SMOKE, CLOUD, SMOKE: A BID TO BE-FOJU (NAY, BEFUDDLE) NIGERIANS by ‘Lakunle Jaiyesimi

cloud“We are sitting under a cloud of heavy embarrassment, shame of the feeling of dereliction, sullen responsibility towards children. We are sitting under a cloud of impotence, of a calamity that was not without notice, and whose myriad causes is quite discernible. We are here because of education because we will never stop learning till death. This cloud is made up of a sense of humiliation. We sent our children on an errand and they did not return. The errand is what we are celebrating today. The errand was to prepare the children for today but they never came back, that is what we cannot allow ourselves to forget.” – Wole Soyinka, speaking at the 2014 Foundation Day Anniversary and Convocation Ceremonies of the University of Ibadan, where he was honoured with Doctor of Letters honourary degree.

Everywhere you turn in the country, there is that cloud that seems to block the sights and ultimately settle on the sheaf of hair that conceals the brain. Especially now that it’s harmattan season, anyone would see the fog.

As if that was not enough to prevent clear, penetrating sight that goes beyond the immediate, we all produce all manners of smoke and contribute to the heavy cloud that we sit under; smokes from assorted cigarette brands, exhausted cloudy or sometimes blackish fumes from exhaust pipes, firewood smokes and the leftover ashes and so on.

Well again, that was never enough, Boko Haram contributes the largest chunk to the heavy cloud from Bomb blasts, smoky guns, arson and smoke quietly ascending from burnt bodies of humans, putrefied or not.

In any case, as rightly opined by Prof. Wole Soyinka, “We are sitting under a cloud of heavy embarrassment…shame…”. What is worse is that we do not care what that suggests. Where there is such a heavy cloud, people mostly would rather content themselves with the sight of the vicinity and not what lies unknown, beyond them.

As far as we are concerned in Nigeria, the cloud has been so heavy on us that we only tend to enjoy the moment, the immediate vicinity where our sight can reach and ignore the possibilities that may lie ahead. Who cares anyway? If the Boko boys decide to destroy their own people and states, so be it. Inasmuch as their activities would not prevent my hand from getting to the bottom of the national treasure, or from getting rigged into office for the first, second or umpteenth time, or disturb my drinking or womanizing spree, let them continue.

The cloud we sit under is so heavy that we are unable to identify the objects or people within the body of the cloud ahead of us; persons have mentioned names of other persons in association with the sponsorship of Boko Haram and her activities, yet, the cloud will not permit us hear properly or see these alleged ones as they truly are. Our children were abducted several months ago but the cloud will not help us in navigating the path leading to their rescue, so we ignore the cries of their parents. Churches, mosques and government buildings have been bombed and all we could do was to offer half-hearted condolences, inasmuch as such events do not disturb us in our frolic with the collective purse (the compensation for the government boys, who see themselves as risking their lives for the majority by standing in for elections. Lol.) or our frolic with drinks or any other that helps to dull our thoughts (compensation for the followers who would rather not think of their misfortunes, occasioned by the high-handedness and disregard of the elected officials).

There is a thing going on in Ekiti State, where the leaders do not know who the leader is. How will the followers be expected to know who they are? Just a day ago, precisely 20th of November, 2014, the House of Representatives Speaker and members were tear-gassed (more cloud) and an attempt was made to prevent their entry into the hallowed chambers. The die-hard instinct of Nigerians replayed itself in our lawmakers, who found another way, the better but inglorious way, which in the circumstances was rather glorious. They climbed in through the fence, gates and whatever would permit their entry. That’s a way of sweeping down the cloud to create a clearer sight into the future.

As far as this writer is concerned, in every way possible, Nigerians must always seek alternative means of seeing clearly. And this is because, in the final analysis, the question to be asked is “Why did you not get the right things done for yourself and for your country in spite of the obstacles placed against you by the cloud that was created by yourselves and the leaders that you elected or rigged into power?”

No one is going to ask, “Why was this cloud placed against you?”

P.S.:            In order to contribute more cloud, “In a political style reminiscent of the days before the genocide in Rwandan in 1994, Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema of Katsina is seen in a hate video circulating on the internet urging members of his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to kill their All Progressive Congress (APC) counterparts whom he calls “cockroaches.” The hate content in the video is causing tension in the state and other parts of northern Nigeria as it clearly shows the governor inciting party supporters to violence” – Sahara Reporters

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