Businessman and Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party 2019 governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Iboro Otu likens the mutating capacity of COVID-19 to the rouguish tendency of Nigerian politicians
People love themselves. People like how they look, who they think they are, how you feel about them and how that makes them feel. When people express their opinion on anything, it’s not about the thing, it’s about themselves. And so, with dealing with people in trying to get them to see things differently, first, you have to start with their point of view.
I’ve been trying to write a positive end of year message, taking stock of events to summarize and make a new year resolution. It’s very hard to do. This year has been the hardest to summarize. Tectonic events happened on the daily. Any month in 2020 could have been a year on its own. What do I count, what didn’t count? I decided to take events of this December as my 2020 and drew conclusions from them. This December for one, The Financial Times summarized Nigeria was tethering on becoming a failed state. The Nigerian state however, decided to take out that fury on Bishop Kukah instead – of course Kukah is a cheaper shot with less consequences yet with national impact. One could see the strategy; hit hard and let it become another conversation with religious undertones, spray your shots, whoever gets h(it), gets hit, but with the Christians standing on this side. Which side? End point though, nobody wins as usual. Makes sense. The government is behaving like a mutating virus fighting for survival and legitimacy.
And talking about virus, Corona has again hit the scene, just when we thought the vaccine was out and things would get back to normal, however the science of it is telling us different. It seems adaptation and mutation of the virus is slowly leading to what science terms ‘Vaccine Escape”. This happens when a virus adapts and dodges the full effect of a vaccine and continues to infect people. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it has happened before. And if we are not careful and lucky at the same time, we might as well be starting afresh with this COVID thing.
String H69/V70 is the new COVID. Let me school you a bit. COVID first makes contact with the body using a key called the ‘spike protein’ to unlock the doors to our body cells. This key has just learnt how to become a master key by adaptation; openings any of our cell security doors quicker and faster by altering the most important part of its spike protein key called the ‘receptor binding domain’ – a part of it which makes the first handshake with our body cells. There are now about 17 different mutations of COVID-19. What this suggests is that this virus is learning fast and adapting for survival, it is fast going from a petty thief to a crook, then a ‘psi-monkey’, then an armed robber and finally mutating to a Nigerian politician. The world has to rally to kill it before it achieves its last feat, we have enough of that already.
The economic carnage left behind by the impact of COVID is as poignant as its health scourge and this is the problem with viruses, they infect and affect everything. And so when Bishop Kukah put it in mild terms what Sowore put in extremity – that we don’t need an atomic bomb anywhere, we only needed to put the present Nigerian government anywhere for six months then go back to take stock of the damage, he probably was more on the right side than left.
Like a permeating and destructively adamant virus, Nigeria has been infected by it and has succumbed to the most adaptive and pervasive virus of bad governance. This ‘Covid’ variant is clannish, lawless, insipid, heartless, rudderless, anything you could think of that shouldn’t be, it is. It has taken the love of itself above any other and like Angel Lucifer, intoxicated by its melodious gift of music, has decided it should be God. And what do gods do? They stamp out all dissent, real or perceived. They tweak and adulterate information to their advantage. They utilize state powers and reach to overwhelm and overpower. They employ divide and rule, they bribe their way in and out, fuck and un-fuck. They possess back door codes to the mainframe so they can plug in and transfer their viruses via USB, WiFi, Spike Protein, TraderMoni or otherwise. They modify, adapt, mutate, name it. And it all starts with a handshake.
I don’t know how we got here but here we are. We are so far in and so fast we almost can’t remember where we were, where were we? Even the VP can’t answer this question. We have lost so much as a country we are almost unrecognizable. For the first time I’m taking stock and I’m unashamed to say I’m beginning to think that exiting Nigeria is somehow a good option. The war is slowly becoming un-win-able; from federal to state. These guys have learnt new tricks, new ways, new science on how to be more evil, more wicked, more controlling, more insidious, more everything but good. They’re have the resources, networks, apparatus, people. They have us.
The only way out by a long shot, is for us the people, to find ways of working together against these entrenched interests, but then just look at the terrain and you’ll see unity isn’t one of our key strengths. We are a people hurt and with a long memory of unfortunate experiences and events; from past coups to wars fought on sectarian, religious and ethnic divides. When a Yoruba controlled/dominated group or organization hosts an #EndSARS event for example, you know. Because 80% of the speakers will most likely be of Yoruba stock, same with Igbo or Hausa groups. Our governments, to a very large degree, is also a representation of our true selves. And so the real war, at the end of the day, isn’t with this government or the next, it is more with us. My fearful summation is; change this government with any other set of Nigerians, you’ll most likely get a similar result. You can argue all you want but our problem isn’t really a political one, it’s a nigerian one; what it is to be Nigerian. We are a damaged set of people who need serious mental revolution before anything else.
And so, after all my thoughts, I surmised the only thing that needed to change was me. Me and how I react to Nigeria. Again, it’s just my opinion.
For 2021, all I can say is this; better be good, ‘I don see 99, wetin be 100?’