begins With Me!

Why do you look for a revolution? Why not just start one? Why do you look around for someone to offer his head to break the coconut? Why not use yours?

Many people have started revolutions in this country but ask them what happened. Ask Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu & the 3 other Majors. Ask Isaac Adaka-Boro. Ask Murtala Mohammed. Ask MKO Abiola. Ask Ken Saro-Wiwa. Ask them.

Someone once said that Nigeria is probably 'configured' to be the way it is. Nothing ever gets to that mythical threshold, that breaking point from which there is no return. We have seen so much but there is always more on the horizon. And we always seem to look forward to it.

I have since learnt that these people we condemn every time are also Nigerians and I really cannot claim to love the country more than they do. They probably just have a weird way of showing their love for country. But they seem to have found an effective way to be in power over and over again and they will not yield it willingly.

So, how do you get the power? Good question. Join politics.

But do you really need to be in politics?

Let the change you seek begin with you. Take it personal. YOU are Nigeria! If you can change the man, you can change the world, not just the country.

let the revolution begin.

Viva la revolucion!

Muse said...

my God! That's all I can say man, that's all I can say.

Afrobabe said...

Wow...Baby boy I didn't know you wrote so well...I can feel the passion in the post.now go back and open ur blog, we miss you terribly...

StandTall-The Activist said...

New Truth, Omo Oba and a few other bloggers captured my mind in their comments. All I will add is we need to start changing our ways as individual and see how our own change can affect the others.

I miss reading your blog dear Aloofar

Anonymous said...

I don't subscribe to some mob revolution. It wont just happen my dear. Trust me. The Che Guevaras and Fidel Castros of this world were lucky in the time and era they came. They will only remain icons in idealogical romanticism now.

The world has entered another phase. It is the age of self awareness and productivity. It's the age of systemic disorder. Permit me that. It's the age of taking control, not from the gun or mob barrels, but from sound knowledge and building of systems.

Facebook is a system we're all locked into now! Credit card is s system the Westerners are locked into! The reason White people aren't savages now is because they've been locked into systems.

That is exactly what Nigeria needs.

And as you know, how govt is ages behind its citizens in that respect. So i belong to the school that would look at the society from the prism of education and capacity/institution building. Cambridge-Harvard-St. Andrew started as private institutions. People with insight like you pointed then way to the govt.

The form of revolution we desperately need now is intellectual. Your thoughts, so beautifully marshalled must be bound up in a book and actively fed to the upcoming generation! Books bruv, less of symposia! We do not have icons to quote bruv! Even in Naija advertising, how many of the founders could be quoted? They are all megalomaniac morons who live only for the filthy lucre.

Don't get me wrong, i am a deeply spiritual person but also equally intellectual and political.

Documents bruvs. You're more advantaged to influence a generation with books! Awolowo is still influencing people with his documented writings!

The sturggle/battle is not only intellectual, it's psychological, spiritual and ideological but it must also transcend these, it must be branded! It isn't until minds are captured that revolution is possible.

How come the only credible Nigerians, Nigerian quote are the pastors? They must be doing something right! Go to our universities, we still quote Ervin Gauffman or Karl Max or George Soros! Where are the Nigerian intellectual voices since Soyinka and Achebe?

You need to host your site and collect your writings into a disctinctive voice that can resonate far and wide. You need to publish them into books, e-books and poetry. You must do more of school speaking including high schools.

Our job as nation builders is to build every aspects of the building. One area we have had revolution without intelligence/knowledge is music and films. What did we get? Fools with MONEY on their minds! They have loads of cash but they are just vainglorious ego-driven hollow minds who can't build structures to sustain nor compete with the world's best.

I know you know much more than i am saying here.

Pling said...

Ok, like the "Anonymous" poster above me, I too do not necessarily endorse the "off with their heads" solution to Nigeria's problem. I think most importantly we need re-education and an overhaul of our thinking and mind set without losing what makes us Nigerians.

One of things I think we need to get rid off is the "Baba Ke" title we attribute to these politicians. Like many other people, I too have been guilty of this, you know a minister's child, could also be a governor’s, top military guy and so on and we tend to suck up to them and their wealth. A top politician comes to your wedding or party and they sit on the high table. We still seem to treat them like national treasures instead of the criminal some of these guys really are. Imagine what Shina Rambo or Anini's children (if they had any) would have going through in school? I doubt Shina Rambo would have gone to anyone's wedding and would have been invited to the high table although these politicians probably steal more in one day than these guys steal through out their whole career.

We complain about these leaders every time but if it comes down to it and we were offered one of these corrupted aggrandized contracts what would we do? Are we going to be able to sacrifice that new house or the shiny car to do what is right?

Re-education and re-evaluation of our thinking and priorities on a personal level is very important and is what we need to kick start the changes we all want.

rayo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rayo said...

you talk about revolution, i wonder if it will ever come to pass and if it does how long it will be before it does. we seem to have a people too complacent lyk u pointed out, people too used to things being wrong and when something obviously rotten happens you hear 'its d nigerian way' we've become so used to ugliness its pissing. sometimes wish someone wld take the coming generation out of nigeria, put them in a 'sane' environment and return them when they're old enough to see the decay in the country for what it really is and not go down that road coz lyk it or not we've got too many people with the 'nigerian mentality' alive ryt now for the few who don't have it to come to lyt and make some meaningful difference.
lyk d poem...

Uzezi said...

I know this country is heading for greatness because that is all i see around me when i look. and the great people too. Like Aloofar. welldone.

Anonymous said...

solomonsdyelle, please tell this brother to return to blogville. i speak for myself alone, but i'm sure others miss him too. if you're in contact with him.

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