All meticulous followers of this column are no strangers to Professor Ademola Da Sylva who recently retired from the University of Ibadan. He is a public intellectual, among other things. But I admire him a great deal for his pan-Nigerian vision and propensities. He is Yoruba from Ekiti-land, but he is such a detribalized fellow that every good and patriotic Nigerian should know and respect. His views in this column in the recent past at least attest to what I am saying now about him. And not long ago I initiated a brief dialogue with him on the current Nigerian condition after he sent me a video clip bordering on some protest leaders and so-called activists of yore – some of whom are still very much in our midst but whom have apparently been tempered and hampered by only what they unpatriotically know and understand. Our broad-minded Professor Da Sylva is understandably disillusioned by everything Nigeria’s current malevolent political rulers, including activists who are really not activists, are serving our people as meals in the mornings, afternoons and evenings. Of course, the meals they serve are not meals. Our very clear-headed and very clear-minded anti-bandwagon Da Sylva sticks to his values, morality and vision for Nigeria – his country, your country, my country, our country.
The dialogue opens at this point. It’s patriotically beautiful.
Good morning, DAO, I have just re-played this video this morning. It’s a “playback” of the then years of glorious, positive protests against exploitation and fuel problems which birthed unimaginable poverty in the land. Today nothing has changed yet everybody is mum. Some leaders of the protests and protesters then are no more. But those who are still on this side of the divide, what has happened to them? Don’t they have nostrils, eyes, ears, tongues, teeth, hearts, heads and skin and skin to confront the fake ruling rulers in the land now as in the days and years of yore? Different strokes for their robber-friends-and-fiends-and-pals in power now? Or they have now simply lost steam to confront the killers of dreams and murderers in power? Or they have all been charmed by the power of blood money or simply by the juju of the heathens in power? Even “patriotic” pastors and “prophets” of yore are now unpatriotically dumb. HELL!!!
Your worries are my worries, too, TA, and justifiably so, my dear Brother. It is all playing out already in the current campaigns. Unfortunately, the old steam is gone, that cell of dedicated ideologues, and genuine activists that were imbued with the moving spirit of Bakayoko (ref. Ousmane Sembene’s God’s Bits of Wood), the likes of Fawehinmi, Braithwaite, Beko Ransome-Kuti, Balarabe Musa, etc. What we now have are three sets of curious characters: a band of husslers masquerading as activists, who in the real sense, are elite-area boys, smart, intelligent, ill-literate, but products of the “Cash ‘n carry” or “Cash-for-hand, back-for-ground” culture! The next group: Unrepentant, desperate and scavenging opportunists with nothing to offer, except serve only their bellies.
They are far more dangerous than the third group, who are consistent with the way they are mentally wired as self-centered, pathological looters of the commonwealth, our commonwealth! The élites and pseudo activists that keep mum despite the amount of damage being done to our common patrimony are already compromised, and have turned husslers. And unless something cracks the devilish hegemonic grip of the current leadership, and the dysfunctional political and economic system gives way to a freshness that allows new and realistic ideas and people-centred ideology to grow, for innovativeness and creativeness, we are likely to continue the inglorious journey to nowhere in particular, as usual, in the next dispensation. As always, these are my two kobo thoughts, my brother. Cheers.
DAO, I must talk to you again after the hiatus from my end. You are unusually quiet seeing what we are seeing now. The money crunch devilishly conceived and delivered by Godwin Emefiele and the attendant pains everywhere. Get out of your shell and talk. My readers, our readers, will be happy to hear from you.
TA, many thanks for remembering me. Occasionally I deliberately switch off, and withdraw into my shell. Nothing heartwarming, really, nowadays, you know except distractions here and there.
Your fantastic columns and a few others have kept our sanity steadied. Can’t thank you enough, please, keep up the great job you’re doing through your weekly columns. You see, it is a terrible thing to go into straight retirement with eight months unpaid salaries, and till date, no gratuity, no pension! We have a hostile system that doesn’t care if the retirees, or senior citizens as they are called, die on our streets! Now there is no fuel, no cash in the banks. So what is this government after? What does it want to achieve with all the crises? The tension is high.
People are on edge, and with very short fuselage. I hope, this ugly time shall also pass, and you and I and other committed and great patriots of this country, your country, my country, our country shall witness and experience a brand new Nigeria with its lost glory restored, and led by dedicated, selfless and visionary leaders. All those who have had hands in the mess and decay we are in shall not escape the judgment of the Almighty God! Again, TA, thanks a heap for bringing me out of my shell! Cheers. DAO.
Now, the results of the presidential election are out. Only those who know will know next what will happen. But if you read this column last week you will know and understand what the game that is going on is about. But to quote Professor Ibrahim Belo-Kano, another anti-bandwagon patriot, let us see how the “fadan karshe” meaning in Hausa “the last fight” will end as the rotten rulers fight and eat one another. Perhaps it “promises to either be a storm in a tea cup or a cosmic drama.” There is so much we are yet to know. Ultimately, Professor Ademola Da Sylva and his fellow anti-bandwagons and anti-herds will laugh last. Where do I belong? In-between and not in-between. What do I mean? Exactly what you perceive me to mean.
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.