Today’s take on Nigeria and its many issues is going to be an interactive piece. Simply put, I am going to start the story and we all are going to either add bits and pieces where I leave them out; or add chapters and verses to the story “as the spirit leads”.
Okay, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for take-off!
So, here in Nigeria, you have a beautiful daughter who is super intelligent; exceptionally so such that if you allow her display her intelligence to the world, things will spoil. You feel that somehow you have to harness this intelligence for the collective good. So, you deliberately expose this daughter to as much information as she needs to remain constantly productive. But lock her up where she can still remain relatively untouched.
She has a big brother, an – for want of a politer word – olodo. But this brother quickly figured out a way that his sister’s intelligence can be used for his own good. So, he begins to tap her brain for tidbits which he fronts as his own makings. With the proceeds, he begins to enrich himself. Once in a while and so that tongues do not begin to wag unnecessarily; he releases a little bit of profits from proceeds he makes from his sister’s brilliance for her upkeep. Enough to keep her alive, but just barely.
However, his wives and siblings are always being praised because they always exquisitely “turnt up”. Whenever the sister or anyone who is believed to be genuinely representing her interest speaks up about the unfairness of this situation; big brother and his supporters shut them down with either threats of violence; or by sprinkling crumbs from their table in their direction.
Soon, out of frustration and to gain the attention of everyone to what is actually going on; little sister’s supporters club starts deliberately sabotaging Big Brother and his exploitation of an intellect that is meant to serve the general good. They disrupt events and channel some of the intelligence away from Big Brother.
When he notices that this may begin to actually create a heavy dent in his exploration of their sister’s resources; he ups the crumb throwing – a scholarship here and there, one or two recognitions and awards; heck! he even went so far as to “allow” one of little sister’s staunchest supporters supervise the family affairs for a brief while; before he yanks off the “privilege” and everything returns to business as usual.
Now in the course of the agitations for the fair treatment of the “goose that lays the golden egg”; a committee is set up to oversee little sister’s affairs. This committee is made up of people whom the entire world believes are closely related to little sis. Therefore, they have her best interests at heart. At best if nothing else, they should be able to always protect these interests and ensure that little sis gets to enjoy the benefits of being the one that sustains the rest of the economy, right?
One day, “kassala” bursts among the committee members.
The Chairman and his Secretary General come out in public and start trading accusations of either sexual harassment; or being married once too many times, in the public eye. However, the public is undeterred. They are not too concerned about what happens behind closed doors between a man and a consenting woman; (if she doesn’t consent and she slapped him and he subsequently left her alone, then we’re also okay with it); we also do not really care about how many husbands any of them have married and why. After all, we also have our marital struggles to contend with.
All the whole community in Nigeria wants to know is; “how exactly have you all been protecting your little sister’s interest; especially now that the responsibility for ensuring everything is in order lies in YOUR hands”.
Enter gear two.
Community of elders calls for a meeting at the village square to which all involved are supposed to come forward. Also, they are also expected to present their stories – barring any x-rated portions which they are frankly not interested in; so that the elders can judge once for all who it is that has actually been contributing to the under-development of little sister in spite of the fact that the responsibility of providing for the entire community has been on her shoulders since long time Imo River.
First person to take to the “microphone” starts explaining to us why even though sister never chop; it is expedient that he and his cabal members chop to their hearts’ content; so that they will have the energy to protect little sister’s interests. As the questions start inching closer and closer to the “heart of the matter”; Uncle faints in an “all eyes open but still any faint is a good faint” dramatic performance; one that is only interrupted by a mokalik who attempts to use his unwashed hands as an emergency jaws of life, to pry open the fainter’s mouth and retrieve the balance of the common wealth which he has chopped but has probably not yet swallowed from the depths therein.
Uncle refuses to take that, “I am fainting mbok bros. Remove your dirty hands from my mouth and allow me to faint in peace. What is all this?”
Soon, peace is restored and the fainting Uncle marches on his own two feet out of the village square. At least, he has bought himself an extra couple of weeks or so. At all at all na him bad pass, as we say in Nigeria.
Now, it is the turn of the Committee Chairman and he swaggers in; collects microphone and faces his questioners. As soon as their questioning begins to enter gear one though; he switches it up for them and engages gear five…
“But I gave you out of the resources na, you too… Madam questioner, calm down first. You are not aware of what was going on… Enhen you brother you no follow chop”?
‘‘Honorable Minister, issokay. Issokay. Don’t talk again honorable minister, off the mic. Off the mic, honorable minister. Stop dignifying the questioners with an answer, Issokay. NEPA! NEPA, where are you? Why won’t you take light when you are needed? Oh! we are on standby generator? NTA, NTA… disrupt programming. I repeat again, disrupt programming.’’
Brethren, we have come to my end of the story, and this is why we were where we were…
The story continues… or not. As you wish.
I am back to my observation post!