For the umpteenth time as a people in Nigeria, we have confirmed that a majority of us are experts at substituting substance for sentiments; professionals at dissipating collective energy on a shallow cause; and amateurs at introspection and true effect. We just DO NOT learn. And, unfortunately, this is not an “alternative fact“.
I was 10 years old in 1998 when Gen. Sani Abacha died. His death was seen by most people then, as an answer to àdúrà àwon olódodo (the prayers of the righteous) and the wishes of the literally long-suffering masses. I was old enough to remember how our parents back then, in cliques from churches to mosques, work offices and the streets, deemed it kosher to use “hot prayers” to “kill” Abacha. That was the major solution to Nigeria’s woes at the time as portrayed to us all then – Abacha’s death. And true to it, the manic scenes of celebrations that met the news of Abacha’s eventual demise can still be recalled in black and white.
Today, it’s no news that a host of Nigerians for some days now, have towed this same path, praying and wishing an Abacha end for Buhari, the man at the helm at the moment. Rumours have been rife about the President’s health as he “rests” in London; many have come out across all media to wish him dead, either directly or indirectly. I find this misplaced.
True, the nation has ”Change-d” from bad to worse under this government, and I really do understand why a lot of Nigerians, including myself, are angry and tired, sick and chagrined at the inaction and inertness of this Buhari government that promised so much on many fronts at inception. But President Buhari dead? How does this translate to bettering the situation? This beats me and, I’m sure, also beats any beating heart with a thinking brain.
Buhari’s death will not in anyway make the ills of the moment go away. His death will neither make dollar press brake or directly improve the economy; nor will it perform a productive overhaul of our education sector, etcetera, etcetera. Getting things done gets beyond the verve we channel to this kinda inane desires; sentiments borne out of misplaced or ill-directed anger, just like this present “Die Baba!” one.
For commonsense’s sake nitori Olo’un, Abacha died in 1998! How has the hurrah that followed translated to good? 19 years later, we are even worse off! Or should we deceive ourselves to claim we are better off? Abegiii oh, miss me with such thought. It wasn’t the solution then, and it isn’t the solution now. So why expend this much energy wishing for something like it?
Hey you! Hol’up Hol’up right there; let me save the trouble of opening your mouth to pollute the atmosphere with a strange strain of silliness with that your “are you now saying..?” thought. So, no, I don’t mean that the Abacha regime was the best thing to happen to Nigeria since Boli and groundnut. What I actually mean is that we are a people easily given to a barbarian rush bereft of critical thought when faced with a common challenge, especially as touching leadership in Nigeria. Ditto Abacha, ditto Buhari. We like to shout a lot and in so doing, miss out on substance, the koko.
Below is an excerpt from an article I wrote in 2014, shortly after witnessing the APC Presidential primary in person, it was titled “2015 APC Presidential Primary: Before shouting a Buharious hallelujah”. (You can read the full article HERE)
“Nigerians, falling my hand since 1805.
The social media hurrah that met the announcement of GMB’s emergence was as hurriedly juvenile as it was too overboard, and didn’t actually resonate well with the much echoed “change” theme. For God’s sake, it’s Buhari again! It’s the enthronement of our zoning bias again; our cultural sentiments again, it’s just an again thing all over again. So I couldn’t understand all the knee-jerk reactions that viralised the Internet over it.
No doubt, in Buhari’s APC or APC’s Buhari, there are prospects of hope, ehnn, yes, and Change too. But most of us Nigerians should learn how to regulate our expectations within the frame of carefulness. We should always assess the situation thoughtfully, and just stop dancing emotional shoki to some over-fancied Buhari messiah tunes. There’s too much to do if Change will be at least set into ignition in Naija, and nothing will be achieved if our smart phones remain smarter than our minds.”
Nor be today we don dey expend energy on sentiments at the expense of substance. In short, it’s like we waste our anger in Naija. We do not know how to channel indignation into introspection in order to brew a better direction at getting things done.
Considering the mass of mess we are collectively in right now in this country, our collective energies should be channelled into resonant thinking; with the sole intention of brewing what to do, both short-term and long, in order to make this our ordinary geographical confine become a nation indeed. We shouldn’t be seen everywhere or anywhere, both on social media and in the streets, wasting a joule of energy to wish one man dead. Because, and I repeat, it solves nothing!
This opinion of mine is NOT based on morality at all. I mean, this isn’t a “it’s-not-good-to-wish-another-human-dead” piece. Rather, I’m thinking along the lines of cause and effect.
I get sad to see us waste both thought and action on a needless path, while we could use same to better ourselves via critical thought. The truth remains that we can’t have or express both, because it takes what forms us on the inside to act in either of these two ways. And this fact that we are wont to act the former, proves that we need a change from within in order to correctly play our role as introspective citizens who truly want a better life, who truly want Naija to work.
Some of us are already on that path of thought; employing painstaking introspection at the real processes we need to expend every ounce of thought and action on. I disclosed some of these processes in my last article, and I will still espouse more in coming articles.
If President Buhari dies today, and we remain the kind of people described in the first paragraph above, nothing, as in shingbain, will not happen to better our lives as a people. Abacha died, we shouted hallelujah, and we are way worse 19 years later, you should ask, “Why?”.
This is what this piece seeks to piece together.
You don’t get it still? Oya, read again.
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