News

Palliative, Pandemic And Protests; It Is well

By Dr. Prince Charles Dickson

It is well…even in the well

It was Tracy Chapman’s Telling Stories that was playing…For Nigerians it has been almost two weeks of telling stories, what started as a noble idea to demand accountability from our leaders using the theme #endsars resurrected tears sorrow and blood as thugs, hoodlums, state and non state actors in cases hijacked an otherwise noble cause. Like many things Nigerian, it has opened the perennial ethno-religious, regiocentric coloration, and the Nigerian state is on fire.

So we were listening to Tracy on the small radio…

There is fiction in the space between

The lines on your page of memories

Write it down but it doesn’t mean

You’re not just telling stories

There is fiction in the space between

You and reality

You will do and say anything

To make your everyday life seem less mundane

There is fiction in the space between

You and me

Baba Duuge was grumbling I hope that it is not a presidential speech that I would have to unwatch later, Tony was hopeful it wouldn’t be copy and paste, and Aunty Bose was lamenting the last time Mr. Buhari spoke that there was nothing Musa did not see at the gate. From expectation to apprehension…we had asked for him to speak, but the palliative rain that was to fall after his speech we were unprepared for. Indeed it is well

Well, well, well, it is well.

There’s a science fiction in the space between

You and me

A fabrication of a grand scheme

Where I am the scary monster

I eat the city and as I leave the scene

In my spaceship I am laughing

In your remembrance of your bad dream

There’s no one but you standing

So I asked that the radio be switched off and I listened to the speech of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Fellow citizens, it is true that I have not spoken to you in days, after my last exhortation asking you to sheath your swords. My vice, your Vice President apologized. I am apologizing now.

A lot has occurred. Let me first say that I am sorry, I ask that Nigerians forgive me, I ask that you not only forgive me, but forgive the entire leadership of our nation, I am sorry on behalf of a generation, and say we have failed but we want to and will redeem ourselves, we ask that you allow us, work with you to cause a nothing but miraculous change.

Let me say that we are sorry about the Lekki protests that turned soar. A high powered commission of inquiry is being set up immediately and in 4 weeks you will get a comprehensive report, with all that transpired. I am sorry that we did not handle the situation better, even though you also did not fare any better.

It is no gainsaying that the level of thuggery goes beyond just using force and the security apparatus of government to quell the looting, the arson and killing, but a moment for deep reflection, as to where we got it all wrong, why are youths are not engaged, what has happened to all the programs we set out to empower these young persons.

No amount of compensation, or words can bring back lives lost or clean the tears of those that have lost loved ones, but again I am sorry. We lost our kids, brothers, sisters, our husbands, wives, we lost officers, we have lost infrastructure, in a nation that lacks the same.

We are all guilty as charged, whether it is in wrong focus, driving without a compass, we have failed ourselves, but as a nation we are resilient, we want to get it right, you, our children, together while using #endsars as a springboard to begin a #startNigeria.

We will however not allow separatists; religious bigots, political bootlickers and conspiracy theorists take from us our beloved motherland. Nigeria is great because…you our youths are great. We are great people.

Let me end this by telling us a story. I, President Muhammadu Buhari, remember when I was 27 years old… At this point Nigeria’s President was in tears. Our president was actually crying for a second time. Many of us did not know what to make of it, the news was spreading like wide fire Mr. President is human, full of empathy, his silence was indeed golden, damage had been done but we can rise from the dust.

To this end, I declare a NEW NIGERIA. He said as he rounded off his speech.

Sadly this was not exactly the speech, but a part of the speech that should have been read, though the Nigerian public would still have found fault even if this was the speech, some would say the President’s handlers left out empathy, did not feel the mood of the people, even the most ardent supporters of the President may have been disappointed. While others like all former heads of state said ‘oooin’ he is doing well, and has done what he could given the circumstances.

So it is well…even in the well.

Leave the pity and the blame

For the ones who do not speak

You write the words to get respect and compassion

And for posterity

You write the words and make believe

There is truth in the space between

There is fiction in the space between

You and everybody

Give us all what we need

Give us one more sad sordid story

But in the fiction of the space between

Sometimes a lie is the best thing

Sometimes a lie is the best thing

Oh the best thing

Is the best thing?

Is it the President that aided and abetted the hoarding of COVID19 Palliatives, how is that warehouses are being found like oil well discoveries in various states, why are our young persons looting private businesses in the name of anger, hunger, and all that conflict dynamics. Lagos boiled for days no church was burned, Jos burned for an hour thereabout religious spaces was touched, Kano degenerated to a natives versus non-natives.

As Tracy Chapman played to a halt, again my beloved nation is drifting, following the familiar terrain of mutual suspicion, heavy diabetes sored hatred, conspiracy theories, how one section is Islamizing and the other is Christianizing, how the Yourubas have been pitched against the Igbos because of 2023, and our youth, our future is being mortgaged. Stray bullets is a lie, thuggery is a lie, palliative, pandemic and protests; It is well even in the well, as there is fiction in the space between as we no longer as a people understand the truth, it is the longest 11:59, what will 12:00 be—Only time will tell.

Contact the writer: pcdbooks@gmail.com

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