This is a tale from my heart to Nigeria, it’s a long Account..
Wriggling out this pen to write an essay directed at Nigeria this day was not my intention, the urging and craving from Within kept nudging my thoughts to comply. This defiance and lazy reluctance to comment on any issue regarding Nigeria is a decision which was made based on my personal inclination to shift the gear and focus of my life from an earthly consciousness to a Heavenly consciousness. But my thoughts reminded me of the happenings around me which could not be ignored, the experiences were real, the reality of life in Nigeria could not be answered with an enforced negligence or an expressionless approach, where one did not bulge, this itself could have been feasible if one had been born blind and deaf, it would have made sense. But surviving the Entity called Nigeria effectively required the completeness of One’s natural five senses….
Thus, on this backdrop, this pen set forth to a compulsory work, not to entertain or seek applause, but to remind us of the patchwork of events and histories that led to the deification of June 12th in the heart of Nigerians. What made this day special? It obviously could not be the farce called democrazy, yes the term “democrazy” was a personal choice of phrase I had borrowed to express my grievances on the state of the diverse Nations that Nigeria had failed to pacify after over 5 decades of that landmark negotiated independence we were enforced to sign on paper, which was actually only on paper.
The reward of that independence was nothing more than a Nation birthed prematurely, with no identity, disunited from the start and lambasted with an experimental Political system called democracy. Nigeria has a reputation and legendary fame to always counterfeit every good thing, to “Nigerianize” it, thus the term “democrazy”, emanated from the blues after years of the original system failing to yield dividends. When democracy failed in Nigeria, the khaki Lords of the then military came on Board to “rescue” the forceful integration of the different Nations called Nigeria, subjecting them to another version of democrazy called “Khakistocracy”. Such has been the experience of Nigeria in the prior years that led to the day called June 12th. On that day, Nigerians severed every ethnic and tribal sentiments at least for the moment to vote in the first nationally approved President, the election which was a success was declared to have been hitch free, with no violence or any form of disturbances, it seemed the Chi of the Late Chief M.K.O Abiola supported his ambitions of winning that much courted seat, after failure in an initial attempt. How he was able to win over the conservative North and her Cabals as well the Secessionist Igbos remains a mystery to this day. International forces who had always preyed on Nigeria like some monitoring spirits lauded the election as free and fair, Nigeria was once again on a right standing with the International community after years of military dictatorship. Perhaps the confused and tired citizens of Nigeria could no longer bear the burdens and pains of tolerating yet another military regime which was known to be repressive and authoritarian, thus, the election was a welcomed relief, Abiola was fortunate enough to contest in this situation, been a well known Philanthropist, his money was able to be adequately invested in the right channels in the form of calculated acts of benevolence, thus winning him the necessary support and majority he needed, this again became the secret to winning elections in Nigeria in the years that ensued. Any candidate who had the dream or little inkling of contesting into any Political office in Nigeria must be well endowed financially, must have a strong financial base and must appease the god fathers and Cabals of the Nation in all Geo-political zones. Abiola fulfilled those requirements, which was spiced up with his charisma, thus he embellished his name in the history books. But once again, Khakistocracy struck, this time, they rescued the country from the needed peace and tranquility that would have existed under an Abiola Presidency in Aso Rock, he was robbed of victory, bullied and imprisoned by the Maradona himself, under the pretext of some irregularities which were obviously feigned for reasons best known to the thoughts and psyche of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB), this robbery landed Abiola in prison, this robbery plunged the Nation into another spat of protests and disdain for anything good, this obvious error propelled another coup which led to the installment of General Sani Abacha, the well known tormentor of freedom, Abacha was a no nonsense leader, he despised human rights, he cared for nothing but his own interests, he appointed to himself a cabinet of yes men and he thus embarked on the greatest looting of the national resources of this country called Nigeria with no thought or plans to save up any remnant for posterity, Abiola was fated to die a questionable date in prison, the cause of his death remains an unsolved mystery till date. On June 12, Nigeria lost every ounce of sanity the gospel of democracy would have yielded, it resulted into another era of democrazy under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo a deft and savvy Politician, he who was once a military Dictator repented from his ‘sins’ and was thus elected into the throne of Ask Rock, his reign was a blend of corruption and mild development, Obj as he is known to be called played his cards well, used the influence and power of his status as President to buy himself a city wide land which was to house his post retirement plans and become the headquarters of his god fatherism politics. After eight years in power, he played a major part in installing an initially unknown, gentle and sickly figure called Umaru Musa Yaradua into power, but ironically his family had a long history of romance in Nigeria politics, but this version of the well known Yaradua family was not nationally famous, apart from the fact that he was a former governor of Katsina State. His installation was well disputed by the power hungry Buhari, who went against his own country man, however with Obj’s influence, he came into power, however, quite unfortunately, his sickly nature robbed the nation a taste of the realization of his seven point agenda plans, these plans never came to fruition, he died in power and vanished into thin air, never to be seen again. This angered the Northern Elements who in a failed attempt to play palace politics reluctantly saw to it that an unknown Ijaw man who like his demised boss was a former governor of his state, whose rise to power answered to the good luck that accompanied his name. His reign was robbed of its good gains by the indefatigable and restless terror of Boko Haram which became a living folklore and a house hold underground group that purloined the peace and civility of an already troubled Nation. Jonathan, obviously helpless and clueless, albeit with a good intention succumbed to the greedy impulses of the officials under his cabinet who stole the nation blue and black, famous among them was a woman called Diezan Allison Madueke who suddenly became a Billionaire overnight from the proceeds of corruption.
Since then, Nigeria dragged on, with no future to anticipate, Boko Haram lavished every hope of peace the troubled nation so desired… Even his god father Obj wrote a letter to his “boy” which sealed his end as Nigeria’s president. Jonathan left Ask Rock a forlorn and frustrated figure, the forces that sat on Nigeria’s future were too much for him to handle.
After spending only six years in power, he relinquished his seat as President and conceded defeat to his closet rival in power, the well known no nonsense Military Dictator in the 1980’s who claimed to have repented, but history cannot be forgotten, while chunk of his supporters came from the North, the west, South and East trusted Nigeria under a Jonathan Presidency than a Buhari presidency. Unfortunately, Jonathan had other plans, he had other plans to retire into solitude, from the grits and grim reality of Politics in Nigeria. His famous concession of defeat sealed his legacy as a National Hero in the history books of Nigeria. A Hero, not of any good deed in Office, but of sacrificing his lust for power to save the nation from another civil war, because, to if the power hungry and blood thirsty Buhari had lost, videos and speeches of him issuing scary threats with a promise to destabilize the sanctity of the nation if he lost was enough to belittle the timid Jonathan, thus forcing him to reset his priority. Had Jonathan gunned for war, probably, I would not have been here spewing these words, probably, the nation would have plunged into the dark abyss of another war..
Now with his emergence into power, under the ambiguous promise of a questionable change mantra, Buhari accomplished his life long dream of becoming President. Was he really a changed man? Well only time informed Nigerians of the error they made, the Buhari of now was no different from the khaki wearing dictator that ruled Nigeria with an iron fist in the 1980’s, this supposedly changed version of Buhari developed a strategic and diplomatic policy of silence when confronted with issues of national security, the silence is known to be loud and deafening, this tactical silence rings in the conscience of Nigerians who trusted him with their votes, Boko Haram did not end as he promised, rather, his reign welcomed fulani herds men into a prominent place in the already heated Nigeria Political environment, the herdsmen are known to be gun wielding pastoralists, ravaging farming villages in their infamous cattle crusade and the President’s response to the countless lives lost is a cold indifference, of course, he is known as the grand Patron of these cattle rearers, Nigerians are valueless when compared to cattle. His famous inaugural speech stated clearly that: “He belonged to no one, but he belonged to everybody” just like everybody else, this statement was a faux intended to buy over the disunited elements in Nigeria. Years after that speech, The president has vividly shown the nation to whom he owed his allegiance, he has vividly displayed a lack of respect and accountability to those that he was elected to serve….. Nigeria is now worse than ever.
30 years after, Democracy in Nigeria has bitterly agonized the way and manner Nigerians has bastardized the system, Nigeria’s version of democracy can simply not work, Abiola’s corpse would lament the day his victory was stolen, perhaps, Nigeria has been placed under a lifetime spell, the years of our independence and Experiment of democracy has been one of debauchery, parody and incivility. Nigeria has remained a state that failed woefully to live up to its expectations. Years after, she is still a borrower, a nation still subject to the whims of her former colonial master, she is a country divided on all fronts. The Ibos are not to blame for their resurrected agitations to see to it that Biafra is realized, they have been the most neglected and sidelined ethnic group in Nigeria’s Politics. They are in Nigeria, but they are not Nigerians, The Nation called Biafra was birthed the day Ojukwu united all the Ibos in May 30, 1967.
Nigeria has failed to work after many years of practising this experiment called democracy, Perhaps posterity and the unborn generation cry for a change, my generation are so unfortunate to be born in this failed era, the future of Nigeria remains uncertain. The nation which was once debt free has now become debt ridden and economically sick. Who shall save this dying entity called Nigeria? Who shall resuscitate Nigeria from the deep abyss she is plunging into? The years to come holds no prospect or potential to excite posterity, we would be left with a Haggard, bitter and divided country.
Lugard and his cronies should be blamed for enforcing this burden called Nigeria in their dubious amalgamation, the British government should be blamed for drawing a falsified map of Nigeria, they should be blamed for destroying the foundation of this country and above all, we as Nigerians must share the blame for failing to address the issue of our national existence after so many years of “Independence”, but the citizen should be spared any blame because the nature of governance in Nigeria is one in which the masses are unheard and neglected.
Nigeria can still work if only we are resolute and bent on making that happen, if only we are ready to lay down our grievances and cast out every spirit of distrust and suspicion.
Nigeria can still work, this I believe…
June 12th 2020