by ‘Lakunle Jaiyesimi
I received your letter from the dead football fans. And from their body language, if they have the means notwithstanding that their deaths occurred while watching a football match in Calabar; they would wish to watch the ongoing Europa League. How stupid! Let me go straight to the content of your last correspondence, which jolted me back to reality from the doldrums.
“When small men attempt great enterprises, they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity.” -Napoleon Bonaparte
“Present crops of leaders are bands of egotistical marauders who…are woeful in orientation and superficial in patriotism….” Your words are searing, as much as they are reminders of what the country has been reduced to over the years but all Nigerians can only now work towards salvaging her from the edge of the precipice, where if care is not taken she would slip into the abyss ahead with just a little shove. But for care to be taken, all hands must necessarily be on deck.
Talk about apathy; nowhere else has this been a bane in building the nation. The undulations of hope and despair, occasioned by being beaten by politicians with entrusted mandates once and shy twice or more times, have created in many of the people a state of I-do-not-just-care-anymore, let-me-just-be-happy-with-myself, if-the-country-will-die-let-it-die and thrown up from amidst the people leaders unto themselves who are not in any way better than the communities that produced them. Criminalisation of the polity, encouragement of mediocrity side by side with corruption, conspiracy of silence in the face of injustice and tyranny, oppression, murder and the blackmail of lone voices of justice amongst the led and the leaders, abound.
While PDP, with her supposed opposition against the incumbent APC, goes on narcissistically claiming to be the victim of witch-hunting in the voices of immediate past President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the former national secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, Former Ministers under PDP government, Femi Fani-Kayode and ‘born-again’ Musiliu Obanikoro, former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, serving governors, Ayodele Fayose and Nyesom WIke and a host of other similar voices, those that are rightly called the leaders of tomorrow are on the streets in the North of the country, as Almajiris, chasing moving vehicles or tugging at the helms of passengers holding out empty, dirty plates with hungry eyes begging for alms.
While the opposition feels justified to claim that the budget is unfair, favouring the state house more than their constituencies’ ‘pockets’, those children in the west to the south, supposedly more educated than their contemporaries in the North, out of recently acquired barbaric western orientations, pour on the streets, tearing the clothes of teenage girls and attempting to gang rape them. Those young leaders of tomorrow, who do not actively fall within any of those classes of barbaric westerners or Almajiri northerners are elsewhere, hatching out an insidious plan to wreak havoc on the society, while the leaders are busy sleeping at public functions, releasing ‘singles’ of Ajekun iya ni o je or preemptively claiming that EFCC is planning to plant incriminating evidences in their houses.
They will not stop “deluding themselves with the sham that the world revolves round them” until Nigerians either learn to ignore them or demand for their heads. Without prejudice to the need for nationals to vent their anger however they deem fit, ignoring these cancerous opposition or collection of entire leaders will be difficult because the world over, supporters will always defend their men however obviously indefensible and the others may always make comedy of it all. The drama, almost appearing scripted, between Wike, Fani-Kayode, Lere Olayinka and Amaechi is a good case in point over the discovered funds at Ikoyi apartment, even as you have rightly described. It is pathetic that men of an older generation, who are supposed to serve as models, if not mentors, for a progressive nation, constitute themselves into political grandstanders.
Beyond the Nobel Laureate’s hint at “criminalizing any distraction in the war against corruption”, such political grandstanding is shoddy, exuberant, mischievous and a flippant attempt to beatify themselves ahead of been investigated for established cases worthy of court attention, but which with sufficient time and political games, could end up as a ‘no case submission’ as is being played out with the CCT case of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki. A distraction in the war against corruption is the preparation to start running from pillar to post, especially expected of people who, having lived their lives steeped in fraud, corruption and unwholesome practices, are certain that their cupboards are not just full of skeletons but that the cupboards themselves are made of the skeletons of victims of their indiscretions.
This brings me especially to the National Assembly and her “ideology of narcissism”, which has seen the deputy senate president getting ahead of himself and preempting EFCC’s investigation of him. One wonders at the enthusiasm with which senators munch the words some Nigerians used in describing their personalities and actions. They get so worked up that they have unsuccessfully and embarrassingly so invited some of such Nigerians to defend their words in the ‘hallowed’ chambers. Is it not so clear that these senators probably have amnesia, forgetting why they are senators in the first place. Is there a Nigerian who does not have a senator or a Honourable representing him or her in the National Assembly? So, imagine the kind of power arrogated by these representatives to start inviting members of their constituencies to defend their words on the floor of the legislative houses. Does it not show the gap that exists between the representatives and the represented?
In reinforcing your stance, the strength with which the Senate has gone ahead, parallel to the efforts of the executive, to rightly investigate the allegations against Babachir Lawal by virtue of his being the Secretary to the Federal Government, they should be advised to do same with allegations against Dino Melaye, Bukola Saraki, Fani-Kayode, Fayose, Obanikoro, Dogara. However, what has happened is that the Senate voted for the suspension of those who brought the cases up, while also immersing themselves in trivial banters about many things, including quite recently, a phrase, “coordinator of national affairs”, in a letter the President transmitted to the LegislaTHORS.
Your allegory of our leaders cheating everyone and attempting to likewise cheat nature is quite riveting. At over 67 years of age, what would one expect of Ganduje? Yes, he sleeps at public functions and claims he only pretends. Pretends? For what? Or by virtue of his age, being long overdue to retire, he merely dances to the rhythm played by nature. Either way, pretense or a dance to the rhythm of nature, it is a sort of disease, physical or psychological. Categorically speaking, President Buhari may be ill but he has never been caught sleeping at public functions. Focus therefore should be placed more on the physical and psychological states of health of the likes of Ganduje. If constitutional provisions will be called to salvage a bad situation, where a leader is not optimally present at public events, and yet not represented, meaning he is present and yet not present by virtue of sleeping or pretending to do so, which is a worst case scenario than if the leader were to be outrightly absent and away on medical trip, then, it should be looked into if Ganduje is fit for office by virtue of health.
It will be interesting to know more of what that Police Officer, Biu, knows or if it is just a case of another fanaticism or depression of sorts. How far has your hunt gone and that of the Nigeria Police Force? Has he been apprehended?
Thank you for keeping in touch.
Son of Man.
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija