Mon, May 27, 2019
Read in 7 minutes
What in the world is more powerful than a story? A well told story, an acute string of cause and effects. Inflection points are after all only seen when looking in retrospect. We all had to wait till the season finale of the Game of Thrones to appreciate all of the occurrences in the life of Bran the Broken. If he never climbed the tower, Jamie would never have pushed him. On the other hand, if Jamie and Cersei had a normal sibling relationship, there wouldn't have been any reason to push Bran. If Hodor didn't have his back, I doubt he would have made it back to Winterfell. Bran's survival necessitated the death of the night king, after all he gave Arya the valyrian steel dagger. When Tyrion asked him if he would wear the crown if chosen, he made the most remarkable statement ever "Why do you think I came all this way?"
Fortunately for most of us who aren’t all knowing, we have no idea the impact our actions could bring about. Things fall apart, the center cannot hold, this is the story of Nigeria. A country on the brink of seismic implosions. They once said education is the key, but corruption changed the locks. Millions of graduates without an opportunity to earn a decent living, it’s only a matter of time before idle fingers became the devil’s work tool. If you care at all about holy books; Psalm 125:3 says “The rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous, lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity” The big questions remain, how long before you break? How far before you drop? How much before you agree? There is an interesting account of two strangers aboard a flight; male and female. Mid-flight, the young man beckoned to the lady beside him. He had been staring for quite a while which became very disturbing to the lady, it seemed like he wanted to ask some questions, so she gave him a little attention. He asked her straight up if she would have sex with him for a million dollars. The lady was shocked at two things; the mouth-watering offer and the straight forward question. She had never experienced both at the same time before, but now faced with such under short notice, she had a decision to make. She took her time to weigh her pros and cons and after some minutes she answered in the affirmative. The young man was excited, so was the lady, who believed she had closed in on a great bargain. Few minutes before the flight reached full halt, the young man leaned over towards her and said again, “I don’t really have a million dollars… would you have sex with me for a hundred dollars?” She couldn’t believe her ears, she was fuming beyond control and blurted out “what do you take me for?” To which he replied “we have already established that, we are just negotiating over a convenient price“
When Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa appointed Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh as Nigeria’s first minister of finance, he had no idea the level of mismanagement that was about to be wreaked on the Nigerian economy. Maybe, that alongside many other little fuses were what inspired the January 1966 coup that came to be. Maybe Major Kaduna Nzeogu was referring in part to Chief Festus as part of the political profiteers he openly condemned. Apparently in the first fortnight of 1966, there were two coups being planned simultaneously and in secrecy, but that which came to be usurped the latter which was to be. Being that what we know is that which happened, it is possible that the following string of events were merely coincidental… and maybe not. The coup slated for the 17th of January would have began with a briskly executed assault in the Niger Delta of the Eastern Region, and also on the opposition party (UPGA) to be led by Isaac Boro. This action would have caused an equal and opposite reaction from prime minister Balewa to declare a state of emergency in the east. A number of actions and inactions further substantiates the coup claim. On the 13th January, Sir Ahmadu Bello returned from Mecca to Northern capital Kaduna. He met with Akintola and a commanding officer of the first brigade; Brigadier Ademolegun the following day. Major-General Ironsi was ordered to take his accumulated leave; The Inspector General of police; Mr Louis Edet was also ordered on leave; Mr Robert, the deputy I.G was sent into premature retirement to be replaced by Alhaji Kam Salem. All of these happened at a time when president Dr Azikiwe was in England on a health cure. These actions had and still have their consequences. Sir Ahmadu Bello should never have come back from Mecca, because the coup that occurred on the 15th took his life.The coup that was, was led by a man of eastern origin quite alright but one who had lived all of his life in the North and even spoke Hausa better than Ibo. He may by all fair judgment be more Hausa than Ibo, but when you act you never get to chose the corresponding reaction. Which is one major reason why the coup of January 1966 would resonate throughout the Nigerian History as a tribally conceived plot. No one cares about the northern junior officers who accompanied Major Nzeogu to the Sardauna’s residence and shelled it down, the reaction was simple; an Ibo man killed so many Hausa leaders and usurped power… we would revenge.
In a radio broadcast later that afternoon, he spoke about how political profiteers and swindlers were the problem of Nigeria, those who sought bribes and sought to keep the country permanently divided. He wanted to break the wheel, to transform the country into one we would all be proud to call home. It’s 53 years later and I can tell you it has really not worked out according to that vision. He ignored possible reactions like many of us do daily. A young lady gets pregnant and really isn’t ready for that responsibility, she opts to get the child aborted and that is successful, but her womb is damaged in the process and she may never be able to conceive again. In retrospect, she recalls how she was discouraged by her friends about the young irresponsible man that got her pregnant. Do you remember when you were first offered a smoke? You were promised bliss, and true to that, you were without your problems for as long as your eyes were cloudy. It’s been years and now you’re an addict who can’t keep a savings not to talk of a decent job. You’re broke and unhealthy, with failing organs and no family to turn to. Depressed and contemplating suicide. It is only now that you remember that all of your life depended on that one decision. If you had declined, maybe you would still be broke, but without the organ failure…The point is; you never know what you would get addicted to until you try it and it’s too late. Maybe your life was destined for greatness if you opted for oranges rather than a stick of burnt lungs.
Curb the symptoms, but never ignore the danger of the virus itself eating deep within the being. With millions of unemployed youths, graduates with no opportunity for expression, it’s not difficult to see why fraud suddenly looks like Disneyland. The privileged getting more privileged and the less getting lesser. The wealth gap grows every day and the youth are not really lazy. At some point, someone breaks, while some turn to suicide, some decide to live by any means possible including burning the moral compass and delving neck deep into fraud and human rituals. In a country where the future is not so encouraging, where the best minds are leaving to find greener pastures, and the present is worse than the past, what hope lies in being noble? The rod of the archetypal wicked rests continually on weak and weary souls and it’s only a matter of time. Nigerians, young and old suffer from the actions of people they are unable to hold accountable. Fraud isn’t the disease, just like rape, armed robbery and so many of the vices, it’s a symptom and points to a deeper problem. Effective vaccines are not targeted at symptoms, but once they begin to work against the viruses, the symptoms also fade away like they never existed. Once we can overcome the disease, we can put an end or bring to the barest minimum the negative continual cycle of cause and effects.