Centenary Nonsense,By Tola Adeniyi

map of NigeriaIt was like a gathering of slaves just recently released from their owner’s cage. I took another look at the faces on the screen beamed to me in my living room and to viewers the world over courtesy the Africa Independent Television, and what I saw was the same collection of frightened individuals who appeared unsure of what future awaited them.
I did not see anything to suggest that a country of 173 million people was celebrating any joyous occasion. And perhaps rightly so. And a few moments after some hurriedly recruited Masters of Ceremonies performed their bit, a woman with trademark load of cloth on her head started reeling out a long tissue of lies, telling her audience stories that did not in any way reflect what was on ground in their country. It appeared she was talking about a country in Europe, not about Nigeria where even the bedroom of Mr President is permanently powered by Generator.
But what were they celebrating?
Some pink skinned marauders came to our land, tricked our ancestors using unprecedented perfidy as weapon, occupied our precious land, looted our resources and carted them off to their God-forsaken countries, and thereafter enslaved us. To show our gratitude for the gratuitous insult heaped on our race, we thought we should assemble and honour their Queen and their other representatives who forced a thoughtless economic union on us.
Quite frankly, there was no sense in celebrating a century of co0nfusion and political unease. No Nigerian in any part of the country is happy at the deplorable state of the country today. I am aware though that majority of the fat necks in Abuja who are reaping huge benefits from our failure as a country are smiling to their banks ever y day. So also are the warmers of the fat necks’ beds smiling to their banks too.
It is quite mindless to have our school children, the very hope of our future being slaughtered on daily basis and yet have the so-called spoilers of our land and the looters of our patrimony holding a party to celebrate the very root cause of our collective rot. In other lands, angry youth would have invaded the setting of the show of shame and shove everybody out with cudgels and cutlasses! But of course ours is a land of idiots where every manner of insult and roguery are tolerated.
I am almost certain that come another hundred years, when nearly all of those reading this article would have passed on, nobody would be celebrating this nonsense. We are not sure if Nigeria, in its present structureless structure will endure till that time, but if by any miracle it survives, those that would be in charge of affairs at that that would be more conscious of their historic responsibility and provide enlightened and politically knowledgeable leadership.
Going back to the shameless celebration, let me quickly point out that Dick Tiger was not the first to win a World Boxing title for Nigeria. That feat had been performed much earlier by the great Hogan Bassey. And while we appreciate the great difficulty in picking out a mere 100 out of 173 million people in a period spanning 100 years, we should also point out that those charged with the preparation for the Centenary Celebration did a very shoddy job. How could you have a reputable Professor coming forward to collect an Award on behalf of her late husband, who also was a world renowned professor without presenting that remarkable observation to the audience and viewers. Professor Mrs Osuntokun was there in her sartorial elegance to collect her husband’s award, and no word about who she was!
So much for the Centenary nonsense!
In Nigeria, the only punishment you get if you loot the treasury is the routine mandatory sack from office. If you empty the entire treasury of your ministry or department or agency, the Federal government will only ask you to take a bow and go with your loot, and enjoy till the end of life.
Government is not concerned or bothered about probity. In fact if the media ever get to know about the stealing being perpetrated by a minister or a chief executive, government will merely grant the person enough extension so that the thief can steal more before he or she is relieved of his or her post.
There is no disincentive to stealing. And the figures flying about regarding the monumental stealing going around are too worrisome.
And yet there is a government!

Too many people are dropping dead these days, and by far too many are committing suicide. Nigeria is not Japan. Nigeria is not the USA. These are two world’s leaders in suicide and homicide cases. The US leads the world in the two while Japan is in close competition with the US in suicide cases.
But Nigeria is fast growing notoriety for a place in the Guinness Book of Records as a country where people sleep healthy and wake up DEAD! People simply drop dead!
Too much pressure. Too much frustration. Too many unfulfilled hopes and aspirations. And if you live in a country where ALL the basic necessities and essentials for living are absent, you are as good as dead.
There is no point asking government to do anything about this trend because this government apart from being the most corrupt, it is also the most selfish.
Nigerians have been pushed to the brink. And it is now a matter of time.

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