LETTER TO THE SON OF MAN Vol.6 by Adeojo Kolawole Adeyemi Hannibal

Dear Son of Man,

Just as we are trying to extricate our feet from the bog of bohemian that epitomises our national lives, some irascible juveniles in garbs of senility are trying to sink our feet deeper into the marshes of ignominy. What we witness here daily is enough to infuriate rational minds into irrational acts that may encapsulate and consume our sovereignty. Daily, our leaders, filled with hubris and self-demanding in their egocentric cocoons, serve illogic diets as menu for the palate of the famished public and leave them drooling in diarrheic spurts.

The gravity of the outbreak of cerebrospinal meningitis on an epidemic scale, that has claimed more than 400 lives since November last year, was watered down by the utterances of Zamfara State governor, Abdul’Aziz Yari, who claimed that the outbreak of the epidemic was God’s punishment for the sins of fornication committed by the citizens. Such callous response to the outbreak has been variously described as a pre-medieval response to a computer age malady, but what has not been surgically pinpointed is that there is a “Yari” in most of our leaders, who hide under the comfort zones of perverted mindset to awash their ignorance. It reminds me of a one-time Aviation minister who blamed witches and wizards for the incessant air crashes witnessed in our airspace then. Risible, you would say? It is just a way of lazily explaining away what meticulous and empirical researches would have done. It could also be a way of mischievously trying to mislead a nation of several millions in population towards a well-conceived self-contraption to undermine true service expected by followers from their leaders. If we had deployed the right resources to our public health system, maybe responses to outbreak of contagious diseases would not have been met with rudimentary outburst by a sanctimonious hypocrite, of a god who takes pleasure in visiting mayhem on people, but with a proactive measure of curtailing the spread of the infection, isolation of the pathogen and formulation of an effective vaccine to curtail it. I guess it is the same laid back attitude that informed the death of 3 pupils in Queens college, Lagos, where almost a thousand plus had been admitted for diarrhea. Maybe our leaders need to start doing the right thing instead of blaming some distant gods for what they know nothing about.

 Since the last time I wrote you, the senate had perfected its thespian tendencies and had finally bagged an ingenious endorsement in melodramatic comedy. From a senator who turned public space to an orchestra of puerile symphony, hands on both eyelids, tongue in pouting askance with legs dancing to furies of discordant tunes fueled by a pyrrhic victory to a national assembly hell-bent on salvaging its battered image by arm-twisting even its members who were bold enough to ask probing questions. The shame of a nation was accentuated when in the midst of one too many scandals plaguing the senate, it invited the Vice Chancellor of ABU to defend the certificate of one of its member. The certificate in question was alleged to be forged and the said member was also alleged not to have met the requirements in fulfillment of a bachelor degree. More credence would have been lent to the defence if in the midst of the hullabaloo, the Senate had assumed a more impartial stance by scrutinising the very element of defence put up by the V.C.

These are the questions that are not being asked: why did the V.C not address the discrepancies in the documents presented by the institution he represents and the documents presented by the same senator they had come to defend? Why was there no supporting documents to established that Dino Melaye is the same person as Daniel Jonah Melaye? Was there no evidence to the effect that there was a change of name somewhere along the line, a sworn affidavit? Would this have been the case if it were to involve a commoner who had been accused of forgery and perjury? The shoddy way with which the investigation was carried out is highly unscrupulous and fast becoming a seal of dishonour on the present senate, but what was more irrational was the suspension of Senator Ali Ndume.

His offence was that he called the attention of his members to the ongoing furore generated in the media due to “Dinogate”, and demanded that they look into the allegation to clear the air once and for all. Does this not prove further, the earlier notion that the Senate had become a den of cabalistic politicians who would go to any unjust length to protect their selfish interests at the expense of the interests of the people they are there to represent? Such repressive tactics of holding the executive to ransom by outright refusal to deliberate on and subsequently pass the 2017 budget up till now and the rejection of the REC list sent to it show that the senate is a leopard not wont to changing its spots. It is not unexpected when the chamber is led by a man whose path and that of his aides has been dogged by so many corruption cases since snatching the leadership of the house in 2015. It is this same drive that birthed the new call by the APC senators to the presidency to drop the CCT charges against the senate president. Nothing has really changed from the previous republics where the representatives of the people assume distant relationship with the people they are supposed to represent. It is high time we started recalling representatives who rode on the mandate of the people to the assembly and turn around to represent their pockets.

Interestingly, talking about how leaders spent their times on inflicting pains on people and turn around to re-write history, someone emerged from the dark era of the goggle-eyed despot with something not so spectacular; a revisionist biography titled “Vindication of a General”. Ishaya Bamaiyi, whose evil he does lives with him, suddenly emerged from the ennui of oblivion and decided to breathe life into his dwindling star by trying to revise the history of his dark age. One cannot dispute his entitlement to venting off the seeming shackles that rankle his retirement but when such entitlement becomes a right not to make amends but an attempt to beatify his so many evil schemes, then such attempts become vile attacks on our collective conscience. We do not need any general from the dark era to remind us how we got here, the iron boots of their warped minds still trample on our sanity till now and we are still trying to dust ourselves up from the perpetual years of civil slavery they plunged us into.

Depression had taken a massive toll on the people and our everyday lives are awash with suicides, attempted suicides and suicidal notes on social media. One commentator said Nigerians take scenes from others and reinvent them and make the initial scenes a child’s play. It is now an era of plunging into the seas or canal, I just prayed that the water bodies would not wake up one day to rebel against us before we rebel against leaders who have made our lives so depressive.

I am off to see how the “EfeNation” celebration is taking off “based on logistics”; a cliché that has become a fray that even the Presidency’s Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity, Shehu Garba, could not help but join. Nigerians always reinvent happiness from the wheels of the so many challenges they face; an attitude of hope and tolerance, which our leaders have exploited for their self-aggrandizement over time. I am sending this letter through Praise, an orphan and only child of her parents, who had been under the aegis of others since their demise, and who also incidentally lost her life to the epidemic currently ravaging Queens College, Lagos, another sad story of a failed health system.

Till I write you soon.

Yours in pen
HANNIBAL

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