By Lanre Fadahunsi
“THE rich and highly placed are running a dreadful risk in their callous neglect of the poor and the downtrodden.”- Obafemi Awolowo.
Suddenly, we found ourselves where we are or we are where we found ourselves. In all of Nigeria’s tragicomedy, we need to sought out the comic relief in our National life. Laughter they say is the best medicine and if teardrops doesn’t complete laughter then we have not laughed well enough. Honestly today, the new Naira has gained 75 per cent over the old Naira in local exchange market, despite its seeming look of being an error of production, especially the king of them all, “Robbin blue”N1000. I have not attempted to google search the cost of minting currencies in other climes to answer the Nigerian question, especially because each time I had tried to in the past, I came back with a bleeding heart. Our Naira was not redesigned, same printing block virtually all features are same just stained with ink of every poor shade of its jaded colour. Lacks aesthetic beauty and worst of all weakest link in strength and capacity. Definitely not why we need the song, “Don’t worry be happy”…
ECOWAS countries wanted to construct Amaechi kind of derailing railway, Chinese company; same company and its cost of constructing light rail, locomotive rail and what have you around the world. Is just a replica of the unanswered Nigerian question. Se won fi se wa ni- Are we cursed?
At some point in my very reserved personal life, I chose to look on the sunny side of life. To sought merit and applaud same. I discovered indeed, that the ever pulsating position of Late Chief Gamaliel Onasode, of blessed memory that in Nigeria, Role Models were in short supply, I then started looking for the ones scattered and bringing them on a page. Every single good Nigerian I see, or encounter I will stand with even if I stand alone. In this piece therefore, I will copy from the last bastion of hope of the Nigerian masses, The Judiciary, even if they judi once in a while, either to nice music or swerving of the truck of justice dishing out judgement in serving justice. Also equally exploring comic relief, if judges can embellish justice, oh! judgement with music, should I not be able to do same? Today we will look at songs telling our lives with the dirge killing us softly with the words. Today I will look at a model long gone, who gave us insight unrivalled about the capsizing ship of state ; Prophet Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo. I will look at songs in my head and mind that spoke about Nigeria.
On the march again, looking for Mr President, …..is our man o. Halleluyah somebody…Fela also just strolled in singing Austerity, na him be matter now, austerity, I no fit laugh….babanla nonsense baba nla a nonsense…. Interim government, Same thought still Crossing some minds in our disjointed dissonance. Fela, Awolowo, Sonekan, Ogun state matter in Yorubaland we will look at some day soon. Awon lokan…
Let’s bring our minds back to this musical construction….out of every gadem, church., Cherubim and Seraphim…suffer suffer for world, Amen, enjoy for heaven….open your eye everywhere Archbishop na miliki, Pope na enjoyment Imam na gbaladun… Pastor’s wife na him dey fine pass…who slap me? Okay na house Fela talk say fine pas no be wife…I don hear.
Second stanza, Fela WETIN you go sing about Dem go worry me….the time wey I dey for prison….no be outside judge dey beg I no do nothing….
Obafemi Awolowo, the sage stands out and his name has become the ATM for political space hijackers. In the whole of Africa, I doubt if there is any leading politician that chronicle their mindset as Awo did and this makes it horrendously difficult to deceive the lettered about Awo. He has it all written for all to see. Hear him:
“ Nigerian leaders should posses comprehension, mental magnitude and spiritual depth.
“By comprehension, we mean the ability of a man to appreciate and grasp the salient details, as well as most of the practical and temporal implications of a given problem and the solution.
“If the leadership of a country is sufficiently disciplined that is, acting according to given rules of behaviour, it will necessarily perform the role of a focal institution- A center of moral authority- from which other parts of society take their bearing….one quality of a good leader is to let his yes be yes and his no be no.”
In 1980, Awo spoke about probity in public life as a mark of spartan leadership. “Absolute devotion and dedication to the cause of the masses of our people are indispensable to the successful practice of democracy.”
To him, “by all means every able bodied person must be put to work and must be accordingly rewarded -in the name of all that Is just.
To him, Awolowo, the remaking of Nigeria is a task that calls for probity, dedication and courage of a very high order to remake and recreate ourselves. Those who offer to lead this country aright must strive constantly to lead themselves out of the unruly promptings of the instincts and liberate themselves from the tyranny of the flesh in all its octopod dimensions.
Disease of tenacity of office, that is once you are in office you want to remain there until you die, because you are going to do everything in your power, legitimate and illegitimate to remain in power.
Nigeria is blessed; blessed in both human and material resources. The only problem is lack of good leadership. Suddenly we have wittingly or otherwise created a nation of incongruent innuendos. A nation of bed-robe Napoleons whose conquest remains visible in the other room only. Whose flesh had conquered up onto their wits end.
The lack of passion by the hijackers of political leadership can never give verve to positive growth and development. It all cascaded to the creation of a banana empire. Nothing republican in the whole drama. Everyday, we see leadership sell out on their oath to the people before God.
As if they have souled out to the devil for illicit wealth leaving the growth and development of the masses to chance.
Now policy flip flops has led us to ask when will they remove their knees off our necks so we can breathe a new breath of life.
Late Sir Victor Olaiya sang, Ilu le o, ko sowo lode, okunrin nkigbe obirin nkigbe kaluku lon kegbe owo- there is a dearth of money in town, men are crying out loud, women crying out, everyone saying there is no money. I cannot imagine whether Sir Olaiya ever imagined it could get to the current stage of banks without currency. No fuel, no cash and even no PVC to change the odd narrative.
When we listen to Fela, our mind is entertained. Jeun Koo ku o o de, chop and quench o de, waki and die o de, E ba mi le kuro Nile mi oo…
We need at this point to appeal to them… we can’t breathe. The Accountant General before his can of worms got opened, opined that ASUU was most unrealistic to think that Nigeria could find N80 billion so that universities would not be closed for about eight months. Karma, the bitch, exposed him weeks after of embezzlement. Accused of about a N110billion heist though, he at least returned N30billion worth of assets. Interesting part of his story was that his father in-law to be, snitched on his teenage daughter’s suitor who bought the under sixteen girl a choice property. Imagine the crop of bed-robe Napoleons leading the nation.
Let’s see what plays out in the wee hours of the journey now.
Will insecurity allow the nation move forward in its staccato style with faltering steps? Will the cabal and their ilk remove their knees off our necks? Will the political gladiators accept the verdict that leadership should not be by force if to serve is the purpose?
There are more questions than answers, Jimmy Cliff sang and nothing could be truer about Nigeria in the quest for a new leader, to birth a new Nigeria.
We have seen ideas put forward. Feeds, Seeds and Needs. Federal Economic Empowerment Development Strategy, State Economic Empowerment Development Strategy and Local Economic Empowerment Development Strategy. Great ideas lacking carriage. If you put your ideas on all fours at best it will crawl, if you put it on its feet it will walk or at best run and if you put the ideas on wings, it will fly. The choice now is ours. Seeded our votes so that they may grow, you planted our hopes but you didn’t water it. We pray unto God you block our prayers, you said don’t come near me because I am not your keeper. What’s a promise, what is an oath? What an oath is I don’t know.
To be or not to be, 2023 Elections in Nigeria that is the question.
- Comrade Lanre Fadahunsi. [email protected]) Southwest Zonal coordinator of the Big Tent. Osun state Coordinator of the NcFront (Third Force).