By Omoh Giwa
Dear Nigerian Hopeful,
It would be incautious and precipitous to ask how you are faring or how our home country treats you considering I am also being punished by our national predicament. Like you, young hopefuls, I occasionally identify as a young woman (only when my body cooperates otherwise, I am as old as the creaking Iroko) so I can relate to the difficulty of surviving and existing in this space.
We are often encouraged with the maxim; there’s always light at the end of the tunnel though I doubt it, I often wonder why I am this pessimistic but can you blame me? Let me borrow you my eyes and you just might begin to see how skewed your vision is.
We have been at the mercy of a retired war machine and are about to democratically elect another political antique to either sink or sink our already sinking ship as though we have a death wish to drown and keep drowning, if not why are we like Sisyphus, hell bent on threading the same dangerous path since the nineties like we are cursed and doomed to perpetually fail? What I find hilarious though, is that the self-acclaimed intelligentsia are rallying around political dinosaurs that have monopolised power for decades and merely change their slogans and affiliations. Speaking of affiliations, I am deeply intrigued by the Unity-list presented by the ruling vacuum and sweeping agents and the reaction of a certain Lazy Nigerian Youth representative.
I have been befuddled since the emergence of War Relic in 2015, especially as I witnessed Gen X undeterred by their personal experience of the economic hardship of the early eighties when a certain soldier was at the helm of affairs, kept touting Mr Integrity as the messiah Nigeria needed (you’d wonder why their messiah was not a suitable choice in ’99, ’03, ’07, ’11 until he threatened them with untold suffering and violence. This has got to be the greatest heist ever recorded in the history of Nigeria) as though he was best thing after pounded yam and efo elemi meje (a variety of protein-filled vegetable soup) but I digress.
I was perplexed when Millennials and Gen Z joined the bandwagon by campaigning for old retired war relic as though they had no access to history texts and even went ahead to claim the dubious identity of Buharists. They claimed that Nigeria would progress under a magnanimous and humble dictator (despite the tales of his ignorant economic policies and nepotistic attitudes) that has returned us to the Dark Ages. I especially like how he avoids responsibilities by blaming middlemen who seem unwavering in ruining his exceptional legacy of trust, economic increase, high foreign reserves, perfect international relations, inclusive governance and unbiased legal systems (Damn these demonic middlemen).
Unlike the falling trucks of Ojuelegba, that no government agency has been able to prevent or rectify, I have identified our collective predicament. However, my genius cannot proffer a solution like the many political analysts in the media. Achebe in his infinite wisdom warned about the ills of going to bed with itchy anuses as evident in the ridiculousness that followed the Sweeping party’s National Convention. Of all their antics displayed on national and international TV, none was as intriguing for me as the category of National Youth Leader. Most exciting was the public display of shame and tears that surrounded a certain ‘yoot’.
After the pandemonium of October 2020, several Buharists especially Hailing Hailers (as against Wailing Wailers) publicly denounced, denied and refuted the shooting at unarmed protesters by the Military in Lekki even after the decision of the judicial panel and the CNN documentary of the incident. This particular candidate tormented and taunted protesters especially on twitter because of his political affiliation to the ruling party.
So you can imagine my delight at his embarrassment when a video surfaced online of him wailing about being asked to withdraw from the race. Some confused fellows have claimed that his family was threatened which I have vehemently refuted. There are many things we can accuse the ruling party of, but blackmail, blind threats and assassinations are not one of their many faults and on this hill am I willing to dye on. He has spoken of his support and loyalty to the party going as far back as 2011 and insists that this is enough reason for him to be selected as the automatic choice compared to the messiah’s chosen that joined the party less than four months ago (selection not election? Your guess is as good as mine; a selection process is more fair and just than asking people to waste time and resources voting). Sore losers have no business in politics as politicians must always subject to the ideology of the Party even when that ideology is not beneficial to the future of the nation.
In his manifesto, he speaks of the marginalisation of the Youth in his preferred party and their exclusion from major party decision making processes. These are falsehoods as the ruling party is pro-youth especially when they employ their services as foot soldiers and mercenaries in attacking physically and virtually those detractors and wailing antagonists. His displeasure at the turn of events because they have not swung in his favour is selfish and unwarranted like a greedy wolf. One would expect a party faithful to act as a friendly domesticated dog who would immediately roll over when his master demands (if he cannot stand the heat in the kitchen, he should either avoid cooking or stick to cooking instant noodles at his LCDA).
Though we often say there is light at the end of the tunnel, Nigeria is plagued with darkness and I wonder if there really is a light at the end of our tunnel. When I ponder on the future and hope of this nation, and I think I glimpse a blinking light at the end of this dark tunnel, that thought is quickly snuffed out. Ours is as dark and bleak as our dreary past.
P.S. When they promise you sunshine and warmth, please confirm if their promise is on the same trajectory as their change. We are still being punished for our ignorance.
Giwa writes from the University of Lagos.