To project into the future of Nigeria in the full knowledge of the facts unvarnished, is to embrace despair about the future of this country, but despair is the one thing that we must strenuously fight off at this time…
Second semester, Part Three of a four year degree course, and several months into the SAP crisis induced closure of my university, aged 19 years, I upped stick, did not consult or seek the consent of any parent, and fled Nigeria. I could see that the country was failing, and I couldn’t see any hope for it. Moses fled Egypt, but the promised land was left behind. This is the story of Black Moses to tell, and it will be told soon enough.
Fast forward 32 years later. Black Moses is quarreling with Oladele, and despair threatens once again. But Oladele is not leaving this time, there is no promised land out there, and it is up to us to bring forth the paradise bequeathed to us by God, from the hell that we have conspired to make of it. Rulers, and ruled just as culpable in the despoliation of our country.
At 19 years old, I was correct in the conclusion I drew as to the direction of the nation of my birth, and so were the friends that never made their way back, and even the ones that have since toed our well worn paths away from the putrefaction that has come to define our country. That a man migrated to Canada through the legal pathways to the new lands, does not make him any different from the ones that are dying in the Sahara desert, enslaved by the Libyan slave traders, or feeding the fishes of the Mediterranean Sea. Nigeria is the one that drives away its citizens, and they are fleeing the land that devour its inhabitants.
I could flee in my youth, and I am eternally grateful to God for the experience of exile, it has assured that I will NEVER EVER, flee again. I despair now, even as I despaired then, but the wilderness years have cured me of any illusions of my capacity to live outside the land of my birth. I was created on purpose to live and thrive in this country, and I will not allow despair to blind me to this knowledge.
There is a lot of ground to be covered by those who like me, desire a new Nigeria. The objective realities on the ground will suggest that there is a lot of work to be done before the wall of Jericho will fall, and Nigeria is more fractious today than it was when I was 19 years old. But we fail only if we refuse to believe, and to then dare the state, to be better than it is.
The difference between revolutions and implosions are not too readily obvious, but it is to be found in the coincidences of opportunity and preparation, or in the tragic absence of preparation. When the Sowore revolution was called, I was angry at what I believed to be his premature ejaculation, and I wasn’t sparing in my condemnation of his call. I wrote a post to declare my own position, and I reached out to mutual friends and acquaintances to offer details of my principled opposition to the call.
The kernel of my disagreement is to do with the critical lack of mass education, mobilization, organization, and timing, and I dealt with the issue further in a post I made before the South African madness erupted, and before the Lagos revolutionary army began the process of avenging the murder of Mr. Xenophobia by the South African mobs. I titled the piece, “You Will Recognize”.
To watch the videos of what has happened in Lagos this week, and to project into the future of Nigeria in the full knowledge of the facts unvarnished, is to embrace despair about the future of this country, but despair is the one thing that we must strenuously fight off at this time. It is the lessons that must be properly deduced, and then learnt.
The Nigerian implosion is inevitable, but the Nigerian revolution is not. Those that believe in the need to revolutionize Nigeria must be prepared for the task of educating, mobilizing, and building the overly abundant mob, into an army of conscious citizens. The Nigerian revolutionary must become imaginative, and eschew violence as an option in the inevitable confrontations that will come between the citizens and the evil system that must be defeated before Nigeria may be born.
The Nigerian state is happy to deal with implosions, and the system has ensured that any such implosion brings profits, and will be casted as a class war. The casualties of any such implosions would be the poor, and the middle class, and the beneficiaries would be the same people that have brought us to where we are. I warrant that soldiers and policemen will protect the rich and powerful, but the poor people and the middle class will be the ones to pay in blood. And when we are done killing ourselves, they have designed the system to reinvent itself, and to then appear as the bringer of law and order.
The Nigerian rich and powerful are not the victims of the South African madness, and I assure you that the chaos you have seen online are far removed from where they are living or holidaying in the highbrow neighborhoods of South Africa. The Nigerian people caught up in the Lagos madness were the poor and the middle class, and the rich have watched, protected and secure behind the walls of their palaces, unaffected by the impotent wails of the middle class victims, and untouched by the brays of the mobs devouring their own.
It is easy to despair looking at Nigeria, but I refuse to succumb to my fears for Nigeria.
First published 6 September, 2019.