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The last hope of the common man
I was going to do a follow-up to “Nigeria the guilty,” which appeared here last Monday. I was going to do the follow-up on the strength of the words credited to the boss of the Delta State Sports Council who very recently informed those who cared (and still care) to take him seriously that Delta State would host a sports summit following the disgrace, the humiliation and the Olympic fiasco, what my friend Emma Okocha has referred to as the London “massacre,” or to quote him appropriately, the “Massacre in London.” Mr Amaju Pinnick was said to have said that the Delta State Governor, the husband of his uterine elder sister, the good and gorgeous first lady of Delta State, would host the event that would bring all stake–holders in Nigerian sports from far and near to Delta State. Of course, “stake-holders” outside the country would be among those to gather in Asaba. But you can be sure that yours sincerely who has more than two decades experience in sports–writing and sports matters would never be invited to smell the event. But this is not the subject of the present enterprise. At a later date, I shall give Mr. Pinnick and the sports–mad governor of Delta State a succulent treatment. For now, let me urgently offer them this little finger of banana advice: Please bury the ugly idea of wanting to waste the funds of Delta State on a horse, another horse, that won’t run. As I have just said, the matter is being kept at abeyance until when it is succulently auspicious to address it.
“The last hope of the common man” in Nigeria is my current concern. Why this concern you shortly shall know, but first, I feel the need to pour out the thoughts of one or two readers on the immediate past piece: “Re-Nigeria the guilty. No medal would come to Nigeria because the ruler, the committees and follower-ship swim in corruption and greed! How would the athletes go there, compete there and win laurels from IMPURITIES? We keep talking, writing and protesting against ILLS but will they ever hear? DOUBTFUL.—Lanre Oseni.”
The other reader says thus: “The dismal performance of our contingent at the just concluded 2012 Olympics is another affirmation of endemic corruption of the Nigerian system. Unfortunately, Jonathan’s ill-luck is like his godfather’s (Obasanjo’s), who spent eight years without any trophy on the throne and without any anti-corruption muscle to checkmate the Abuja syndicates—Awojobi Oye.” These two quotations, among others, which I am leaving out here, are quite germane to the issue at hand. In them you see genuine pessimism, and they must send some good message to some persons who have complained to me about what they perceive as the pessimism in my writings. They may be right, but the echoes and notes of pessimism In and Out contains are profound. They usually are well uttered on behalf of the common man in this country, the common man who feels acute distress, exceptional irritability and incalculable pain at the way and manner the controllers of his political and economic fate unleashes debilitating social forces upon him. In any case, it is gratifying that many readers share in my pessimism which should act as an ideology and teaching in the patriotic task and duty of helping our masses to swim in the favourable torrent of freedom. I am playing my role as many columnists are doing in their respective ways to give patriotic love and enormous consciences and consciously-spirited ideas to the leaders and the led even when the former are stubbornly reactionary and conscience-lessly selfish.
Most weekends I travel incognito at my expense to different parts of our country to experience and feel first-hand the social evils that are developing in the land and are assuming a precise trait. I also make calls to many places outside my primary abode in the endeavour to find out and ascertain what is truly going on in our land. How, for instance, are the masses and people readying and perfecting themselves for the bad weather and storm growing in the land?
Truly, truly, truly, the common man everywhere in the land is embittered at the unhealthy state of things, and wonders and wonders why he has so far tolerated the economic, political and spiritual shipwreck that is Nigeria where leaders of scrofulous ideas and thoughts hold sway and keep the masses in bondage? From Kogi to Kwara States the story is the same as it is the same from Edo to Delta States and from Bayelsa to Rivers States and other states. Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Ondo and Ogun States are not left out as well in the same way that Benue, Niger, Kaduna, Kano and other States in the North are not free of crime against the populace and masses.
In Edo State, for instance, I was astonished to hear recently the pain and cry of someone who all the while has been a staunch supporter of the powers-that-be and the ruling political class. “Oga, if you see how these people share money, you will be disgusted. They have looted us dry and silly. We are finished. The common man is finished. His last hope is Jehu. When is he coming?” In Delta State, last Saturday, 18 August, in Warri the story, as delivered to me, is more or less the same. Some close relations of some members of the ruling political class and lords were more than ironically too happy to share their bitter pains with me. “Our state is a jamboree state. Every thing is going down the drain. We are rich but meager and poor. And they harm our psyches with their harmful conduct, and cause divisions in our midst and families. Those we grew up with and who could not eat or pay school fees or buy school books yesterday now treat us as trash. Yet it is our money they are blowing at our faces. Na God go punish them. We dey wait. Soon dem go know say common man nor common. Dem nor dey tire for money. Soon money go tire dem. Yeye people. Dem go see, dem and their vindictive oga.” In Bayelsa State, I was shown several choice houses in Yenagoa built and owned by members of the ruling class in Bayelsa State. A particularly fabulous hotel which is claimed to be owned by a cashier in one of the ministries in the state was shown me. “Oga columnist, we are waiting for jubilation time! We don too suffer, we common people. We don’t care if Jonathan is in power. What has he done for the common Ijaw man? What has he done for the common Ijaw person? All of dem na swine.” In Rivers State, hear this simple story: “Amaechi is trying, but he is a mere show man. He is a show glass. How many good roads do we have in Pitakwa? How many common people are eating well? Bros, all of them are the same.” In Anambra State, the short journey from Onitsha to Awka, which I recently visited for a literary and scholastic event, is as good as the worst road any person can travel on. “This is the worst place on earth,” I was told. “Why did you make the bad mistake of doing this journey in your car? None of them is interested in the people and their welfare. They all treat us as brutes.” In another North Central State, the name some people call their governor is “Anguish”. The people so dislike the man to the extent that worshippers recently rejected the water he provided them at the prayerground to mark the end of the Ramadan feast. “We don’t need his water for ablution,” the “wild” crowd of worshippers jeered as the announcer introduced the subject. And in Kogi State, a don in the State University uttered this sentence to me: “They are all gluttons, and scoundrels—bad gluttons and scoundrels.” He ended up this way: May Boko Haram finish them all.”
There are more examples of the common man’s respective treatments and experiences in the hands of the political wreckers of his fate in different parts of the land to cite. But I will halt doing so because the point that needs to be made has been made, as we await the common man’s hope for a new social order, a new political order that will usher in a new epoch of confident victory and invincible class of progressives led by Jehu. The common man everywhere in the land waits and waits for his new world and epoch. We all on the ground must unite and rally ourselves to change the “world of those who enjoy without working.” Vindictive and corrupt leaders who don’t nourish the people and the led but only themselves, their families and cronies are an unfortunate lot who always will end up in misery.Share