I had been groaning where Fela had laughed, and I see no utility in groaning, whilst I cannot afford the luxury of mirthless laughter.
Fela looked and laughed, but he wasn’t laughing with mirth, he was weeping as is the way of the introspective creative man. The Yorubas would say that “ti oro ba ti ko’ja ekun, erin laa rin”. When tears would be insufficient to communicate the depth of grief, recourse might be found in laughter. Fela might have enjoyed the relief of his mirthless laughter, all I would appear capable of, are my increasingly quiet groans.
I have had a few people send me messages on Facebook in recent weeks, all enquiring after my well-being, and wanting to know why I have not been writing as much as I would have done in the recent past. The frequency of these messages have increased in recent times, and I believe that it is right that I should address these concerns. Even the most excitable dog, tires eventually.
There is nothing more disheartening than for a man to witness the unmasking of his trusted friends and allies, those for whom he would have happily died, deny the very basis of your presumptions of fellowship, whilst you are yet alive. I am 52 years old, and I have seen friends from my youth, men with whom I warred in my youth, deny the evidence of their own senses, and become rabid apologists for the same evil empire that we once fought against side by side. I am watching friends of many decades unmasked as sniveling cowards and murder explainers and deniers. One even swung by the other day to take potshots at me, and to demand that I go back to my own state of Osun. I shall leave as soon as our famous export to Lagos agrees to follow me. Awon Werey.
I might be arsed to awaken the sleeping man, but I am certainly not wasting any time on the man that pretends to be asleep. I write to awaken the lethargic, to roust the ones asleep, to teach the ignorant, to clarify issues for those in search of the truth, and to bring illumination to the areas of darkness. But countless essays and interventions later, I have seen how wasted the efforts are, on a people that have determined not to learn anything from the truth of their painful history.
I am still writing alright, I am writing and concluding a book on the only way forward as I see it. I am done with the wailing and bellyaching, I am done writing about the pains of being a Nigerian. I have set myself the urgent task of imagining the way forward for this blighted country of ours. Wailing is not a roadmap to the future, and anger is not a solution to any problem, unless it is employed as a tool for the galvanization of the peoples behind the articulated solutions. Nigerians need to be angry about our situation before we might be able to make the move forward, but move we must.
Imbecilic fools are the ones waiting for 2023 to save Nigeria. I warrant that there’ll be nothing left to save by then, and our evil rulers know this, are counting on it, and have bet on it. Look again. Why else would you be watching the shame of Pondei, the tragicomedy of the VI and Mushin boys, and the happy slappers of the Niger Delta? Why do you think they are offing the mikes? They are aware of the evil that they have done, and the complete loss of the fear of consequence is predicated on their conclusion about the future viability of the Nigerian state itself.
Every Nigerian political actor of any weight in the southern part of Nigeria, and the middle belt has dual citizenship, homes in the UK and the US, and in Dubai for good measure. They are not Nigerians in their minds and do not believe in the viability of the Nigerian state. The ones in the core northern states are residents of the Niger Republic, Chad, and any number of the Sahel states. Most have homes in the Gulf Arab states and in Saudi Arabia itself. They are not Nigerians, and they have never believed in it. The Nigerian state is ruled by Alhajis, na strangers dey rule we land.
So yeah, I have not been writing for the consumption of an audience incapable of understanding. That is what writing for this generation has become for me. I felt like I had been groaning where Fela had laughed, and I see no utility in groaning, whilst I cannot afford the luxury of mirthless laughter. I am busy writing a manual for the consumption of the conscious, and it shall be known as The Manual Of The Nigerian Revolution. Expect its imminent delivery.