Of a truth, we have got so used to saying “Naija, our road far!” that the sentence seems to have lost all meaning. Our leaders are rogues and thieves. We have an obscene density of religious houses but we continue to dupe each other. And our moral compass is crooked to the point of depraved and despicable.
Welcome to Nigeria: the land where we fight for the right to marry CHILDREN. My homeland where we defend criminals simply because we are from the same tribe. Oh, do partake of the foolishness that is Nigeria where a sitting House of Representatives member will tweet the most abhorrent comment ever and still hold on to his job.
Benue State, behold your lawmaker. A fellow by the name of Herman Hembe had this to say as the news broke that an elderly woman had been victimised recently:
And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Well spoken for a member of the House of Reps, wouldn’t you say? Herman Hembe insists on three letters before his name but last I checked, I-D-I-O-T is a five-letter word, so I will not be a party to his bad arithmetic.
In a civilised country, the backlash would have been enough to force the man to resign. In an uncivilised country, we would have simply thrown a tyre around his neck, lit a match and have done with.
But this is Nigeria. We only mete out such treatment to those who steal Gala and pure water in order to stay alive or those who insult our gods. Eighty year old women are fair game; Lord knows some of us are kukuma harbouring such rapey thoughts too. Ugh.
So, it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that Hembe is still alive and at his desk. I assume he has a desk, and no, the ikebe of someone’s granny does not qualify.
But hope is not lost, Nigeria! Because this bastion of Benue’s brilliance offered an explanation for the tweet. It would seem that he does not consider the lady lucky for having three unsolicited penises come traumatise her as his initial tweet would imply. In fact, he is vehemently against any and every kind of wrongdoing or rape or any such shenanigans!
Oh. Oh. My bad. I thought he would have made strong words eschewing his connections to such a deplorable act. I thought he would have said things along the lines of – he, too, has a mother and maybe daughters and would hate for such a travesty to be visited on them. But no, it would seem that I was wrong. He has deleted the tweet and that should make everything alright again.
I was thinking to pepper this entire text with the word “allegedly” for legal reasons. But the fellow in question has not come up with the usual “I was hacked” excuse. He can’t have been hacked anyway; he had enough access to be able to delete the tweet. Besides, hackers don’t waste their time with accounts with 264 followers. So for the purpose of this post, I will assume that Herman Hembe did indeed write the word “Lucky” above a retweet about octogenarian rape.
For a second, I thought there might be something psychologically wrong with Herman Hembe. I could not fathom how he could think such thoughts or actually articulate them on Twitter.
And then I thought – you know what? He is as sound as can be. Herman Hembe can think these thoughts, type them and stand by his actions because he is a lawmaker in a country that does not visit repercussions on its leaders. He is a proud citizen of a land where the phrase “I go do am and nothing go happen” is one of the perks of being of a certain socio-economic level. We created this monster, we gave it powers, and now it is free to run amok.
I will not call for his head on a platter; it is a Sunday afternoon, my rice is on the fire, and besides, I know such just retribution will not happen.
All I will say is: residents of Benue State, if you can move, then please do so. If you cannot, please lock up your grandmothers. It is well, right?
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