Saturday, September 3, 2011


In Yoruba mythology, in the pantheon of spirit beings, both benevolent and malevolent, Esu occupies a special place! He is the devil, the dissembler, the sower of confusion, Mephistopheles personified! A story is told about Esu walking down the main road that goes through a town! He is wearing a very special cap:the right side is red, while the left side is white! It is only by looking at him from the front that one would understand this! 

So he walks through the town, and shortly after, the people begin to fight! The reason: the people who were on Esu's left, told those on his right that he wore a white cap, however, the people on the right vociferously contend that he wore a red cap! And so they fight! And the devil goes along his way merrily, aware of the confusion he has left behind!

Nigeria is beginning to feel like that hapless, unfortunate town in the wake of Esu's visit! We seem to be jumping from one confusion to another! It is so consistent now, that it has become one week, one trouble!

Goodluck Jonathan's presidency has been plagued by a long line of controversial troubles, some self-afflicted, others inherited!

Some have contended, that these troubles are designed by people in his government to throw us off balance, so that as we consider the latest false step, we would not remember that we should be demanding for service from this government!

That would be truly wicked, and insidious!

With each violent social upheaval, the country shudders like an old submarine under a barrage of depth charges! I begin to wonder, how long can this violent dislocation continue, before we spring a fatal leak at crushing depths!

Some would argue that leaks have already appeared in places like Maiduguri, and Jos, that our attempts to fix the Niger Delta leak has caused more harm than good, that we are already ankle deep in water!

Our president, like a captain under pressure, perhaps seeking to project a picture of confidence, and equanimity: carries on fiddling, smiling, and ever so often, threatens to bring to book the mischief makers!

He has been huffing, and puffing, and we are still waiting for him to bite! We may need to get American dentists to examine the state of his teeth, whether they are "biteworthy"!

And that has been my only quarrel with Jonathan, his desire to please everyone: for Nigeria to improve, our president would need to step on toes! He should stop announcing that he knows those fomenting trouble, without "bringing them to book", his now famous refrain at each calamity!

President Jonathan, you are the president of Nigeria, above you there is no other, and if you are waiting for someone to offer you leadership, or show you how to lead, then you truly are in the wrong office!

Nigeria is a rich country with poor people, an oil producer that imports refined products, has arable land, yet import food! 

We are as incongruous as a fish swimming in the sands of the desert!

Very soon, we shall be marking one hundred days of the Jonathan presidency, (which actually is not true, he inherited the remainder of the Yar'Adua presidency): we would not be able to point to one tiny achievement, and say "Jonathan did this! Instead, all we can point to is one week, one trouble! Haba!


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