A COUNTRY’S BROKEN CROCKERY
In Nigeria, there is often so much noise and too little music.
The noise is usually like what is produced when different crockery collides under the watch of a chaotic chef under culinary pressure to produce a cacophony of jarring cookery.
When people speak here, it is often out of a place of self-interest, never national interest. It explains the riot of colours that often convulses what is mistaken for patriotism here.
This propensity that people have to speak from a point of self-interest and from both sides of their mouth when they have to is the reason for the many empty words that float around Nigeria wearing the nerves of a country thin.
It is now clear that those who forced Nigeria out of the northern and southern protectorates acted out of their callous colonial interests and nothing more. Such little disregard for the different sensibilities of the different protectorates could not have been an expression of anything other than historic colonial disdain.
There were no regards for the future which has proven so troubled, and there was no respect for the present which promised much more to come from the staggering diversity that was on display even at that time. For those who colonized Nigeria and those who lead it more than a century later, it has always been a case of insisting that a conflict-ridden marriage must work.
There has been zero regard for the fact that the different parties forced into an awkward embrace are not only riotously different from each other, but loath each other.
There is zero tolerance for the fact that a marriage of convenience lost every iota of convenience eons ago. Very few care that it has been deathly uncomfortable ever since.
The sirens of the 2023 elections continue to call louder as they herald decision day for an exhausted and exasperated country. It is only a matter of time before February 25 is here.
While terrorists continue to convert rural communities to lethal laboratories where all manner of chilling experiment on extermination, destruction and annihilation are conducted, the Independent National Electoral Commission has frequently if fretfully reassured Nigerians that the elections will hold.
Because INEC is yet to forcefully collide with the terrorists who seem to have Nigeria’s security forces on the run to give Nigerians a bit of dramatics, the fireworks are flowing from elsewhere.
In what is like a market of crockery, the main actors are like two mad market women, engaged in feisty fisticuffs where they are tearing at each other, and turning their shards into weapons.
Perhaps, the chaos which makes for such sickening acoustics and optics would have been amusing if it was not so nauseating.
It is almost 22 years since democracy returned to Nigeria. In that time, the leadership of the country has been split between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP enjoyed 16 unbroken but uninspiring years before a historic defeat saw the APC first clinch power in 2015. A year has since become four and is about to become eight.
The APC and President Muhammadu Buhari have spent the last eight years blaming the PDP for Nigeria’s myriad woes.
While it is difficult for Nigerians to conclusively choose the worst culprit for Nigeria’s mammoth struggles, both parties have in recent times been struggling to outdo each other in the art of shamelessness.
Apparently driven to distraction by the emergence of Peter Obi and the Labour Party as a force to contend with in the elections, the APC and the PDP have recently engaged in an exhibition to contend over who has the dirtier presidential candidate.
A bloated petition bogged down by bogus claims and bile is charged with a 72-hour ultimatum and addressed to the EFCC, ICPC and Code of Conduct Bureau. Signed by Festus Keyamo, one of the more aggressive attack dogs on the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, it seeks to sink Atiku Abubakar of the PDP.
The PDP did not spend 16 years in power for nothing. It has since sought to similarly unsettle and sink Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC over sundry scandalous allegations. It helps the PDP’s case that the candidate of the APC is a lightening rod for controversy and criticism.
In a combat of broken crockery, pot indeed calls kettle black much to the chagrin of spectators. It reflects disastrously on a country that two of the three men who may yet emerge as their president for the next four years are locked in a mudslinging competition over who has more skeletons in their closet.
Kene Obiezu, @kenobiezu