June 10, 2014
by Olaide Omideyi; Transparency
Dreams of a Revolution Shattered (Ten Reasons Why There Will be no Revolution in Nigeria)
Every Nigerian must have dreamt, discussed the possibilities of or prayed about the coming of the Nigerian version of Jerry Rawlings. I mean a hungry-looking guy with fiery ideas of ethical standards of behavior for public officers should be and the punishment that should be meted on them when they fail to meet these standards.
We, meaning ordinary Nigerians, must have fantasized about waking up one morning and hearing about our oppressors being arrested, interrogated, made to ‘vomit’ all the money they have stolen while in office including the interest payments and then taken before a ‘Peoples’ Tribunal’ for summary trial and then, taken while shitting in their trousers and skirts, to be part of the ‘Bar-Beach Show’. Sorry guys, it is not going to happen anytime soon because the dreams will remain just that; dreams. Most people must have wondered why things have remained the way they are in Nigeria when in other countries, the people have taken things into their own hands to effect positive changes.
Nigeria is a different country and unless you are a Nigerian, you will not understand why we all stand around (160 million mumus?) while a minuscule number of people ride roughshod over us and we smile and wave at them and wish them well in our prayers every Friday and Sundays. Suffering and smiling has become our national character. After a thorough examination of the Nigerian people and their psyche, I have come up with the ten reasons why there will never be a revolution in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, the only revolution most Nigerians will ever witness will be the turning of their car wheels. Most of the reasons are also not original because we all know about them but knowing the Nigerian and the ostrich attitude, we always deny the obvious.
It is our Turn to Rule, Damage and Steal
Nigerian leaders are not changing their attitude because of their paid mouthpieces who ram it down our throats that it is their ‘turn’ to rule, continue the damage and steal because it is their son or daughter who is in power. Any attempts to ‘hound’ their son or daughter or indict him or her will be taken as an attempt to subvert his or her administration. This argument is always thrown at every critic and pages are taken in national newspapers to emphasize the need to allow public officers commit atrocities against the public because it is the turn of their tribe or region to occupy the position. Stella Oduah, Diezani, Yar’Adua and even Jonathan have all benefitted from this argument.
It Is ‘Our Money’ He is Stealing
Well, all of us must have had the misfortune to listen to or read Asari-Dokubo’s, Tompolo or Ateke Tom take on this argument. If the person doing the looting of public treasury is from the region perceived to be producing the natural resource and the money, all of you parasites have no reason to accuse him of stealing because it is ‘our’ (the region) money he is stealing. If he is from the region, he cannot be accused of stealing public funds because most of it is coming from his region.
Hurt Not My Annointed and Do my Prophet No Harm
If we accept that the holy books could be used to justify stealing in the name of anointing and not harming God’s prophets, then we should all keep quiet and accept the situation as it is. The basis for this argument is that God anointed the politicians who are stealing from us and they are his Prophets. If they are his ‘prophets’, we have no authority to question them even when we know that their avarice is taking us backwards while other countries are marching forward with a fraction of our resources.
I am not Directly Affected, Why should I care?
Why should we care, truth be said? If we can drill boreholes in our compounds, purchase the biggest generators to provide our electricity, grade the roads to our houses and have access to or able to pay police officers or private security to guard our houses, why should we care what happened to others? Why should we care if our compatriots are dying of common water-borne diseases because they are drinking ‘pure’ water or from contaminated wells if we can afford to buy bottled water? Why should we care if fellow citizens sleep in darkness and whole neighbourhoods look like something out of a Charles Dickens novel? Why should we worry when the roads or what passed for roads mean most of our compatriots have to walk every morning to the main road? Why should we care if our unfortunate neighbours sleep with one eye open and organize neighborhood watch groups because of criminals? Why should we care that fuel is expensive if we can afford to pay for it and others are not able? Nigerians are a selfish lot and do not care about any problem if they are not directly affected. That is another reason why your dream of revolution has never and will never come true.
Somebody will Wake up One Day and Do It
While it is understandable that people like the late Madiba Nelson Mandela comes around once in a thousand years, it does not mean that the rest of us have to stomach oppression and bad governance for a thousand years while we wait for our own ‘Mandela’. We will never have a Mandela in Nigeria for the simple reason that no Nigerian wants to be the one at the forefront of the struggle to change things because of the dangers to self and family. We all therefore pray to God to ‘raise’ a Joseph for us to lead us out of Egypt of hopelessness, greedy politicians and collapsing infrastructure. Since none of us is ready to be appointed ‘Joseph’, we can forget about having the elusive change we all continue to dream about.
The System Will Never Change, Why bother?
Most Nigerians today, young and old has accepted ineptitude as our national ‘character’ trait. Public officials expect us to clap for them when they perform basic functions we elected them to perform. Governors take out several pages of advertisement spaces in national newspapers to congratulate themselves on delivering dividends of democracy using names of ‘stakeholders’. We all feel insulted having semi-literate ‘Adedibuish’ characters lording it over us while we keep quiet and just get on with living and surviving.
Why bother to fight something you had already been brainwashed will never change? The politicians are the ones getting these messages across and it has sunk into our brains that nothing will change, so we do nothing and allow them to ‘carry go’.
God will Intervene
‘National days of Prayers’, ‘national days of fasting’, ‘Nigeria Prays’ and special prayer days are held regularly to beg ‘God’ or the gods to help us provide stable electricity, repair roads, create employment, improve education and healthcare delivery systems and stop Nigeria from imploding. Most Nigerians believe in God to a fault. We have the highest number of churches and mosques per square kilometer in the whole world. There are more mosques in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia yet we are suffering?
We hand over our problems to ‘God’ to solve for us because if we believe in ‘Him’ (assuming God is male), why do we need to make any effort? Let us all just wait for His wishes to be manifested in our lives. If it is His wish, our electricity will become stable, our roads will stop being death traps, our schools will become world standard and our public hospitals will stop being mortuaries and ‘mere consulting clinics’ (apologies to the Late Abacha)
Wait for Your Time
If the system is not going to change and we are not fighting it because our politicians were anointed by Him and they are His prophets, why not wait for your time to move to the feeding through? (treasury) Pray for those who are there and wait for the time you will also be ‘anointed’ to move to the next level (from petty thievery to stealing billions).
E go Better
The best optimists in the world are Nigerians. Nigerians were adjudged the ‘happiest people on earth’ because of their optimism of ‘E go better’. They live on hope for a perpetually better tomorrow. Promises of a brighter future are postponed time and again by politicians. We all remember Vision 2000, Vision 2010, Vision 2015, Housing for all by Year 2000 and Vision 2020-20. There are other ‘visions’ not mentioned here that you all know about. Nigerians believe in these promises and wait for them but the goalposts are shifted when the promised time is approaching. That was why Vision 2000 turned to Vision 2010 and now to ‘Visionless 2020-20. I am sure most Nigerians will die happy waiting for the ‘better’ future.
At least We can Move Abroad
Well, thank God that the countries that are better managed have not yet closed their doors against Nigerians. ‘Abroad’ as used here could be anywhere from Republic of Benin to somewhere in the Gobi Desert or Afghanistan. Most Nigerians try this last option after waiting for their dreams to come true and all they have in between are nightmares. They are also not found capable of being ‘anointed’ as ‘prophets’ and cannot wait for their time to make it. These are the Nigerians you found teaching English in Nepal or Mongolia, picking fruits in Texas or selling drugs for Mexican gangs. If we can still leave our problems behind and travel abroad, who need a revolution?
If after reading this you still dream of a revolution, please listen to your car wheels because that is the closest you are ever going to get to a revolution.