Monday, October 29, 2012

The Animal In Today's Nigerian!

It has been said that the Nigerian of our time is a walking time bomb, waiting to explode. The Aluu 4, a tale that has captured untold punditry and a record space on both social media and Nigerian newspapers, is by no means a novel acrimony. Perhaps, the Aluu 4 became what it did because of the video that went viral and the loud voice that social media gave to it. There is no gainsaying that many Nigerians are often lynched un-noticed. In the creeks, jungle justice thrives. In villages where there is no luxury of twitter and youtube, people are murdered with such servitude that not only puzzles the mind, but will also compete with Aluu 4 for brutality. It is such disturbing trend that tells us that there is truly a certain animal in today's Nigerian. It's not just the nasty nature Hobbes talked about, it's a new brand of 'animal', made in Nigeria, for Nigerians. The Nigerian you see on the street has been conditioned to harbour an element of savagery. On his face, is written a gruelling tale. They say we are the most happy people on earth, but such happiness is only a facade that erodes swiftly when faced with a scenerio. There is so much he disdains about himself, his society, his life. It is for this reason that you can easily incite a Nigerian to join a mob action. It is for this reason that one Mr Lucky could incite the crowd to dole out a first class babaric act on those four students of Uniport, and it is for this reason that at the sound of 'thief thief thief', people are ever ready to clamp down andeven burn to ashes the accused in split seconds. There is a fundamental anomaly with our mindset. Make no mistake about it, such anomaly is not the preserve of the downtrodden Nigerian only. It is a madness that cuts across class and social status. It runs in the viens of a myriad of Nigerians. Our society has reconstructed our mindset. The rot in today's Nigeria has created a can of anger, a boiling aggression, a measure of hate, a burden of venom, a sponge of frustration, and at any slightest provocation, we explode and pour out these elements on anybody and anything.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Short Story: Justice For All...

His struggles were pulsating, oozing out a stench of astute determination, the kind that the forces of nature are vulnerable to. Ogbuke knew that he will need more than mere resolve to see this battle to the end. They say fighting a war against strong employers is always a battle in futility. But, Ogbuke sought after such futility, to change it's fortune. His boss had just shown him the exit door for his dogged refusal to add two zeros to a certain sum of money in the company's transaction. Though such occurances had always beena trend at the office, Ogbuke's resolve has been hitched upon what he called 'An Unflinching Conviction'. This conviction and it's carrier could have been swept away a long time ago by his employers, but Ogbuke's sublime expertise had left their hands tied. However, the powers that be can no longer stomach such 'nonesense'. As financial manager, he was cajoled to turn 600,000 naira into 60,000,000 naira, in a deal the company opined will be their jackpot as a firm. The trajectory was to be unprecedented, and Ogbuke's refusal earned him a sack letter. 'Unlawful dismissal', was the grounds he used in suing his employers. The court proceedings were a cumbersome furore; an unending series of litigation that beggars belief. Ogbuke kept hope alive. Having lost his job and several friends in his tussle for 'change', hope was the only thing he could keep alive. TheD-Day finally arrived. The day when the verdict was to be pronounced. Ogbuke came into the court room, optimistic as ever, and looking forward to a reprieve. But, it wasn't long before the verdict lefthim in bonkers. His employers were justified, and he was to pay them a huge sum of money for damages. Ogbuke remained glued to his sit. The penury was enough to cripple the limbs. He glanced at the big inscription inside the court room that reads 'JUSTICE FOR ALL'. At least, today, in his rattling fight for 'Change', he now knows who 'All' refers to. Perhaps, a soothing progress in his effort to solve the societal puzzle. He lived a beggarly life afterwards.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mubi, Aluu & The Culture Of Babarism

If ever we thought that the chauvinistic era of life being short, brutish and nasty as propounded by Thomas Hobbes were theories that had outlived their relevance, the events of the past few weeks have served as gruesome reminders. The tales of avarice and sheer sordid tendencies in our land has reached a new crescendo in recent times. Like a scalded cat, the news became viral of how untrammeled gunmen attacked the Adamawa state polythecnic in Mubi and randomly killed about three dozens of people. Investigations and committees became the aftermath response of those saddled with our security, and the blood of those innocent citizens still yearn for vengence. We thought we have seen enough, before social media became awash with the gory video of four University of Portharcourt students that were murdered under the most gruelling imagined situation. The madness was unrivalled. Not only were they beaten to death, their bodies were turned into ashes. All these within the space of one month. This culture of babarism has reached an all time high. No explanation will ever suffice to justify this crude act of man's inhumanity to man. The events of the past few weeks should send alarm bells, that the times demands for carefulness, caution and wisdom. We heard of how Cynthia Udoka Osokogu was killed by friends she met on facebook. The streets are unsafe, the villages insecure, the airwaves unprotected, and now the internet. Conventional wisdom tells us that our government can not protect us; the times are evil, desperate and precarious. Watch and pray.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Short Story: Trapped!

It was her presence that alerted me. The glittering substance in her attire. The beauty of her dresswas hypnotizing, the kind of beauty that puts you in a spell and keeps you there. She sat down unperturbed, and with a grace that spoke volume of her simplicity. I sat at the rare, but kept my gaze on her. She brought out her blackberry phone. The sophistication of the phone suggested it belonged to the top echelon of the bb world. Her attention was stolen by the phone. Her both hands were busy, punching the buttons. At times, she will smile at herself, at other times, she will wink to herself. The phone held her in a spell. I wanted to leave the bar, but there was something about her presence that captivated my thoughts, and paralysed my limps.I observed her carefully, from where I sat. She still held her phone, still fixed on the screen, still engrossed. The seconds rolled into minutes, and the minutes metamorphozed into hours. But, there she was, intoxicated by the device. I wondered: was it that she was waiting for someone? Perhaps, she was in the wrong place. I attempted to go and ask her. But, there was something about her beauty and countenance that putsyou off, that advices you to mind your own business. Then, the hours began to trickle down. Suddenly, she stood up. Her face looked hushed. Like a bolt from the blue, she came to where I sat 'Can you please lend me your blackberry charger, my battery is dead, and I am not through chatting with my friends' she said, smiling.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Nigeria @ 52: Hope against Hope

Beyound sufficient chronicles already exist of the doom’s den that Nigeria seems to have become. Not only is the nation in eclipse, it is on a tenterhook, a certain uncertainty that grows with the passage of every new day. A rehash of the myriad of the problems currently besetting us is not needed here. We have already seen and heard so much of them, and asking for more here will only put a damper upon many hearts. It goes without saying that at 52, the true gains of democracy remains elusive in our land. Constant power supply remains a pipe dream, unemployment continues to skyrocket, our roads are still death traps, the aviation industry is in a state of debacle, corruption is at its crescendo, educational standard is still on a down slide, poverty is written on the faces of many, and then, the peak of the penuries, Boko Haram. But, despite all these plethora of problems, the message for this anniversary is hope. This hope is not just one we should bestow on our leaders. Rather, it is one we should have because of the great Nigerian spirit that we possess. Bad as it seems, we can surely turn this around and usher in a wheel of fortune. Our nation is and has never been in need of efficient human resources. All we need is the true will to demand a change. Without fear of sounding ludicrous, we are a nation for all seasons. At 52, we should come to a round table. The sins of our past have been our burden today, but we can reverse the fate of tomorrow by getting it right today. A more effective and pragmatic way of doling out a fatal blow to the scourge that is Boko Haram must be concocted. The electoral process must be strengthened, and political offices should be made less attractive. Development should be holistic, and only square pegs in square holes should be tolerated. At 52, the blame game of who crashed the Nigerian project should be buried. We are all in the logjam together. We all live with the mess, though in varying degrees. It is far from uhuru in Nigeria, but better days are surely in the offing. It is apt to drop the ink by saying that the leaders must muster the will to take the genuine initiative and the followers must show enough believe and sincerity to steer the Nigerian ship together.