Just two small years after, Nigeria is on the march again. Don’t you dare start cheering, though. The march is not in the direction we want. It is that crazy quadrennial match to nowhere.
Everyone everywhere has willingly joined the raging lousy, useless debate. It is the same debate for everyone, everywhere. The way the whole thing is wired, you have to join in even if you don’t want. 2023 is the new year of magic.
Who is next president? Away from Abuja, across the 36 state capitals, the question of course assumes a different colouration: who is next governor? Ordinarily, this ought to be a sweet moment. This ought to be a time to come together to -honestly and boldly and sanely- critically assess our situation and human alternatives.
Not in Nigeria, the country which in spite of and despite being ravaged by politics, continues to worship its dead, deaf and dumb god. Nigerians may be honest, bold and sane but we are exactly the opposites and worse when it comes to politics. In and with politics, we are a dishonest, spineless and insane bunch who carry on like bewitched drug addicts. We know that our own brand(?) of politics is poison but we remain helplessly hooked!
Who did this to us? Who did we offend? Why have we made something as basic and simple as standing up to crude politics so herculean and impossible? Why do we use our hands by ourselves to hold this great country down?
Go to Kafanchan, or to Damaturu, or to Okokomaiko, or to Nembe Brass, or to Isuikwuato (the bigheaded threesome), or to Duke Town, or come closer home to James Town, the same debate rages on -and in the same neanderthal error. Nigerians are not asking the right questions bothering on quality, capacity and aspirations. Rather, we are concerned about the nonsenses of money, religion, ethnicity and such other silly considerations. In the 21st century, upon all the untold lessons we ought to have imbibed from this same chronic mistake, we are still insisting that the highest office in the land must go to the highest bidder who also must be of our religion and tribe.
Unfortunately, even we the masses who have borne the brunt of this mess for too long, and should by now be incensed enough to say enough is enough, are the noisiest hallelujah choristers urging on the impostors, impositioners and impositionees. See, fellow Nigerians, since this evil politics has impoverished our land and our people, 2023 is the opportune time to lock out these pretenders to the throne. Let the electorate insist on people who want it to step forward with verifiable plans and barely intelligible roadmap. We should stop approaching an old disease with the same treatment while expecting magical cure!
God bless Nigeria!
Dancing with my father (The end)
… Cont’d from last Monday
By gently pressing the envelope between my right thumb and its second in command, I could tell it contained something. I was eager to read the content. However, since I couldn’t immediately, I stole a quick glance at it. I saw the words: ‘From your mentee.’
After seeing Emem and family off, my attention was diverted for almost the whole day. Somehow, something happened later, later in the day that reminded me to fetch out the white envelope. And, oh la laaa, it contained -no: no written stuff- a 500 naira note. For life, the N500 that 15-year-old Miss Emem Mojima sent to me, to help with my father’s burial, shall remain a treasured memory.
Technically, her unsolicited, cheerful donation was the highest the Udo Iyaya House received vis-a-vis his burial. Please, stop frowning. And, stop questioning the pride of place accorded her donation. The Bible had long settled the matter: Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:1-4.
In that one deft move, the precocious Senior Prefect (Girls) of Obong Christian High School, Obong Ntak, teaches a truckload of life lessons a handful only of which should suffice. One, the privacy of giving; two, that not even lack can stop generosity; three, small should give to big sometimes. Above all, Miss Mojima wipes off my secret personal tears. I now am assured -more than ever- that unlike the sad commentary hitherto, the emerging generation of mentees shall grow up to support mentors -when they need it!
Talking about mentors and mentees, a number of them were exceptional during my father’s final event. Pastor Anietie Ukpe, Ph.D., Director General of Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, brought the entire upper echelons of the radio/television arm of the Akwa Ibom state government information machinery on a condolence visit -against all odds. AKBC and I have a long history, traced to the very beginning of my life as a broadcaster; so, it does many things to my heart and soul to see the current boss accentuate that relationship with everything he does and says per time. DG Ukpe, who recently earned a doctorate in mass communication with specialty in organisational communication from the department of communication arts (now Faculty of Communication and Media Studies), University of Uyo, had an obvious challenge and should not have come, but he did -in person.
That’s who a mentor is: altruistic, available, loyal. Many thanks, our DG and the AKBC family. On behalf of mentees, there’s Prof., who like Emem should not have bothered but who did enough to send in packs of water and cartons of drinks. No matter how much one has, some gifts and some givers like Emem and Prof. can bring tears to one’s eyes (read joy to one’s heart).
Which reminds me: many who follow this series have expressed concern over how I shall thank everyone. People kan wori for Afrika o. Thanking everyone is the easiest thing to do, really. Please follow me: Family, Church, Government, Groups, Schools, Prof. Peter Esuh, Prof. Uwem Akpan, Nsikan-Abasi Nkaña, Ph.D. (Associate Professor), Nsikak Senam, Ph.D. (Associate Prof.), Dr Nsikak Idiong, Government House Media Team, friends, not so-friends, leaders, admirers, BUSH HOUSE NIGERIA, coursemates, fans, mentees, followers, associates, widows, Cameroonians, widowers, professionals, artisans, entertainers, and others, especially those who attended the finale, may God bless you for your role and support.
Done with proving there exists no one not covered in the aforementioned vote of thanks, about time we moved back in front with some unfinished business.
While the Mayo Clinic lists emotional symptoms of grieving to include increased irritability, numbness, bitterness, detachment, preoccupation with loss, inability to show or experience joy, the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth points out digestive problems, fatigue, headaches, chest pain and sore muscles as physical equivalents. Be warned, grief symptoms might look like child’s play but they are potent enough to cause fundamental health troubles. Seek professional help the moment you suspect that grief is dealing with you emotionally or physically!
The foregoing should force a reawakening. We must discharge the new, pro-humanity consciousness in both words and deeds. Mankind can do with more genuine sympathy, more genuine empathy, more genuine understanding. That is the quickest, surest way to the better world we have craved forever.
God bless Nigeria -and the human race!