The song This Is Nigeria by Falz paints the entire crux of the conflict between what is a perceived idea about a situation and the real situation is in the giant of Africa.
“… Extremely poor. The medical facilities are poor. We operate a predatory, neocolonial capitalist system, which is founded on fraud and exploitation, and therefore, you are bound to have corruption. Many criminal cases are settled in police stations”- Falz “This is Nigeria”
You do not know the Nigerian man
The Nigerian man is all-knowing and prides himself as being fair in all his judgments. If his neighbour’s house is on fire, it is because of his evil actions and this judgment is just until it happens to him: then the enemies from his village are at work.
With no money to renovate his house, he cries on the speakers that the spirit of confusion must enter the midst of the enemies and an appointed must give an apple to their leader.
With the same anointing, he curses the officials who tell him to bring his car documents that have since expired. If only they knew his uncle, they will lose their jobs today.
Remember that this is the kingdom in which law and order are on paper, where certain individuals are above the law, where a poor man dies because he has committed a crime of been poor, where we trade merit for connections to the higher powers and leaves the “Area Fada” wondering “how come it (ministries and key positions) is full of village friends with the qualification to the post is just to be a clan member.” Be happy here, you can get away with anything by just paying your dues.
Or you can stand up and challenge the system, “no shaking.” If you succeed, you will receive praises like the Areafada and get chieftaincy titles. If not, tunes of “some people be acting like they know it all” will ruin your once glossy reputation.
You should see the Nigerian man
The Nigerian man is a religious fanatic and his neighbour is a hell-candidate. He knows the creator is holy, yet he lives with a lady, not his wife. He deliberately forgets to think he has added another designation of signs and wonders to the maid in his house.
His sister, the one furious for the “lazy” graduate label because she spent an extra two extra years based on the aluta struggles, served her fatherland and returned in one piece with a second-class upper degree has remained unemployed by the same one who calls her lazy. The man who thwarted her plans of completing school by twenty-two, getting a job at twenty-four and getting married by twenty-six.
Yet, she knows she is better off than the third class graduate even if she cannot differentiate between “am” and “I’m”.
Before you condemn her, the man whose daughter’s only qualification is twerking and looking at the Kupe boys “lick their lips” in concerts is the head of the Nigerian oil reserves. She is also the head of social media “woke” team and is the referee for the cooking, kneeling and Jollof conversations. During the weekend, she will meet up with the other “big men and women” who will open the door and pull the chair during a date and a man who will meet the family elders yardstick.
God forbid! He falls short of the expected criteria for marriage and fails to answer the questions: “what do you do for a living? How many houses do you have? Where is your car? Who is your father?”… Her bride price list is as high as the heavens are from the earth and a man must bridge this gap with his financial prowess or forget the dream of marrying “our daughter”. The same “daughter” they have had no contact with for years. Yet the man must murder his finances on the altar of the wedding day and battle abject brokenness in the marriage.
Chimamanda Adichie spelt it out that men, “ are socialised to suppress so many human parts of themselves, men are socialised not to ask for help, men are socialised to be afraid of fear, men are socialised not to show vulnerability. So, while men benefit from patriarchy, they also suffer from it”.
You don’t know the Nigerian god
We should always thank the Nigerian god, the god who is merciful to the righteous and has appointed men to rain down fire and brimstone at infidels who have adopted westernisation and another religion.
He has caused people to discover their hidden talents of activism so they can get into power and assume the status of “do you know who I am?” and awoof trips abroad.
We should always thank the Nigerian god. The Nigerian god who deserves praise from everyone including the ones who automatically assume a position of innocence because they were ill-treated by the police and had to jump off the van despite taking a large share from the political coffers. With his casted hand, he says at his thanksgiving ceremony, “We want to thank the Nigerian god for saving me from the enemies of my village and the people who took the bigger share.”
But this is interrupted by Matthew Kukah, the Catholic Bishop whose mouth is as sharp as a whip, “I have said it severally; let Nigerians keep saying they want a God-fearing leader. Nigeria does not need a God-fearing leader, because God-fearing has become an excuse to appeal to Nigerians and win elections.”
His cousin who attended the ceremony has returned to his home, the dilapidated building that continues to bother on the road and disrupt the draining system. Despite being earmarked for destruction in the forthcoming months, the landlord has just collected another 24 thousand Naira as his two years’ rent leaving him with 1100 Naira.
An image of his wicked uncle imprints on his mind as he squeezes the last N100 into his pocket after giving his wife N1000 to buy ingredients for the Almighty Jollof Rice, ijebu garri and groundnut. His uncle who worked two jobs trying to make ends meet in the past and has now made it in politics. His uncle has insulted him by telling him that he is going to stop “dashing” him money despite explaining that his children’s school fees were spent on something that has not yet yielded a profit. May his uncle fall down and die and the gods deal with him if he doesn’t show his uncle, he mutters under his breath as he places his money on the current match before going to the cybercafe to become a Nigerian prince.
His rumbling stomach reminds him of his wife. His unemployed wife and her Jollof. If she doesn’t prepare his meal before his return, she would know that he is the head of the home and total submission requires the “kitchen and the other room” services?. If she dies, she died a Mrs.
Praise the government
All praises cannot go to the Nigerian god alone. In this time of meditation, we should always thank the government. The government who has caused us to save so we can escape the country. Thank him who decreases the education budget that the stomach infrastructure including the cutleries budget may increase. The government who has gathered all the forces against the opposition who proclaims to the people that the government is not the change they seek.
Corruption is destroying us, my people! Put me in a position of authority and I will feed you now so your children can harvest the bread of sorrow, I will steal in broad daylight but I will tip you to turn a blind eye at my crimes, I will take the spoils of the nation and deposit in a foreign land because I do not believe in the Nation but you will forever be my bondservant because without my stories of deceit and lies you will die out of hopelessness. Smile, I’m your saviour o ye faithless people! Give me absolute power and never question my superiority.
But Femi Falana, the legal authority whose voice sends shivers to the government drowns the government’s voice says they are “moving from city to city mobilising those who ruined Nigeria. It’s unfair and we are going to reject them”.
He who has ears, let him hear what the preacher is saying to the congregation: change your ways, repent of your sins but may you be elevated to the status of Do You Know Who I Am?
Maybe Falz was right in This is Nigeria when he said what happens every day is that the system has allowed it.