There are a hundred jokes about what’s going on right now. Sad jokes. For me, the biggest joke has to be ’Pray for Nigeria’. You’ve all been praying. You went on full-on prayer walks. The Christians spoke in tongues and whatnot. Remember? You were praying then. Now, look where we are.
But then, what can we do? Helplessness is gnawing at me. Unlike the theists, I know we’re on our own. I can’t pretend to do anything about it. I can’t do anything about it. The idea that you’re appealing to anyone, let alone sky daddy, the being that has power over it all. That must help. The feeling that, although you can’t do anything on your own, you’ve asked the almighty to do something. And he listens to you, right? I mean, of course, only when it’s in his ’will’. But right now, anything…ANYTHING…is better than nothing. Any kind of power is better than no power.
Maybe that’s what they think, these politicians. Any kind of power. If we won’t sit down and accept that they can and will have power to do whatever they want, they’ll show us even if they have to let our nation bleed.
Yes, they let the nation bleed our blood.
Ironic, isn’t it? They’re all religious. At least religious enough that they make laws based on their religions. Religious enough that some of them constantly refer to the interference of God when they address us, like they don’t have most the power as leaders of this state. So, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe leaving shit to God doesn’t make you feel any less helpless. After all, here they are doing everything to make sure they keep the power they have, even if it includes defying God’s own instructions.
Maybe leaving shit to God doesn’t make you feel any helpless because here’s my mom jumping at every slight sound. Yet, she won’t stop praying. She won’t stop worrying. It’s an amazing contradiction. But, any kind of power is better than no power. So, even if it’s the smallest kind, even if it’s half-assed, even if it’s not enough to keep you comfortable, it’s better than nothing.
I hear the Muslims praying in the central mosque. I’ve always felt that was quite the disturbance, but that’s not the point right now. The point is, there’s another group of people praying, and they do it everyday. Yet, here we are. But any kind of power, right?
Back to the start of the day, shall we?
I read a news update that they might finally call off the strike. I’ve been home since March. At first, it was Covid-19, the pandemic. Then another took over, although this one is more of an epidemic. Poverty. Yes, I know there’s poverty all over the world, but this case is one that I feel is peculiar enough to just this country.
This same government that’s killing us has been owing the staff of federal universities their pay; for at least six months. Maybe more. It’s unbelievable. Disappointing. But then, why is it? I mean, they are killing us. It’s like they’re so invested in making sure that there’s not a Nigeria that’s worth anything after they’re gone.
Usually, people try to leave legacies. That’s what I see in the white people movies anyway. But they’re different. What’s the opposite of a legacy? I know I have terrible command of my vocabulary, but I sincerely don’t believe I know a word that’s the opposite of ’legacy’. Whatever it is, that’s what they want. It’s them or no one, and if they’re gone, everything has to all crumble. Any kind of power, right? Even if it includes making sure that there’s no power left for anyone after they’re gone.
They don’t want us educated enough to fix the things they’ve broken, but we’ve refused. We’re learning, unlearning and relearning. It must be very scary for them. So, they take away our access to education. Frustrate the people that exist to help us learn.
But we’re resilient. We’re learning a bunch of other things in a bunch of other ways. We’re even learning the things we’re supposed to learn in school in places that aren’t school. Damn us! Stupid generation. Why won’t we just be like them, and accept only what’s given to us? Why do we chase things we want?
We’re learning our rights. We’re learning what a democracy is and how it works. The constitution is no longer some small book that you can only find in lecture rooms full of law students or certain libraries. No. It’s everywhere. It’s on our phones, our laptops, all our devices. If we lose these devices, we can easily get it back from the internet.
The internet. Curse the internet! We’re learning so much from it. Worse, we’re relearning and unlearning, and we can see all the progress it’s making us, especially on that stupid blue bird app. We’re dropping the hate and unnecessary bigotry. Well, most of it anyway because there’s still a lot of us who don’t think love is love, but at least the conversations are being had. So much progress that’s looking like it’ll pay off. If not now, then soon. How scary that must be for them.
”What do we do now?” They think.
”Kill them.” I can almost hear the order being given with the same dramatic aura of those mafia bosses in the movies. Imagine a democracy being ruled by people that can be compared – in any way – to mafia bosses.
The police do as they’re ordered. They are ’the executive’ after all. Besides, they have to be on the side of power. Any kind of power. It’s easy to convince them that power lies where’ve they’ve always known it to lie, rather than in the hands of children who believe so much in expressing themselves. I mean, we express through our hairstyles and markings on our skin. We express through the art we make, and these devices we carry around, our canvases in more ways than one.
The loudest ones are always the most dangerous. They usually have the most to say, hence the most influence.
”Kill those ones first.”
And if our hairstyles and bodies are how we express ourselves, if they’re embodiments of how loud we can get, you don’t have to imagine who they target first. It’s gone for as long as we can remember, but a few weeks ago, we got angry. What’s wrong with being a little loud if it makes me feel heard? Especially when I suffer all the noise I’m making. The pain from locking my hair and getting the tattoos, I feel all of it. The time dedicated to making my art, I sacrifice them. The money that goes into getting my canvas, I give it. Why does it affect you badly?
Now, they’ve taken the façade off. It was never a democracy, it just needed the slightest semblance of one to pacify us. Just enough to make sure that we don’t realise how screwed we are. Hence, no panic. Now that we see through the veil, they might as well take it all off. So they’ve made our nation bleed our blood. But for them, it’s any kind of power, right?
”Why aren’t they stopping? We’re showing them what happens when they’re being loud and angry because they want to be loud. Why aren’t they stopping? What else can we do?”
”An idle man is the devil’s workshop.” One advisor reminds them.
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, they really think their sayings have the answer to everything. Sure, they sound wise, and maybe once upon a time they did hold all the answers; but times change and like we’ve rightly modified one of the old sayings, ’Whatever an adult sees sitting down, a child can’t see even if he climbs a tree…forget that! We go use drone run am.’ We see things now in different lights, but they can’t accept that.
’Whatever they don’t know, they don’t understand, and what they don’t understand, they fear, and what they fear, they seek to destroy.’ – X-men; Dark Phoenix.
They’re still stuck thinking that we’ll suddenly care less that they spilled our blood if we’re preoccupied. So, they’re looking to call of the strike. They finally realise there’s enough money to pay lecturers, but the thing is, the union knows they’re desperate. They’re asking for everything they ever wanted in addition to what just came up this year.
So, is the government that desperate?