6 May 2011

Nigeria: Trending Controversy

column

"Ol' boy did you hear that Big Brother has started again?"

"Are you referring to America killing Osama bin Laden?"

"Who is talking about that? Do you not have time for softer issues? Must life always be about war, politics and where politicians are moving money to?"

"Well, I guess that is what defines our every day existence now; war, politics and thieving politicians. Are you not heartbroken by all the poverty, underdevelopment and gloom around you? There is more to life than a bunch of jobless children locked in a house full of booze and made to waste away in idleness while feeding the eyes of the entire world with their body parts. Since when did voyeurism become an African pastime? When I tell you that Africa is at the receiving end of the negative aspects of globalisation, you tell me that I refuse to see the bigger picture, that I am too negative in my analysis of situation."

"I beg calm down jor. You over analyse issues. I agree that some of those boys and girls are dimwits but surely some of them have represented their countries, their families and themselves well. Besides, I think that the programme unites the youths of Africa; it makes us see how we are not so different from one another, how there can be a United States of Africa. Globalisation is not so bad because technology has brought us closer, you know the facebook, twitter and all the social networks on the worldwide web."

"You miss the point, don't you? United States of Africa? You know that will never happen; forget all that ranting by Ghaddafi. Did Africa not embark on unification before Europe? But today we have a more cohesive, more united and better organised Europe with the success of the EU. Technology is what the west has used to deceive you people just like they deceived your forefathers with looking glasses and religion in the past. How are your people taking advantage of the cyber space? Fraud, internet scam, that's how."

"Still you over analyse issues. We have contributed very positive things to the worldwide web than you ever give credit for; there are countless ezines and blogs pushing Nigerian contemporary culture to the fore on the Internet. Remember that the last election was largely successful because of effective real-time reporting by the youth of this country, many of them who have never voted before, got on the bandwagon and contributed their quota to ensuring that the elections were credible. So you see, it's not all doom and gloom."

"I hear you. But that still doesn't make Big Brother a show for any responsible adult to watch when there are more important things like killing Osama happening in the news. I mean, don't you just love the Americans; they waited 10 years to avenge the death of their citizens in the hands of those terrorists."

"Yea, while their President was playing big brother watching the 'movie' real time. I find all that surreal..."

"My guy, forget surrealism. But if you must, what could be more surreal than a bunch of heartless fellows flying fully loaded commercial airplanes into high-rise buildings? You would agree with me that that changed the world as we know it. As for Obama watching the operation live, I thought it was a smart thing to do before people start coming up with all sorts of conspiracy theory. I hope you know some Americans do not believe that the guy is an American; they don't believe that he was born in Hawaii."

"Are you minding Donald Trump? He won't get anywhere with all that. But I am happy for Obama. The guy told them that America had the capabilities of smoking Osama out of his hole. Right from the beginning he told them to wind down the war on Iraq and focus on finding America's number one enemy. That is great insight for someone who has had no military or intelligence training. Just three years into his administration he has delivered on his most important campaign promise. I just hope that our politicians are watching and learning on how to deliver on campaign promises."

"You are obviously smitten by that guy, Obama. Well, I offer you two Nigerians that you should show a lot of respect for at the moment."

"Who are they?"

"Fashola and Amaechi."

"I hope they can sustain the momentum in their second term and not get drawn in by complacency. But it is President Goodluck Jonathan that I want to see action from. He needs to deal with violence that is fast becoming a culture in this country."

"On the Jonathan matter, me I'm not holding my breath. I want the guy to surprise me and it is not the violence that is his greatest challenge; I believe that violence should be tackled, but I beg the economic issues are more compelling these days. What really divides us in this country is the increasing gap between the poor and the rich, the haves and the have nots occasioned by the collapse of the industries and the entrenchment of corruption by the political and business class. Give people jobs, give them something to do and see whether the violence you are talking about will not end."

"Much as you have a point, you have to realise that the Arab Revolution was spearheaded by professionals - doctors, lawyers and students - who were fed up with the way thing were going in their country. So it is not only enough to give the youth something to do, the government has to create an enabling environment. The same things that we were clamouring for 20 year ago are still the same issues today - power supply, good roads, qualitative education and water supply. It seems to me that rocket science is even easier to comprehend these days than how to provide basic amenities in this country. It's a shame."

"So what are you doing this weekend?"

"Soccer o, I'm watching the entire Premiership games, particularly the Manchester United and Chelsea game on Sunday. And I am hoping Chelsea shocks Man U. Their own don too much. I hope you know they can end up winning nothing this season."

"Let's wait and see."

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