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Living on a Jet Plane; Pius Adesanmi

Source: huhuonline.com

To be sang to the tune of John Denver's 'Leaving on a Jet Plane My fedoras packed, I'm ready to go.I'm standin here outside Aso.I love to wake you up to see convoy. But the dawn is breakin it's early

morn
The Gulfstream's waitin tis all brand new
Already I'm so fullsome I could smile
 
So grumble and cry for you
Tell me that you'll pray for change
Pray on like you'll never up and act
Cos I'm livin' on a jet plane
Don't know why I'll be back on land
Oh babe I love the life
 
There's so many times I've let you down
So many times I've filled my till
I tell you now I'll do it again
Every place I go sirens wake you
Every cent of yours I take for me
If I come back, I'll bank my estacode
 
 
So grumble and cry for you
Tell me that you'll pray for change
Pray on like you'll never up and act
Cos I'm livin' on a jet plane
Don't know why I'll be back on land
Oh babe I love the life
 
 
Now the time has come to loot you
One more time let me rob you
Close your eyes I'll be on my way
Dream about the days to come
When I will have to say again
Y'all Naijans, suckers all of you
 
So grumble and cry for you
Tell me that you'll pray for change
Pray on like you'll never up and act
Cos I'm livin' on a jet plane
Don't know why I'll be back on land
Oh babe I love the life
 
Cos I'm livin' on a jet plane
Don't know why I'll be back on land
Oh babe I love the life
 
Nota Bene:
Unfortunately I cannot play the guitar. Anyone so gifted is welcome to sing these lyrics to guitar accompaniment and distribute on youtube, Facebook, and places where we can reach the computer literate among our people as part of our collective struggle to sustain the build-up to a popular rebellion and generalized civil strife that must inevitably happen to free our people and the Nigerian state from the stranglehold of the satanic people currently holding all of us hostage in Abuja.

When I wrote 'The Prodigal Son', I was already fully convinced that President Goodluck Jonathan and all those around him who came up with that moronic 50 th independence anniversary budget could not have been acting in the full exercise of their critical faculties. Little did I know at the time that the anniversary budget was the just the apéritif, preparatory to the entrée and the main course.

Our oppressed people are still grappling with the psychological consequences of the galling insensitivity displayed by the President and the National Assembly in the matter of their yeye independence anniversary. Yet, Dora Akunyili, smiling as ever, has announced that they are buying three brand new presidential jets that will set us back by USD 154.3 million. The jets are the entrée. We still don't know what Chef Jonathan is preparing for the main course but if the apéritif and entrée are any indication, we need no octopus to tell us that the main course will be a disaster.

While Abuja was announcing the purchase of these aircrafts with two compass points of her mouth, the other two compass points (apologies to Wole Soyinka) were telling the world that Nigeria would have to borrow money from international sources to fund the 2011 presidential election in six months. The surprise is that the international community still takes this African joke of a state seriously and does business with her instead of isolating her in a crèche until she begins to show symptoms of responsible adult behaviour.

No one seems to be able to keep up with the spending pace of the drunken sailors in Abuja. Daniel Elombah of elombah.com has been performing an invaluable public service by occasionally putting the billions Akunyili reels out every week together in a format that we, the people, can consume without too much vertigo; Sonala Olumhense once attempted the impossible by mapping the unmonitored billions that the Executive Council of the Federation (Sonala calls the EXCOF a 'contract bazaar') had already poured into the vortex of lootable funds at the time Sonala was writing the said piece. Efforts such as Elombah's and Sonala's are of course Sisyphean. You come up with a figure today, Abuja responds with even more vertiginous billions tomorrow, and you have to start your calculations all over again just like our friend, Sisyphus.

In some chat rooms, I encountered sane and decent Nigerians openly praying for the new presidential planes to crash and take away with them a sizeable chunk of our oppressors who may be flying with the President; when sixty-two irresponsible senators flew to South Africa for a world cup jamboree, I encountered similar sentiments online - otherwise decent Nigerians praying for their plane to crash and reduce our national misery by sixty-two looters - and even wrote about it in my weekly column at NEXT.

Those chatroom Nigerians were basically asking Ogun - whose chthonic energies control the steel in the airplane - to ignore the floods of water at his disposal and bathe with the blood of our politicians. What shocked me was the sang-froid with which I read such invocations of the sinister upon members of the rulership by our people. I was shocked that I wasn't screaming in horror as I contemplated such horrid and untoward propositions. I was shocked that rather than feel offended, I was mentally rationalising where those Nigerians were coming from. I was scared that part of me may even be subconsciously agreeing with those horrible invocations, in total contradistinction with my humanistic ethos. Just what has Abuja done to my sense of the human?

One thing that modernity has never been able to really do in Nigeria - and indeed in much of Africa - is erase the sacral authority of taboo. My friend, Harry Garuba, a Professor of Literature in Cape Town, says that 'animist realism' is thriving in Nigeria.   As an average Nigerian, you know you have those moments when you quietly suspend modernity, Westernization and all that jazz and allow Africa and her taboos to take over your business and resolve tricky issues in your life. If you are Yoruba, you know that you have moments when you 'd'ogbon si' or you 'te ndi'. For every 'd'ogbon si', there are 'eewos' and taboos. Once your problem has been solved, you may wear your three-piece suit, carry your blackberry, and return to the modernity of Facebook to pretend that Africa and her mysteries are no longer part of your life. You may dismiss taboos as backward and superstitious but you are never really keen to be the one to test what happens when you breach them.

The gratuitous invocation of the horror of a plane crash on your fellow man would qualify as a taboo in most cultures I know in Nigeria and in the places I've been to in the rest of Africa. It is a taboo that Nigerians, known for their endlessly elastic ability to endure, wouldn't ordinarily breach. Yet, here were Nigerians in some chat rooms doing just that. When a depraved rulership dehumanizes its own people and pushes them into what Frantz Fanon calls 'a zone of non-being', a zone where respect for taboo is thrown to the dogs and that cultural sense of the sacral and the sublime in life is lost, such a rulership had better watch it. President Jonathan had better watch it.