Saturday, January 28, 2012

NAIJA: between progress and chaos

The uneasy and illogical conglomeration that is Nigeria is again, as it has been many times in the past, on the brink of "something big" or as a Lagosian streetsmart person might say, a "big something"!  The question is of course whether what is impending is a big growth spurt fuelled by rapid industrialisation or a big fallout perpetuated in corruption and ignorance and from which a multifaceted and complex war might ensue.

The recent furore surrounding the question of oil subsidy removal or retention has been latched onto by many bloggers & commentators as proof that we, the Nigerians, are standing up for ourselves. That we will no longer tolerate poor leadership. This was of course not the case! People took to the streets because cost of living suddenly shot up significantly as a direct result of the oil subsidy removal. People had to pay a lot more for goods and services which they objected to of course and they blamed the political leadership for it. We did not take to the streets because we suddenly acquired a certain daringness or political savviness. We are a collection of soulful, yet misguided peoples with a penchant for celebration, hyperbole, jealousy, hero-worshipping and acceptance of mediocrity and we are being led, with our consent, by greedy fools.

Some go even further by warning President Jonathan to be cognisant of the recent events in Libya as a lesson and an example of what the people can unleash on his government. It is clear that some of us are suffering from the erroneous impression that popular uprising had anything to do with Gaddafi's assassination.

Please let me merely warn that it is the Nigerians, not Jonathan, who should be most fearful of the fallout that would emanate from an uncoordinated, disparate series of uprisings corrupt in it's very construction & philosophy!

Of course, as I have written previously, Jonathan, like Yar'adua before him, Buhari and the likes, is wholly unsuitable for the office that he currently holds, since he has neither the emotional intelligence nor the courage required for the role. However, since the very counter-productive nature of politics in Nigeria (one characterised mainly by US dollars and gangsterism) only managed to produce a bunch of idiots as the top candidates, the best outcome given the circumstances was a Jonathan victory; and it just so happens that that was what the majority of the people thought at the time.

Nigeria's predicaments must be understood against the backdrop of a complex history, a small but still powerful northern leadership clan intent on making the country ungovernable for Jonathan on account of his ethnicity; growing tensions about a seemingly-faceless but apparently politically-motivated series of bombings; continuing ineptitude in governance; rising socio-economic inequalities; a growing population of exhausted, disenfranchised, hopeless, and unfeeling youth; manipulative power-mad and money-hungry religious cabals and a largely illiterate population forced to operate in the information age.




I want to be all that I can be
To live freely but always on my own terms
The epitome of quiet but lively contentment
Free of ills and insecurities

I want to reach for the highest heights always
Never fearful, nor afraid of my possibilities
To be loved by the world is unimportant
But to be remembered surely is a thing of beauty

The minutes are rushing past like a flowing river
The days are hurriedly melting into weeks
Months morphing into decades
Increasing fear of stagnation amid the rush

I am, of course, but a weary soul
Alternating between irreconcilable firmaments
A mind filled with dreams of glory
Yet littered with lacerations of past pain

I long to become all that I can be
A man with only one limitation
Only one inhibition or bar to greatness
That is, the limits of my imagination

- Olu Omoyele