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Waiting for the next earthquake!

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Nigeria’s flag

Over decades and over centuries countries in the Southeast Asia of the world are virtually immune to earthquakes.

Unlike newly exposed places earthquakes are nothing to bother those Asian countries. The same thing can be said of some places in the South American continents. The earth of these places already know tremor of rock re-arranging itself. Earthquakes are used as images.

No matter how familiar one might be to earthquake disasters, no one earthquake is like another. Every earthquake does not threaten the total existence of any of these countries. Let the crises, let the earthquake come there still remains a country, a place that still belongs to everybody. It is not the same thing in Nigeria.

Improperly conceived or unacceptable to all as conceived, each political crisis threatens to tear the country apart. Who are the peoples of the country. South Africa says, difficult as it is to say, that South Africa belongs to all who live in it black and white. Yes, some people don’t agree. For others, it is as aspiration, and there it is. Whatever is thrown at the country it is not running here and there and asking if this is the end of South Africa.

Does Nigeria belong to the men and women who own the banks and for whom the rest of the country in form of governments, civil servants, security systems must stand up and never say no? Who are these people? Are they a mixture of ethnic groups? Or they in their wealth Yoruba, Fulani and Igbo? Or are rich people not in need ethnicity? Like when trillions of naira was needed to save the rich people’s banks, why was there no protest to stop so much money being spent on a few people? These are city people. These are the capitalist people, these are the contact people of the world.

Why has millions, even say billions never been spent on farming areas around the country? Those footpaths that carry feet in search of work and food have never been enlarged so more and more can walk these paths.

Every time there is a suggestion that cattle stations should be created, the country starts to mention Biafra and Oodua Republic and Arewaland. What does Nigeria mean? This is what Nigeria means now. It is Nigeria when we want restructuring and we can go back to parliamentary system and we can arrange ourselves according to the Houses of Commons and Lords. If anybody does not support us, they are determined to enslave the Yoruba race and ensure nothing will ever work for them.

The federal government is run by a northerner. Like everybody else he appoints his relations and his ethnic people and members of his family as ministers and commissioners and the CEOs. This is what everyone does when they are there but we are not the ones there, so we can make as much noise as would break up the house. Let’s go back to the earthquakes we mentioned at the beginning.

In January 1966 a few idealistic young officers conspired to take the country to something higher. They failed. The country was taken over to the western slater houses. How do we divide up the country so that one tribe does no cheat the other?

All over the country, Igbo, Fulani Yoruba whatever they want to call them selves have left their places and moved to the shores of Lake Chad. Others have gone to the lagoon and reborn as Lagos Boys and Girls. In southern cities Fulani speak fluent Yoruba to their children when and how they wish. These movements have taken place and nobody complained. Then one earthquake and the whole place must go to pieces. This must stop.

A country is a give and take. You give a little and I take a little. Nobody can win all, not in the present situation. A little now and a little again later. This is the only way it will ever work.

At another time, someone with charisma says it is possible while others said it is not possible. He put people together, he went throughout the country asking people to just trust him and he would make Nigeria possible. Like play like play it was becoming possible. The man who could have reaped eternal reward developed cold foot. He lost courage. Others of the military ilk said they could not salute him as commander-in-chief. No way. He will hold the country to ransom. The country owes his company. He will treat the country like his personal wallet. So, that dream died as well with nobody sure today he cancelled the elections and mollified the process. Such moments are numerous in our history.

What about the monumental archives of Awolowo’s thinking? Have we documented them, detailed them and classified the according to what stage of our political stage it belongs? What about the initial efforts that went into the free primary education? What about the sheer academic efforts young educated Nigerians were trying to make? At the university of Ibadan?

What about at the university of Ife? What about Lagos university? University of Nigeria Nsukka?

The proliferation of ideas, what are we doing with them? Like the crops that drop and grow and nobody takes care of them?
Another of those earthquakes happened in 2015 or so.

Never before in the history of the country has one civilian government defeated another in a natural change of hands at the realm of affairs. Well, here it was happening. If it can happen so much else can happen. Buhari defeated Goodluck and Nigeria triumphantly became normal. What happens naturally everywhere else in the world, is a miracle in Nigeria. And being a miracle, it is not sustainable.

Of course, the winner messed everything up. First it took him months into years to chose a cabinet. And then the head of state became ill and so nothing could be done until the four years ended with nothing achieved. Then a new election won by incumbent government and right now in the rut again. Until the next earthquake comes again.

bankole.omotoso@elizadeuniversity.edu.ng


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