Behold a landscape foaming with blood, killing field with expired bodies piled high. The heavens and the atmosphere are crackling and blazing forth as we plunge ourselves into our funeral rites, racing fast to join the comity of the departed nations. We are too poor for peace, yet we have unholy ghosts to fight.
Alas! There is no help in Yonder! Grills, cries, season of bombs and bombers, era of guns and gunmen. Kaduna refugees in search of their souls. Borno remains the cemetary of its citizens. Yobe’s people are roasting in flame. Plateau is leading the league of abattoirs. Kano’s fate dangles freely in fear. The other time, Lagos was boasting of its combatant readiness after a pilot attack has been inflicted. We have “unholy ghosts” fighting us, even in our dreams. We are too poor for peace, yet we have unholy ghosts to fight.
The land is cursed with fuming blood. Dead bodies littering ruinned churches. While this gang rape of innocent souls continues, some are flying jets to sympertize with victims, some are pardoning criminals, some are pointing fingers at evil forces, some are offering to pay religious assassins who have killed more than 500,000 Nigerians in Nigeria in the past three years. Welcome to the land of comedy where peace is for sale! We are too poor for peace, yet we have unholy ghosts to fight.
Rather than a genuine national consensus, this was the cocktail of contradictions that has borne the Jonathan presidency aloft and may yet shipwreck it. It requires a sober rectitude, tactical astuteness and strategic brilliance to plot one’s way out of conflicting passions. But for a man who has found himself in a great foxhole, Jonathan has continued to dig in with frenetic fury. Apart from a series of unforced errors, Jonathan has been helped along in his perilous misadventure by a string of inexperienced special advisers who will soon publish book for the angry populace to consume. As it is, we are in civil war against the unholy ghosts in the Villa and in the creeks.
We have venerated militancy to the abyss, we have rewarded arms carrying with honorary degrees, we have given people the push to walk when they actually don’t have shoes to wear and move. We have messed up the gods of logic. We have rolled out drums to dance shamelessly in celebration of nothingness in such that people who are suffering from intellectual kwashiorkor now think they have the cerebral grandstanding and space to jive. We dash out reverred positions to those who need intensive overhaul of their core value system, as to what their brain can produce. What has Patience Jonathan done as the permanent secretary of Bayelsa’s Education Ministry?This is the world we live in. We are too poor for peace, yet we have unholy ghosts to fight.
This is a dire moment for the nation. As it is currently constituted, the Nigerian political elite, particularly its dominant faction, is organically incapable of handling the challenge. The unforeseen contradictions of post-military anarchy and anomie have rendered the ruling party statutorily incompetent and incapacitated by its lack of transformative imagination and vision. We need an alternative. We are too poor for peace, yet we are being governed by a set of unholy ghosts in the villa and in the creeks.
Given the structural and systemic disfiguration of the nation, the PDP may win many more elections, but it is incapable of holding the nation together for much longer. A fixation with elections is electoralism in its worst and most berserk form. This is the time for the emergence of a truly nationalist class which will save Nigeria from political, economic and spiritual predators. Unfortunately for now, there seems to be none in the horizon. So by the time we all wake up from this nightmare in all its bloodthirsty absurdities, Nigeria may be gone to fury.
We have entered a volatile era, reminiscent of the old order when Yakubu Gowon grilled Odumegwu Ojukwu, shattering Ojukwu’s “On Aburi We Stand” slogan. Just like Ojuwku confided to Reuters, “we are now rolling downhill. It will take a great deal to halt the momentum,” we are today, rolling downhill in haste. We have on our hands a collection of bold ghosts offering amnesty to the state. And again, we have a presidency that is lost in his own warren of confusion. This is not the time to pray, it is the time to question our sanity.
In its classical incarnation, the state was the most powerful embodiment of national aspirations surfeit with mystical notions as the ultimate guarantor and protector of the sacred destiny of the people and the society. This is true of any pre-colonial society. In royalties, monarchies, empires and fiefdoms, state actors are carefully groomed and nurtured through a rigorous and painstaking selection process. But this is not the case today, the state is lost in its rush for national treachery, the people are naked, too poor to have peace within and yet they are being tormented by unseen forces, unholy ghosts.
In the end, since we now understand where our handshake went beyond the elbow, the advantage of the moment must be taken, either to bid farewell to the ruling class and stop the burial rites of the state or the country bids farewell to its blood suckers.
Jonah Ayodele Obajeun blogs @www.obajeun.com. Reach him on twitter via @Obajeun
NB: This article was first published in April, 2013
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