6 days after President Muhammadu Buhari arrived the UK for his extended vacation, a big announcement was made at Harvard – they had acquired unprecedented knowledge of how to convert Hydrogen (a gas) to metal. This might be passing information for multiple Olodos like my humble self on social media but those who possess a little orientation in the sciences know what long term impacts this discovery could have for human living. Back home in Nigeria, the media was festering in a different world while dealing with rumours of an ailing president who, by some accounts was hurriedly rushed to the UK for urgent medical attention. The whispers began and as expected (Nigerian style), our attention as a people had been won to a new subject. While citizens of the developed world analyzed the prospects of a bright future for their next 20 generations via Hydrogen conversion to metal and which will likely be an export item to Africa. We set up e-courts for debates and in some cases rings for electronic defenders of politicians. In Nigeria, we were about the news and not scientific discoveries or waves that could expand our equity or stake in the African continent. Nigeria was not about Nigeria.
After about 50 days in the United Kingdom for an extended vacation, President Buhari this morning landed at the Kaduna Airport and about now should be at the presidential villa. The 50 days have however not been ordinary ones. Nigerians had their dose of melodrama scripted across different divides. The rumour mills grounded at deafening decibels about a president who had passed away and who was in a vegetative state. They were roundly addressed however by the presidential spokesman who transmitted information that suggested that the president in a message to these Nigerians referred to them as “mischief makers” Let me quote him for effect: “Thank you for holding out against mischief makers” Mr. Femi Adesina reported as being the words of Mr. President. While this was ongoing, researchers at the National Health Institute, US, discovered a new molecular mechanism that might be the cause of severe premenstrual syndrome known as PMDD. This led them to a new discovery – they could alter estrogen and progesterone in test subjects and the result? The disappearance of severe symptoms. Our ladies across Nigeria will soon become customers of this wonder discovery which was made while Wailers denigrated the Presidency and “Sai Baba” sycophants farted nonsensical achievements from begrudged anuses to Nigerians. Nigerians were not about Nigeria.
In expected democratic practice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo mounted the saddle as President. Perceived by some to be a more pragmatic leader, his style effused energy and a keenness that promoted a sense of urgency that endeared him to not a few Nigerians. In what was a coincidence of progress, or not, the Naira strengthened against the dollar in what has now become the flagship of his 50 days on the throne. Nigerians of course again swerved the drama. “Mischief makers” did not want a return of Buhari as it seemed that the freshness of interventions from Osinbajo struck the right chords in the far south of Nigeria. The conflict was shared between supporters of President Buhari who, in my opinion, correctly promoted the notion of a united presidency and thus discarding willful suggestions of disparity in the presidency. While this raged, a French Neuroscientist concluded experiments that demonstrated that humankind could now reverse paralysis through implants of electrodes in the human brain – talk about gains for humanity! So while we are about ourselves, the world is about the world, because they seem to own it and have more stake in its development. We have politicians to worship here! Nigeria, the country again was thrown under the bus. We are a nation about personalities.
This brings me to the worrisome observation that prompts this piece. Do we really care about Nigeria the country like we care for the personalities that we elect? While persuasive passions ran over social media for or against a Buhari, I saw a nation bleeding and begging for attention. We have killed allegiance to the Nigerian dream and have slaughtered our nationalism on a slate of partisanship. Who do we think suffers at the end of the day? Energy has been devoted to undermining the presidency in veiled strategies related to 2019. The people now seem to be made for elections rather than election being tools in their hands to achieve positive change. Even when what we have had for the last two years is nothing short of suicidal economics, many are more interested in Buhari or the North completing two tenures with no prioritization of the fatherland as prime. While the nation is just recovering from a highly organized heist that spanned 30 years of our nationhood, we are already rooting for a return of the same political criminals that put us in this mess in the first place. We are no longer about Nigeria and that in itself is a sad commentary on the evolved fragmentation of the Nigerian people.