May 23, 2014
Perhaps it was the marathon of information on the coup in Thailand that I ingested before I dozed off… or perhaps it was the unseating of an inner desire—Freud says that urges and desires that are repressed to function normally in society are released by the unconscious during dreaming. Either way, here’s what I experienced:
It was business as usual in Nigeria that day; 32 killed in Borno, 2 villages burned with more farmers forced to abandon their land, the Senate was meekly going after Diezani and Diezani was going after the Senate while the masses were still being ripped off of $4 million a day being pocketed by Diezani and her cronies in the old-news kerosene subsidy scam. Jonathan was telling some foreigners about his transformation, how Dangote was now the 15th richest man in the world and Nigerian cabal had the most private jets of any African nation and perhaps any nation in the entire world. He was explaining how Nigerians could not be poor because they gave the most donations in Church as illustrated by the wealth of their Pastors. Cement was still sold at thrice the world average that day; there was no electricity and no water came out the rusty tap when I tried to wash my hands.
APC was telling Nigeria how things will be better in 2015 for those who survive with or without their land, limbs, friends, parents and/or children till then. PDP was telling Nigeria that APC were the sponsors of Boko Haram and that they (PDP) knew those involved but were not going to arrest them till enough people had died and were convinced by this not to vote for APC.
I started up the generator and after the current steadied, got online. First stop, SaharaReporters, to see what the latest embarrassing news was. I looked over the images of the burned villages in Borno. Nothing new. Then I went down to read the comments. Deri said something about Sanusi having first said it was $50 billion before it was reviewed to $20 billion. *Argh, Sahara has not yet realized they need to filter Wendell Simlin, a.k.a. Reno Omokri ‘s annoying junk!
I visited Facebook. As usual, there were the Hausa sounding names were calling Igbo-like names, ‘baby-factory’ products, and I quickly noticed some Igbo-like names calling Hausa-ish/ Muslim names, Boko Haram. There also were some Ijaw-ish names as usual, threatening that no Jonathan, no Nigeria. But there was some improvement there, I thought. More people of all ethnicities were uniformly condemning the status-quo and current political leadership, saying, enough was enough, Jo gotto go! People are coming to their senses, I thought.
I looked at the columns in other dailies. Same stuff, long epistles about how Nigeria was on the edge, how reform was needed, how Nigerians will never revolt, how lame Jo should become who he is not and bring back the girls; how the Senate should step up. Same stuff… Ah, in Premium Times I saw my friend, the old, white-hair Femi. I like reading his stuff, it’s like some sort of tongue, or mind twister, so I did again. He was explaining how Jonathan was the best president Nigeria ever had. *$20 billion sure works, I ruminated, check this guy mehn. He was explaining how Jonathan in 2014 moved Nigeria’s economy up to the first in Africa by applying the rebasing equation. How Jonathan repaired the rail system; a commendable, gigantic achievement in 2014 with the nation’s wealth, he said. How Jonathan banned all cars for the poor, so we stop littering the streets, and forced Nigeria to ‘enjoy’ Nigeria assembled brand-new exorbitant models from companies they (he) owned huge shares in. *Ah, Femi, Femi! $20 billion sure does influence hearts and minds, I thought.
And then it happened! The TV station suddenly went dead. When it came on 30 minutes later, I saw a handsome looking, electric Igbo, or perhaps Ijaw colonel; standing beside him was a strong-eye Kanuri tribal-marked man and on the other side, a Yoruba-looking and Hausa-appearing, or perhaps Gwari or Nupe soldier sat.
“Fellow Nigerians, when the people of Nigeria revolted and expelled the Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida regime in 1993, Nigeria had hope that it will at last enjoy the dividends of democracy and that the coming years will transition the nation to one of progress and opportunity with life and property security and an environment for development. But the revolution was fast hijacked by the same Babangida who installed Obasanjo and Obasanjo installed his god-son and the rest is bitter history. With the nation chagrined by political misdirection and on the brink of economic collapse; with the masses entrenched in poverty and the absence of any figment of life safety and security. Our dear nation’s name, now synonymous with terror. With the threat to the nation’s food security as the farmers of the north are being systematically killed and displaced; with constant environmental and ecological pollution, oil vandalism, kidnapping, high sea piracy and related crimes making life unbearable in the creeks of the Niger Delta, it was time to get these reckless children out of the seats of power to enable Nigeria have a chance for change… But we are not wasting another minute dwelling on the past; we are here to Launch Nigeria into the future. From day one, we are inviting all forward minds of Nigeria to join with us in this founding process to reconstruct a true, regionally self-sufficient and secure, powerful nation…”
I did not wait to hear the rest. I tripped and fell as I ran outside. My sister ran towards me, we all ran outside the compound. The streets were filled with people, jumping and dancing ecstatically! People were on their knees, eyes closed; hands clenched shaking as they faced the heavens and shouted their thanks to the Lord. Hausa mallams were hugging Igbo traders. Cars were blowing their horns, with people almost falling out of windows waving their hands in extreme glee.
A Coup! There has been a coup! Thank God, a coup!
*I woke up. What is this smile doing on my face? Oh, I remembered… the dream.