Cadavers of a Rotten Soul
Any society that boasts of elites, who are nothing but moral cadavers and intellectual Lilliputs imprisoned in the self-absorbed worship of their short-sightedness; is on its way to extinction.
Nigeria is a society in deep trouble because she boasts such men and women; who are nothing but ravenous opportunists actively pursuing the gluttonous plunder of their country in an avalanche of greed that makes colonial conquistadores look like innocent choirboys.
Everywhere one looks affronts one with the unchallenged reign of obscene shamelessness; grotesque mediocrity and an outrageous insanity that is ethically repulsive; insulting to all that is good, true and beautiful; socially scorching our earth to create a race of the wretched off our people; and economically eviscerating our land and chaining our land and people to the pillars of eternal poverty.
Whenever a cadaver stubbornly attaches itself to a soul in coma; an ontological Frankenstein is called into being. Nigeria is a Frankenstein in all the metaphysical constructions of that term. This is due to the megalomanic antics and pseudo-imperial debaucheries of our elites. Nigeria was a colonial construct like so many other countries. But while other countries, through selfless and visionary leadership were busy transforming their lands into abodes of peace, development and human rights; Nigerian leaders and elites were busy siring and constructing a conglomerate of thieves across the land. These they dressed as leaders and imposed on the people. Their only manifesto is to steal anything that could be stolen from the people, without the slightest iota of conscience. And 50 years after our so-called independence, Nigerians are still slaves to the primeval thieveries of her elites.
Cadavers are destined for corruption. They are the end-products of a death-process. They are lifeless passengers waiting for a coffin that transports them off our presence; or for a feast to be made off them by the scavenging animals of the wild. Their only existential ambition is to decay. They rot and decay and stink in the process. Cadavers are meant to be buried. All societies recognize that and do everything to confer this last honour on them. But in Nigeria, we celebrate them and canonize them as paragons of life. That is the case because in Nigeria, our thieves receive our highest honours in stead of our highest prison sentences. Some of them arrogate titles to themselves like GCFR Grand Commanders of the Federal Republic, even though they have gracelessly acquitted themselves as Grand Crooks of the Federal Republic. Among those in this rank include Ibrahim Babangida and Sanni Abacha; two great thieves that would make Ali Baba green with envy. Others are CFR for Commanders of the Federal Republic even though they are Crooks of the Federal Republic. And it seems that the thieving propensities of our elites grow directly proportional to the outrageous titles they arrogate to their poor, wretched, and narcissistic selves. Bode George called himself a Chief and enjoys being addressed as such. But that guy is a crude thief who is worth nothing in the eyes of any sensible conscience. This primitive thief sat atop the embezzlement of over 100 Billion naira belonging to the Nigerian people. And he is not even ashamed or remorseful of his crime. Rather, he prefers to look straight into our faces, and asks us to go fuck ourselves for all he cares.
That Nigeria has metamorphosed into a place where a thief would chide us for showing outrage at his crimes, is symptomatic of what Nigeria has become in the last 50 years. I detest slavery to the core of my being, but in times past, people like Bode George are the ones, whom their community decides that he must be sold into slavery, since he has lost every moral right to live in a society of civilized men.
Nigeria is rotten to the core. And our elites are cadavers. I have been an apostle of Afro-optimism. I have always nursed the belief that Nigeria will rise again some day to live up to the fullness of its potentials. I have always pledged to contribute my voice in the construction of the platforms of discourse that would scaffold my country's renaissance. But I am equally an existential realist, who is under no illusions to lie to myself that things will be alright by simply wishing for it. After serious consideration of the Nigerian situation and circumstance of today, the conclusions are not sunny. Nigeria is not developing. No matter the index we want to use in our definition or delimitation of development, Nigeria is seriously drifting southwards in most of the vital areas that spell development. I challenge anyone to provide facts to the contrary!
The most outrageous achievement of the Nigeria elite is that he came to the global market square in his ugly nakedness, and with all the negative forces resident in the sepulchral recesses of his rotten vocation; sold his shame, and embraced a life of outrageous shamelessness in plying his rotten trade. This explains why brazen opportunists are the ones defining patriotism for us; hijacking the narrative and thumping their diseased version of patriotism down our throats. This explains why the real patriots like Okey Ndibe who dared criticize the excesses of our thieving myopic elites are hounded by the States Security Service and the EFCC whenever they set foot in Nigeria. This explains why a sacked ambassador and his pockets of tribal goons are using the EFCC; an instrument of government, to hound and incarcerate without trial a Nigerian citizen, whose only crime was in asking the Nigerian government to live up to its obligations of paying for a service it enjoyed while it lasted. This equally explains why a rotten society looks on as Bode George; a superlative and extraordinary thief, got out of jail to throw a rousing party to spit on the Nigerian people, whom he raped in a well-choreographed oedipal incestuousness that makes Ola Rotimi's Odewale a saint in comparison.
The elites of other climes are busy repositioning their lands to gain full advantage of the global prosperity for themselves and their lands. But the Nigerian elite is re-inventing himself as a crude thief and shameless opportunist, who is not even ashamed to ditch the toga of patriotism whenever his selfish interests are stimulated well enough with a position or political appointment. And this molten magma of unvarnished selfishness is always dressed in the borrowed robes of patriotism. This explains why Abacha's megalomanic thirst for power was clad in the robes of 'Abacha as the only person that can rule Nigeria'. Obasanjo espied the same cookbook as he avariciously sought to legitimise his tyrannical tendencies, by seeking a Third term extension over and above constitutional provisions. His minstrels went abroad, beating the drums of cant telling Nigerians that Obasanjo is the very next best thing ever to happen to Nigeria after Operation Feed the Nation. It took some strident cacophony of courageous voices to halt the Nigerian Caligula from attaining his desire of retaining the perch of high office, from where he defecated on Nigerians for eight years of scant achievements. On departing, Obasanjo like an evil spirit wants to exact a revenge that will reverberate far into Nigeria's future, long after he must have left the stage. He anointed and imposed Yar Adua over us. Under Yar Adua, Nigeria stagnated and went to hell. The rest the say is history.
Yar Adua exemplified the title of this piece. He was dead while he lived. His cabal of handlers headed by Turai did all in their power to keep up the faÃ§ade that made their looting of Nigeria possible. At a point, Umaru mercifully decided to end it. He slipped off their hands to go the way of all the earth and Nigeria was once more granted a new page to begin afresh. For Turai, there was life after death. She has seriously feathered her nest, which will outlive Umaru, and outlast her sorrows. Wikileaks is my witness.
With Umaru out of the way, Goodluck was to shine on us. But he came not only with a baggage of scant achievements; but also an impious baggage in a wife, who is not only hopelessly ignorant, but also a queen of greed and corruption. Mrs Patience Jonathan like her counterparts across Nigeria was a grand dame of corruption. EFCC once had a case against her, which made headlines in the Nigerian newspapers; and was factual until Ribadu started nursing a presidential ambition and becoming politically correct in the process.
That is simply a bird's eye-view into the top echelons of Nigerian power. And right there, it is not savoury. We are in serious trouble as a people and as a nation.
What really unsettles me is the kind of arrogant ignorance and self-overestimation of the Nigerian elite. He is a demi-god that brooks no questions, which necessarily arise due to his unforgiveable incompetence. He knows no shame in throwing his moral weightlessness around. For money, everything could be sold or purchased. But in Nigeria, for cheap political crumbs, we sell justice to the highest bidder; we desecrate the temples of justice to appease the political rapist ruling Nigeria at any point in time; and we are ready to sell religious recognition to thieves who patronize our churches and mosques, without any remorse.
As revolution sweeps across North Africa, Nigerian elites are relaxed in a business-as-usual mode. They have neither fears nor worries. Some of them have even dismissed the possibility of a revolution in Nigeria although the conditions necessary for a revolution super abound in Nigeria.
As the days go by, I am beginning to subscribe more to the submissions of Prof. Ben Nwabueze, to the effect that what Nigeria actually needs now is a revolution. The Nigerian circumstance is not sustainable. Things cannot go on this way forever. There comes a time when a people must rise up to take their destiny in their hands. It can be arrested if there are rational and concrete efforts to effect radical changes in the way Nigeria is parcelled out to a series of vested cabals; and re engineer Nigeria for the best interest of the Nigerian people. That is not happening right now. Instead, Nigerian elites and leaders like their debauched counterparts and kindred spirits in ancient Rome are busy fiddling while their country burns.
By Emmanuel Franklyne Ogbunwezeh