MICAH STEPHEN BABARINDE:THE EXACT STATE OF OUR EXERTING STATE

At this point in our national odyssey, in reality an experiment of a nation, the most cerebral of philosophers even when gathered would still be aghast as to how a group of individuals have learnt the art of rudderless travel and indirection not to talk of their political and economic marauders who delight in making sure that nothing works, if their pocket must work. But beyond the state of the union, what is the state of the Nigerian in the midst of this misadventure? His hopes, aspirations, spirit and expectations; Tatalo alamu, the witty articulator extraordinaire once waxed lyrical about how the people of Koma are in coma as to why they decided to be the national of the Nigerian nation instead of Cameroon. The people of koma need not disturb their tender skull, the exerting state of the Nigerian state needs a different art of frustration, definitely it is not whining. The act of surviving in Nigeria is an art. It goes beyond your muscles and even your brains, you must just learn it. The exact picturesque of Nigeria could be well illustrated by a road trip from Oshogbo to Ibadan. While inside the commercial bus, you will behold a perfect state of our national experiment. The state of Osun is a new construct of the ogbeni. It is currently going under reconstructive demolition. Houses and Shops that characterised the meagre economy of the state are been reduced to the floor. “But they just dualised this road not more than 5 years ago, why is he demolishing structures”, a haggard looking woman asked, “I don’t know why. He is demolishing structures because he wants to plant “igi-iye” as the trees we have in the state are not good enough for the “iye” Ogbeni wants to provide. There are even rumours, Fakunle comprehensive high school will be demolished for a shopping mall. I don’t know where all these people would go” replied a bard headed man. In the midst of this discussion was the report in a national daily that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (affectionately called ASUU by their admirers) had another series of negotiations with the FG ending with no agreement as “Mr Deadlock” attended the meeting. The hope of the Nigerian students became filled with infinite and acute hopelessness. In Nigeria, the hope of the hopeless is hopelessness. Do not let the words of Martin Luther king sway you, it is never a good thing to dream in the Niger area, it is always ending in eternal nightmare. As the bus staggered off in the way reminiscent of the defeated Tyson when he met his waterloo when he met the poison fisted Holyfield Evander, clearly in need of repairs, came the shout of a dazzling masquerade, sorry, young lady who screamed about the fact that the driver was speeding at a very high rate, her heavy make-up adding rhythm to the scream. After all, we might complain about Nigeria, but complain only makes sense to the living, never to a man in a sepulchre. The driver clearly wanted to make more money and that was impossible if he does not get to Ibadan early for a return trip to Oshogbo. So not letting the gub of saliva stuck in his throat deter him from releasing his venom, he retorted that the damsel can get down if she wanted. Karl Marx in his classic, Communist Manifesto, talked about the contest between the bourgeois and the proletariat and that the state is a product of the ruling class who perpetually dominate the members of the lower class. Maybe he is right; after all, we saw the billboards of All Progressive Congress (APC) lining up the sides of the roads instead of street lights congratulating Nigerians because their victory for registration was a victory to the common man. What is the relationship between the party’s registration and the state of the Nigerian masses? Are we to suddenly vote you in because you have been registered? Do you have an antidote to the ailing Nigerian state than the ‘transformation agenda’ of the PDP? Are you even a better option to the non performing ruling party? Wait, are you not formed just to chase the ruling party with no concrete plan of how to develop the state? But the party still has the familiar faces of the Fani-kayodes, the Masaris, the El-Rufais et al who once belonged to the ruling party. Are we to accept them simply because they are now in ‘People’s congress? we seemed confused. In the exerting Nigerian state, there is nothing like political transformation, all we have is political revolt. Who will bear this brunt? The people of course; so how is your party the People’s party after all even the PDP has a ‘people’ in its name. Back to Marx, he should be forgiven for thinking that the bourgeoisies would always be the ones alienating the proletariat. Marx forgot that humans are not mathematical figures. He clearly did not see Nigeria coming. The driver had shouted the girl down, a woman was preaching the gospel to us and after the ‘word of God’ we had to pay for the word. So we were implored to pay for the onward progress of evangelism. We were still in the process of this consideration, when we met another bus coming from a convention, pleading with the ‘vulcanizer’ to help their aging tyres as they were returning from a powerful crusade. He had to skyrocket the price to an unimaginable price. In Nigeria, it is not just the top against the lower class; it is sometimes the poor against the poor. The lower stratum is going gaga; too many people are swimming in poverty. For consolation, the people turned to religion to confirm the assertion of Marx that religion is the opium of the masses. God is never the first good option, but always the best last option. By the time we reached Ibadan, I had seen enough. A one eyed beggar running away from the club of a policeman, a well-dressed man begging for 100 naira as he was “stranded”, a boy jaywalking on the road with a bag of sachet waters. What I saw was confusion, all the way except at the top where there is evident clarity. The manner of political formations, the propaganda, and the political visits points to one thing: 2015. When was the last time any Governor talked about the number of jobs he wants to create, the economic blueprint of the states, the number of investments they are expecting in the state by 2015, the number of research facilities they would have established. When was the last time the Governor’s Forum came together to talk about the acuteness of unemployment, the power situation in Nigeria etc. these are the questions we are to ask. But we have turned twitter into our new boxing ring, where we queue behind the Fani-kayodes, Ezekwesilis and even the Omojuwas to take side about who has the best prowess in calibration of political blows. But the state of the Nigerian union remains pathetic. We have forgotten that the state of the union depends on the union of the state. Until Nigerians set themselves free of the intellectual subordination, and start asking fundamental national questions, current national indirection and political subjugation will continue, beyond 2015 and further than 2055, no matter the political party we pitch our tent with. A word is definitely enough for the thoughtful. Stephen tweets from @micahesq

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