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The making of an African North Korea: Nigeria’s three gods

By Ugoji Egbujo

Kim Jong Un yawns, Generals clap vigorously. Our own gods have come. Nnamdi Kanu came from nowhere. They stand in the rain, in their thousands, and chant his name. He stands in a covered balcony and takes the cheers. It’s surreal. Nigerians were once known for having their minds. He nudges his cameramen and points to the crowd, they must not miss the expanse and the enthusiasm.  When he raises his hands, the delirious crowd goes into a rapture. A god acknowledging holy devotees. When he moves on the road, he gets stuck.  They don’t let him pass, they want to retain his presence, for themselves, forever. When he visits intellectuals, they are confounded, they become clowns. They confess they have been waiting sleeplessly for his arrival. Nnamdi Kanu, the deity of Biafra.

He pronounces a boycott of elections in the Southeast with a flippancy that will make Idi Amin painstaking. They jubilate. The redeemer has come. The stupidity of the decision  stares at everyone except his worshippers. It is whispered into his ear  at night, the boycott is literal self destruction.  He risks being demystified. He scowls a little  as gods do when their omniscience is challenged. Then he concedes and  night continues with a vigil of  thanksgiving to a compassionate and listening god.

In the morning, he declares that he would want to install the next Anambra governor “at his own terms.”  His supporters are ecstatic. They now want to partake in the communion of the zoo. If he defecates publicly at Ogbete market, they will applaud him. He would be credited with the ingenuity of exposing the hypocrisy of  our collective repugnance at public defecation.  Gods do as they please. It is for their devotees to find moral justification for their  occasional nakedness and somersaults.

He  declares a day of rage and sends them ululating. The day when they will destroy all personal belongings that associate them with the zoo. They will incinerate their passports, national identity cards and voters cards. They talk about it with uncommon pride. They may  now have to confirm from their authorities if they will  keep the voters card for a while. The god was silent on the unrighteousness of the naira.

Wherever he goes, a crowd follows him. He has been touring. Everywhere he goes megalomania follows him. His dressing is a cross breed between an Igbo emergency traditional ruler and a peripatetic Jewish Rabbi. Everything is halfhearted and makeshift.  He is infallible.  His Igbo critics are  deemed irreverent cowards committed to eternal servitude. Fire and brimstone will fall on all such  traitors at the fullness of time.

The Niger Delta  has their own god. Jonathan, the fantastically humble one. Even in his fallen state his worshippers have remained loudmouthed. Their devotion is sharpened by their hypersensitivity towards all manifestations Hausa Fulani hegemony. Many of those who worship Kanu, worship Jonathan. But Nnamdi Kanu has set the bridge on fire. Kanu now thinks that Jonathan whom he once adored was  truly weak and incompetent. This is Africa.  Kanu committed a sacrilege. He told Jonathan, the strong man of Otuoke, publicly, that the wife he married with his money and kegs of wine is stronger than him. Jonathan’s devotees reacted timidly to that defamation of their god. Nnamdi Kanu is their  kindred spirit,  he has been  tirelessly  making things difficult for Buhari, their arch opponent.

The effectual  One whom sleepless benevolent spirits have been cracking  kernels for  since his shoeless days in Otuoke has been very visible recently. Mo Ibrahim and the Nobel committee had refused to listen to his vociferous supporters.  Jonathan had accomplished a super human feat in conceding defeat in an election he lost.  There were great expectations. He was left to wander and wonder. Buhari’s men teased, nosed and  poked. His supporters cursed the  government’s temerity to defame their god and his angels. Who would blame them? Since time immemorial, it  has been  the duty of mortals to magnify the gods.  They didn’t expect much from the Economist, and David Cameron. Racists and imperialists. Mo Ibrahim came with his snub.   Jonathan was not a former president of Guinea Bissau.  What would a man whose wife has hairdressers who have 5 million dollars in their account do with Mo’s Ibrahim’s  prize? His nightmare is the Daura god and  his choir  which perpetually blares  trumpets of war on corruption into his ears.

A real god must see the future. Jonathan’s prophesies are coming true.  In a land with many reputable prophets who make only vague and rogue prophecies, Jonathan must truly be a god. When he told the CNN that corruption wasn’t Nigeria’s major problem or threat, he was lampooned. No one saw Nnamdi Kanu and cattle herdsmen coming. So he may be right after all. He may be right he fought corruption too. He says he fought it scientifically and with a human face. His subjects old underage voters, Obama and their gods dislike for shedding of blood for their unending grief.

The Daura god came, it would appear, when we abandoned a hero at hand  and went for a messiah in the bushfarm, with cattle. Those who beat their chests in 2015 are now being mocked.  The songs of ridicule have changed theme from school certificate to medical certificate. It was  once about Gulliver and his travels , it’s now about waiting for a recuperating god.

The president is infallible. His critics are treated with the suspicion reserved for rogues. It seems enough that the incorruptible one agreed to attend to our messy situation. And because he is so authentic, we are supposed to accept his good intentions as evidence of good performance. When his wife called our attention, they  hushed her. They said she was a woman of little faith. The cabal they said was a figment of her hallucinations.  When the cabal rears its head in daylight and embarrasses their god, they ask us to allow the god relish in the tantrums of his angels. The hale and hearty god came back from his medical leave to announce that he had never been so ill in his entire life. His supporters jumped into the air and worshipped his honesty. The Eid address came in Hausa. We were asked to contain ourselves. They were irritated by our naivety. We can’t ask what the report of the investigation on the alleged corrupt practices by the SGF is waiting for?  That will be rude.

Nigerians steadily  becoming North Koreans.


The post The making of an African North Korea: Nigeria’s three gods appeared first on Vanguard News.

Source: Vanguard News

The making of an African North Korea: Nigeria’s three gods

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