Premium Times (Abuja)

19 April 2014

Nigeria: Of Mass Despair and Political Vampirism

opinion

If you still hold on to the delusion that your worth as a human, and even as a citizen, is as important as the ambition of our desperate politicians or that, as an ordinary citizen, you're indeed indispensable in their political calculations and foresights, you have obviously stopped using, a misfortune this brings, that with which you were born, to perceive, analyse and understand: your brain.

The explosions at a bus park in Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja, this week did not just punctuate the existence of tens of struggling Nigerians, and condemning a lot more to permanent handicaps, but intensified the debates over the worth of the masses in a country this insecure, and yet polarised.

Being human and poor in Nigeria, the vagabonds in power have loudly confirmed, is a mere statistical existence. Worthless. Like our GDP figure. Perhaps we need to define the meaning of "death" and "humanity" to them. They don't seem to know that death is a one-way ticket to permanent oblivion. We're not animals for God's sake. We're humans. Like the Americans. Like the Europeans. Live every decent human being, in whom are soul, emotions and dreams, all over the world. But being a Nigerian, the incapability to protect us has shown, is a mere geographic identity; an identity of an undermined people stripped of their humanity in a godforsaken country.

Elsewhere, bombs don't discriminate. Ours do. Our bombs are always sensitive to class: they're mostly in places where the masses gather and struggle to stay alive independent of a government that does nothing to redeem their sufferings. Yet the clueless members of our ruling class who have sorrowfully lamented that their offices only bring them endless miseries and difficulties in managing the people still go ahead to run for office. And I ask: is democracy now a system for hereditary rights?

My biggest fear remains the vulnerability of Nigerian masses to the veneers of ethno-religious and regional advocacies championed by our politicians to disarm any tendency to unite for the purpose of revolt against them. They have never given the masses an opportunity to think, with the rate at which they highlight divisive trends to confuse them and even be seen as heroes to those whose rights and interests they claim to be defending as political representatives. In a recent bid to exploit our disarmed intelligence, the Publicity Secretary of PDP, reacting to the Nyanya blasts, reportedly singled the main opposition party out for responsibility in the unholy act. It could be said that Metuh was only being an image-maker, blaming the opposition before they'd do so, before APC's image-maker Lai Mohammed's predictable, PDP-bashing press release would hit the press. It could be said, also, that Metuh was tired of being on the defensive, hence the reason for his conclusion that APC was responsible within just a few minutes after the incident, qualifying for the briefest investigation ever conducted in history. This malicious PR would, apparently, forestall any intention by the APC spokesman to blame PDP. Smart villains!

But this vile politics is not commendable at all, outrightly uncharitable in a country where condolences have become as common as hellos. In a real country, Olisa Metuh and all politicians who have attempted to blame the others as perpetrators of terror acts may be taken in by the authority and properly interrogated and, if found to be merely mischievous, the court will decide the number of years they may have to spend in jail for such defamations and polarising accusations. It's so sad that the clowns we have in charge of this nation are polarising accusers whose evils thrive on our refusal to be serious, I mean unite against this undeserved political vampirism that consumes us, not in bits, in mass, one after the other, mass after mass!

As expressed elsewhere, Nigeria is a nation where Critical Thinking has been in exile. What has found a throne in Nigeria is Creative Thinking; a dangerous culture that produces the Olisa Metuhs and the Wendell "Reno" Simlins, harebrained and hopeless analysts incapable of telling A apart from H because, so diseased, they won't see the top of anything. They don't see, or won't say, that the top of A is angular

In analysing the clues available for making meanings out of our national tragedies, we see the genius of these creative thinkers: Boko Haram, they create, this time with disturbing confidence, is a reaction to the existence of non-northern President. The same Boko Haram insurgents that have destroyed the habitats of the people you refer to as their brothers and sisters? The same Boko Haram whose founder was killed by a northern and, very importantly, Muslim President? How many more follies do Nigerians have to exude for this subclinical psychopathy to be medically confirmed.

Though the silliness of the Metuhs and the Similins is mere selfish propaganda designed to secure the fate of their bosses in 2015, how about the unsuspecting and gullible citizens they have indoctrinated, rousing mutual suspicions? Their polarisation strategy is so effective that even in our anger over the Nyanya blasts we still trade blames, allowing ourselves to be possessed by the propagandas of the ruling elite whose interests are hardly found in suburban Nigeria where the masses tend to their dreams and hopes, forsaken and confused. We don't ask the right questions. We refuse to even acknowledge that the bombs didn't differentiate between the Muslims and Christians, Igbo and Hausa, Southerners and Northerners, Children and Adults... We refuse to acknowledge that only the members of an embarrassingly played class were killed and damaged in the blasts!

The Presidency, in justifying its refusal to cancel its planned political fanfares over the terror attack, said that such is to prove to the terrorists that they can never stop pulse of the nation. But if the terrorists who have also abducted our sisters and daughters, just when we were still mourning, are as inconsequential as Mr President seeks to portray, why hasn't he visited their hotbeds in Borno? Would Goodluck Jonathan and his fellow PDP partiers have continued in their political campaigns and fanfares if it were members of the ruling class that died in the Nyanya blasts? Would they have been so openly unsympathetic and indifferent if the blasts had consumed some of them? No, Mr. President, the only way to prove that you're unstoppable is by crushing them. Your empty boasts that you have succeeded in restricting Boko Haram insurgents to the fringes (as though the fringes are not part of your territory), which the Nyanya blasts have shown as untrue, would not protect us when they strike while you are fortressed in Aso Rock, unmindful of how N1 trillion naira disbursed for our security were used, and yet the country is still unsafe!

Poverty is not a lack of common sense, gullible Nigerians. It's merely a state of economic dissatisfaction that has no direct, I repeat direct, effect on your intelligence quotient. Most of the thinkers who propounded the philosophies that have become guiding principles even to the affluent emperors were, beyond redemptions. May God save us from us!

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