Life is essentially a cheat and its conditions are those of defeat; the redeeming things are not happiness and pleasure but the deeper satisfactions that come out of struggle.
Always bearing this in mind, my story has continuously been woven around freedom songs of struggle. It is about finding one’s purpose, how to overcome fear and to stand up for causes bigger than one’s self.
Since it is sure that strength and struggle come only through continuous efforts and struggle, it would be wrong for anyone with the traits of the desire of a sane society to be deterred from supporting any just cause because of whatever picture of failure that presents itself; a situation perpetually created by the Nigerian political atmosphere and that of Africa at large.
Although the cloud seems very dark at the moment, we cannot afford to give up for from the darkest moment of the night comes the dawn. Life does not get easier or more forgiving, it is we that must get stronger and resilient.
In playing my usual role of digging deep to unravel the underlying problems of Nigeria and the possible solutions, I discovered that we are engulfed, as a people, in a land stenchy and immersed in the blood of innocent souls and the poor masses.
Despite the declaration of October 1st, 1960 as our independent day, it has been a feat on paper and not in reality. For years now, precisely over 58 years, Nigeria has not known peace. Our dear country crawled into the confusions and difficulties of ethnic competitiveness, educational inequality and economic imbalance.
The beasts in our leaders kept growing uncontrollably as they struggled for power beyond what their conscience could control or monitor. Gradually, the beasts in them were let loose as they transform into political vampires. The moon became their sun, the night their day and blood their lives while the helpless poor masses remained their preys.
The most recent, is the activities in Nigeria in the last sixty (6) years have that vampires are usually not the cape-wearing “mwah- hah-hah-ing” types, but rather people with political posts and sacred seats of leadership.
They are like chameleons that would never reveal their true colours. They created many problems and at the same time proffer solutions as the “saviour.” They conspicuously look humans but they are not.
In our very early 60s, the organisation of Nigeria was enviable and applaudable. It was an environment that allowed for great exploits with a promising economy and of a future giant.
However, today, we live in a shattered country called Nigeria where vampires; the blood-sucking monsters, are at the helm of affairs. Most times, people wonder why the once loving freedom fighters or political leaders with endearing personalities to the people suddenly become the extreme opposite of what they used to be.
In my own opinion, I tell people that none of them really change; none of our past leaders changed and none of the present will change. They only became and will continue to become more fully what they really were and are at the moment respectively.
The blood-sucking part of the Nigerian political leaders publicly manifested for the very first time on January 15, 1966. Although Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogu had a very good intention of curtailing the growing wings of the crop of leaders we had today, his overbearing reliance on his so-called kinsmen worsened the case back then instead of putting it right.
By 1967, the vampires we called leaders have opened the tap of the blood of the masses in Nigeria for the fun of power tussle. By the end of 1970, it had become a story of ” no victor, no vanquished” after millions of lives had been wasted on both sides with a prevailing situation of extreme poverty.
The record never showed that either “Gowon” or “Ojukwu” lost their family members in the war, except for Ojukwu’s half brother, Tom Biggar, who was intentionally used as a sacrificial lamb, in the course of the Biafran war.
In the midst of the 1967 war and the agony the citizens went through, our leaders enriched themselves to their satisfaction and settled the personal scores that drove the nation into ruins for almost 3 years over plates of pepper soup and bottles of wine. What a heartless set of people!
Year in year out, our leaders, under the guise of governance, rob and destroy human lives just to create an empire for themselves at the expense of the majority. They recruit thugs to cause mayhem before, during and after elections. Anyone very observant could see the devil right inside the eyes of these ones we call leaders.
When complicity is supported by impunity, there will be a flagrant act of lawlessness. As it stands today, touts are now kingmakers and decision-makers in the official business of governance.
The Bokoharam terrorist group, the third most dangerous in the globe today, was borne out of political thuggery. The number of lives that has been wasted so far in the hands of these demons is unaccountable.
This shameless act of political thuggery has so much become a thing of pride that people are no more ashamed to be called political thugs. In fact, political thuggery is now a lucrative profession in Nigeria!
The current situation in many African countries, particularly the Nigerian situation, is a very pathetic and unpleasant experience amidst the issues of a dangerous pandemic, killings, kidnappings, poverty, job loss and insecurity.
As if these were not enough, the Fulani herdsmen keep spreading around the country, like cancerous infection, to kill, destroy and conquer other people’s land by force. Yet, the present government act as if all was alright. This calamitous regime has completely squandered the goodwill and trust that was anchored on deceit.
After reading the shameless epistles of a former senator and the present adviser to the President on political issues, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, on how himself, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu-the national leader of the Nigerian ruling party, APC, and a well-known thug, who is a product of a system that we are cohabiting with- Sunday Adeyemi aka “Igboho” my heart sank with sorrow. I couldn’t actually fathom how we arrived here.
Every Nigerian now has an international label of “corruption”. Even those involved in legitimate business suffer the same fate and hardly will one see them, most especially on the international clime, use the identity of Nigeria. Still, our leaders raise their shoulders high and move their heads with so much pride in corrupt practices just like pigs in the gutters.
I continue to wonder why they have failed to learn from the countries we call “advanced” that they run to from time to time to relax, receive medical treatments, send their kids to for studies and hide as a refuge in times of troubles. “ANGELICA MERKEL” farewell reception should at least send a message to the crooks in power in Africa. For 18 years, she served Germany diligently and earned herself the appellation ” The Lady of the World” and was described as the equivalent of six million men.
In her eighteen years of leadership, no transgressions were recorded against her; no sign of nepotism, no traces of family appointments; no flashy or extravagant lifestyle. She was a servant and not a dictator to her people. She neither received charters and pledges nor fight her predecessors or spill the blood of her fellow countrymen all in the name of showing supremacy.
The political vampires we have in Africa; as the current experience in Uganda, Nigeria and others, are nothing but terrors to the citizens on whose mandate they rode to the seat of power. They are completely alienated from the people who elected them to offices. They are emperors that seek joy in terrorizing and humiliating their people, the vulnerable ‘citizens’.
The 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index published on 27th January 2020, by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), the National chapter of Transparency International (TI), shows that the activities of the rodents we have in our vaults, as I earlier wrote, are increasing by the day.
Under the most clueless leadership ever in Nigeria, our economy keeps falling into recession like a drunk soul carelessly into bed. The blood and body parts of humans are now nothing but cheap articles. The master author of “the dog and baboon will be soaked in blood” novel has opened an uninterruptible passage for the land to be wet with more blood of innocent Nigerians. As if this was not enough, the rate of poverty and hunger in the land remains increasingly unquantifiable.
Although all look tough and insurmountable at the moment, it will sooner than later be over. Perseverance and continuous struggle against the vampires in office would see us on the other side of this tough time. We cannot afford to give up at this junction.
We, as a people, and the masses at the receiving end of the numerous ignoble acts of our political class should not be distracted by the shout and noise about 2023. In all honesty, ‘2023’ may not necessarily be our priority for now. As a nation with huge potential for success, it has become increasingly important to sit on a round table to discuss issues of our continuous cohabitation, security and credible election.
“WE ARE AT THE DARKEST MOMENT OF OUR HISTORY WHERE THE DAWN THAT ALL VAMPIRES FEAR WILL COME. THEY SHALL PERISH AND WE WILL SEE THEM NO MORE”. FREEDOM COMES ONLY BY STRUGGLE!!
Odusanya is the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE.