Saturday, January 06, 2007
The natives are friendly.
At the French Cultural Centre at Ikoyi, Lagos, the other day, I observed the way the expatriates (the diplomatic corps, mostly) kept to themselves, dancing and chatting within their own company.
Eyes would rarely meet. The native in Nigeria is not one you make friends with, without weighing the implications.
Who can blame them?
Nigeria, now one of the most corrupt countries in the world has been betrayed by its leaders, leaving a people desperately searching for breaks anywhere they can.
So, if the Nigerian were to be humoured and a conversation started, sooner or later, the con would come… the play would be made...
How did we get to this pass? The leaders. Let no one blame the people. The systematic looting of the country for decades, the prevailing atmosphere in which fools are made kings and unintelligent men rewarded for idiocy means there are no heroes left. There is no one to look up to, this country lacks figures that can call to us to rise above our baser instincts.
PDP primaries? Violence engulfed it. Oyo State? -Politicians burnt it. Anambra? Ekiti? Plateau? Bank Robberies all over the country? Assassinations? Bola Ige? M.K.O? Agbroko? Rewane? Daramola? Williams?
So the expatriates keep to themselves.
Met this nice young female from somewhere in Europe at the centre, a conversation ensued. And she asked for my phone number. I didn’t ask for hers. I knew I’d put her in a difficult position. She might text sometime, she might never. It’s the way life is in Nigeria. A people no longer to be trusted. Our passport disgraced, governors caught laundering money like drug dealers, the travel documentation presented before embassies by citizens are mostly fake. Hans, a friend and attaché at the German Embassy told me in conversation a year ago that the problem was, people poured in too many fake papers. They know. We know they know. They know we know they know (ad infinitum)
This New Year, I’d like a present. A new ruling class; one that is accountable, that can be complained to, that can lead us back to where we were derailed and help us continue on our journey. One that can give security to the people, provide proper health services, stop the murders, disband and re-establish the police, provide electricity and food, proper transportation, reduce crime. Apparently, this New Year, I’m deluded.
150 million people betrayed.
Its genocide, because it’s the systematic killing of a people.