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OH! MY SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

By NBF News

I woke up today with something like a red blaring siren inside my head. The night before, I had been in serious thought over the recent atrocities committed in our country. Did I say siren? No it was more like a red-hot stone in my head. It made my head both heavy and hot. I slept late last night, for some reason. The burden of the youth and poor put a bitter spot in my soul. I burned inside with a feeling that was torn among sadness, disgust, bitterness, pity and hatred. It put a thrashing headache in my head, I could feel the vein on the side of my head pulsate with larva-hot blood straight from my heart, and a sort of cold came over me. I feared it was a fever coming.

I had to jerk myself from my eyes shutting out into a fever-induced sleep. I had some tea, black with dash of honey, and I think it was a wrong decision because it kept me awake for another two hours plus. I only woke up with the aches after just roughly two hours of sleep.

The only way I could let out the pressure in my head is by picking a pen and putting down my feeling and sincere thoughts so everyone could understand: The distressed and the guilty, the thief and the victim, the laughing and the weeping. It's always the way, some may say our continuous bashing and slamming at the injustice and wickedness of our system has no effect, but we are most pitiable if we are silent. So I pulled out the pen from my back pack and began to write. It was like opening a gas valve and letting high-pressure gas just vent.

There's a lot of shit going down here. Sometimes I wonder if we're all fools. At least, that's what these political stinkers take us to be. Someone, maybe telling himself 'but Charly Boy is a made man!' Ok, but it was a hard walk through thorns and thistle; sometimes it was like running on hot coal! But the thing is, as I watched the country grow I expected things to get better for today's youth. I expected more rest for the weakened old. But to my amazement, the path became thornier. There are things you hear and your ears tingle, like you got a slap from bony fingers. It keeps resonating with this brain-whistling sound of pure surprise. Your eyes become dark red from nights of anguish. Every one may not feel this way, but it's born in some of us.

Now, can we sit back for a moment and look at the current situation. For what, like 90 days, we never had a leader. A whole nation was left in questioning about the state of the presidency, while no one was sitting for him. Think about it, a president is sick and some freaks tell us stories for 90 days plus! Don't you see? It's like we can be played anytime, while the average Nigerian sits and discusses the issue, he starts the morning with a total stranger in the bus, asking questions about Yar'Adua, the vice president, etc, etc.

It's our specialty: talking! On TV, we talk, on radio, we talk, on the street we talk! Everybody seems to hate the situation. Everyone seems to know what to do, but painfully I observe that it's the same Nigerian that rises to these positions and still takes his greedy bite at the cake! I don't think I've met a lot of people who did not complain of this situation, but pardon me to say: if, everyone seems to know what to do; if we all had this deep conviction and it was in such strong national spread; then something would be happening; the pressure will be biting back at the top. But the truth is we've never been a united people; no matter what is said, people still build fences. Ethnic division is a reality no one wants to talk about. We are a fragmented nation; so unimaginably fragmented. Everyone looks for his own bread and lets the other die. This state creates a chaos at the level of the everyday Nigerian.

My friend, this chaos is what this mediocrity power pimps are taking advantage of. They look in from the 'top;' they see the state of selfishness, chaos, disunity, hatred and they know everyone's distracted enough! In the distraction they spend time talking to each other, while chasing the daily bread; insulting the other cab driver, stealing pennies at the bus stop, raining curses on the next store owner. What a scene, so distracted, so fragmented, so blinded!

We can start a new page. We can seek justice, if every sane person up there (they are minutely few) could stand out for the truth and every Nigerian have a heart for the nation; then we can shake the system to sanity!

So much is wrong. Some of the smartest, most experienced minds in the fabric of our system are laid to waste. They have been tired out by the continuous grinding of failure. They have seen their precious aspirations and good visions die out. While the connected and 'powerful have ascended to take the keys,' these unqualified numb skulls have ripped the system apart. These are people who know nothing about order and leadership. These are people who cannot even take care of a recharge card sale spot! But they have them in houses worth millions, doing nothing but sitting on cash, setting the marks, calling the shots, dancing and beating the drums; all at the same time! They set the rules and break them; they break them when they want to change the game.

The society is the tool in all this. The hands on this corroded machine are the masses! The sweat and toil of the people is nothing to these people; yet it's the life blood of the nation. People get carrots for their labor; while the real money is stashed out, a little is left to run the entire population. Every day the Nigerian wakes to toil, he walks the crowded streets of Oshodi, the fast lanes of Abuja, the scorching sun of Maiduguri, the colds of Plateau. He toils for almost nothing!

Why can't deserving people rule? Why can't qualified people be heads of industry? Why can't our ministers make changes? Simple, they lack the passion and dedication. They lack the maturity. They are so childish in their minds. They lack the focus and sanity to understand the workings of a great society. They lack the inner pride that makes for an achiever; a true life-changer, history maker and problem solvers.

You see where the pain comes. It's like a Catch 22, a circle; a problem that has its root in another problem and that problem has its root in it. Do you get? Take, for example, Mr. X doesn't have money because he doesn't have a degree, and he doesn't have a degree because he doesn't have money; any sense in that? Sort of. You see, the leaders are filled with injustice, so the people suffer. The people are divided and fragmented and they can't make a difference, so they suffer. It's a circle; it's so complicated. It's the complication of it that kept me awake that night, and some other hard sleepless nights. I wondered where the change we so desire is; where will it come from? Who would let go of power? Who would speak up? When will we start looking with a uniform vision? What's the future for the youth of today, tomorrow's leader? What's the hope that he'll be sane and mature? Where's he going to learn character? All the samples around are shameless. He has no real mentors, no real icons. The youth celebrate money instead of character.

So I ask you the question; what would you do? Would you keep talking? Listening to the news for more chit-chat information, just for you to have the most information for tomorrows' time-wasting political analysis at the office? You just want to have the most information, yet you stay in your current position. Quit the stupidity. There's a problem before us; we think it has no solution, but that's because we are drowned in self consciousness, greed, ethnic selfishness, intolerance and gossip. We are so distracted from the core reality that the whole thing is still falling. We claim to know what this man did and that man did in 19 this and 20 this. What will you do, now? What will you do when you get there?

Will you be different? Will you care for the Yoruba man, the Delta man, the Igbo man, the Hausa man, the Benue man? Will you care that there's a child who just needs a little under N2, 000 to start her education?; that another girl will be dragged into prostitution and slavery for a life she thinks she wants? What will you do? Will you refuse to take a dirty bribe and throw someone's life away? Would you be a better boss? Will you shag the next girl in your office to give her a job; will you give that great young man the job he deserves; the job that will truly turn your company around?

What's your thought? What are your convictions?
I'll leave you to think it through, I feel my eyes itching; I have to take a nap.