By Yahaya Balogun
“I fear evolution has inbuilt greed and aggression to the human genome. There is no sign of conflict lessening, and the development of militarized technology and weapons of mass destruction could make that disastrous.”
The number one New York bestseller, Angie Thomas, in her new book titled: “The Hate you give” is a compelling book I recommend to haters anywhere to read. Nigerian haters who dwell in self-hate will benefit immensely from the imports of the book. In a nutshell, the book chronicles the burden of black African-Americans in the dark periods of American history. That is, the Jim Crow era in America and its resurgence now! The hate you spread in Nigeria may be counterproductive and consume you and many other innocent people. Politics, religion, and tribal motives are the three nuances being weaponized to destroy the nation’s fabric and the world. The new normal in Nigeria are confusion, hate, greed, hypocrisy, jealousy, instant gratification, hedonism, and general hopelessness.
Sadly, the prevailing state of anomie in the country is a concerning development. The alarming situation is multiplying at a rate we have never seen before in Nigeria! The problem seems to be at the point of inflection now! There are two groups of people in Nigeria today whom I term as ‘opposing forces!’ The first group believes that Nigeria is a “mere geopolitical expression” that is irredeemably destined to disintegrate any moment from now. The second group of people believes that Nigeria is a bridge of hope if her people get their mojo to make it so. Differently, the first and second groups of these Nigerians believe that “Nigeria is a matter of time!” “A matter of time” represents the two different opposing “believers” of Nigeria.
This writer is an incurable optimist who incurably belongs to the latter group of people (those who believe that Nigeria is a bridge of hope). Going by the prevailing circumstances in Nigeria, you are allowed to call this writer a fantasized dreamer! But this writer’s dream of a new Nigeria through optimism is anchored on his courage of convictions and the antithesis of the evolving global developments. It will get worse before it gets better! But the rattling eternal question is: “e go better, e go better…” when will it be better?
As quoted above, Steven Hawking’s instruction and exposition are based on the current three nuances (Politics, Religion, and Tribe) in Nigeria. Nigeria is sitting ignorantly on a tripod stand of hate while love hovers aimlessly in her horizon. Politics, religion, and ethnicity are now being used expeditiously as weapons of hate to hatch a plan to destabilize and plunge the country into a destructive war. Nigeria is already going through the bedlam of crisis, false unity, and conceited associations. It’s high time we renegotiated our unity through constructive conversations, or the country perished. Conversations that will redefine amicably our ill-conceived conception of administrative convenience as designed by the brutish British and colonial masters. With nostalgia, everyone was jostling in the euphoria of glowing expectations of a birthed Nigeria at Nigeria’s infancy and independence. Abruptly, the military putsch punctuated the joy of launching Nigeria into Eldorado. The false-conceived nation became a dystopian country where human life is a dispensable and expendable commodity. Bribery and corruption were institutionalized by the self-styled Military President, General Babangida, and it has become a way of life. Everyone is now motivated by instant gratification, selfishness, greed, and ugliness of hate. Corruption is the umbilical cord that connects Nigerians. Corruption in Nigeria can be defined as the inability of the corrupt people to eke or have access to the national cake like their counterparts. If an evil individual has access to the nation’s wealth illegally, corruption becomes an opportunity; he becomes part of the opposing forces.
The gnomes of the then iron-fisted General Buhari, the evil-genius Babangida, the cunningness of Mr. Tortoise Obasanjo, the mindless mind of the dark-evil-goggled Abacha, the meekness and naivete of Jonathan, and the current mummified Buhari are in all of us! The system of government in Nigeria is a government whereby the looted monies are ‘re-looted’ by the looters for the looters. A country where the looters are beatified with “rankadede” and bestowed upon with the highest national honor, honorary academic awards, and chieftaincy titles. Nigeria is a country where illegal wealth is flaunted to motivate prospective and future leaders (oh sorry, future looters) to engage in a rat race to loot from the national vaults. Nigeria is a country that welcomes, with fanfare, a Britain’s released ex-convict who robbed his people’s wealth. Nigeria is a country with people who swim in the pool of mediocrity with calm indifference to meritocracy.
Now, it is a big task to change a rotten system! It also requires an unfettered approach with vision, imagination, and unbridled determination to salvage a contradictory nation. Nigeria must save herself from herself to achieve good sustainable results. Nigeria is a beautiful nation in a big bang of a disgusting mess, pangs of hate, lies, and bad leadership. It’s unfathomable to see how Nigerians now openly traffic in greed, hopelessness, and self-hate to hate themselves. Most Nigerians are being weaponized or armed with hate by the politicians, religious bigots, and tribal zealots at the expense of their future. Nigerian non-correctable countrymen and women are now making a once-beloved country the forest of hate and divisiveness. So many ghoulish compatriots now hide under the canopies of politics, religion, and ethnicity to spread hate and division.
Meanwhile, some of our contemporary Nigerians do hate overtly, and some do hate covertly. Before this period, it was greed and covetousness that were prevalent. Now, hate, greed, and ignorance are intertwined in the warped consciousness of the people. Our people need cognitive restructuring! People relish daily in this new normal of an abnormal situation. The majority of those people who traffic in hate and corruption are primarily religious people and corrupt toddlers of immediate yesterday. They are less knowledgeable in the cruel history of Nigeria. Those who are knowledgeable of Nigerian history suffer from deliberate indifference.
Nigeria is a holy-alliance nation with spiritual entrepreneurs. Hate and resentment are now the trademarks that make people self-destruct.
I sympathize with patriotic Nigerians who are genuinely fighting daily to re-orientate and change the corrupt system. Corruption is a menace, an institutionalized problem. It’s generally an acceptable way of life. It destroys, kills, and wastes human and material resources. Whoever wants to fight corruption in a dysfunctional society must be ready for frustration, malignant abuse, hate, jealousy, and resentment.
Moreover, deceit and ostentatious lifestyle are very prevalent in Nigeria. The naive citizens now dress themselves up in a borrowed ropes only to get grotesquely naked outside for the global
community’s comic relief. For posterity’s sake, a ‘mummified’ President Buhari is left with only one existential option: to alleviate the impoverished
people’s sufferings through people-oriented policies and programs. Anything short of this positive suggestion will spell doom for a gerontocratic Buhari among his ‘fulanized’ and poor admirers in Nigeria. The president seems to be the one-person battalion with a multitude of nitwit-foot-soldiers. You cannot distinguish between the two dominant political parties (All Progressive Congress-APC and People Democratic Party-PDP) in our dysfunctional political climate.
The leaders and the led are mutually feasting on the carcasses of an unhealthy nation. The DNAs of the two parties are genetically made up of corruption. The two predominant APC and PDP parties share the same genetic engineering and deformed DNAs of bribery and graft. Their genomes are infected with hate and survival of the fittest. All party chieftains from both sides of the aisles; their wives, families, friends, acquaintances, and those who get crumbs are fighting in the cocoon of corruption. Even the newly incubated parties do not fare better. They are all looking for how to fill up their pockets of crime. In Nigeria, the more you (peruse) look through the nation’s mirror, the more you see the preponderance (bulk) of lies, deceitful behavior, graft, and political opportunism of the political class and followers. Here in the United States, though, not a bed of roses, the more you live in a decent and functional environment, the more you are open to fulfilling your innate potential and etch towards complete self-fulfillment or actualization.
Sadly, in our situation back home, the more you want to disentangle yourself from the murky waters of Nigeria and have your inner peace, the more you’re unavoidably finding yourself in the realm of the voiceless and unlucky people. Anytime I attempted to mute, my willingness and reluctant mind are constantly prodded by the consciousness of guilt and ugly happenings in our country. The more I want to keep silent, the more my conscience becomes unsettling with the new normal of an abnormal situation in our bruised society.
Intuitively, those of us who are captivated by Nigeria’s impending glory (or foreseeable amicable divorce of Nigeria) cannot keep quiet in the face of unrighteousness and transgression in the homeland. Our good conscience is now dangling and dwelling in-between the devil and the deep blue sea! Also, while we still have some men and women of good conscience and characters, you can’t trust most people anymore—-and also, you can’t compromise and silence your conscience and voice in our nation’s political wilderness and contradictions. Contrary to the minds of the pessimists and naysayers in our midst, those of us who are incurable optimists will continue to keep the dampening hope alive for our beleaguered nation. Our hope is unquenchably alive!
May God earnestly heal our comatose nation and bring the country back to peace, or amicable disunity, and prosperity. AMIN!
-Yahaya Balogun wrote from Arizona, US. He first published it nigeriaworld.com