BURNING POT BY PRINCE CHARLES DICKSON, PH.D.
Like Wakanda, Nigeria needs a Black Panther
It is easier to wake a man sleeping than a man pretending to be asleep…the words of our elders though these days they do not count that much.
After the death of his father, T'Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T'Challa's mettle as king -- and as Black Panther -- gets tested when he's drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people. BLACK PANTHER
So I closed my eyes and it was Nigeria and I saw a vision of an experienced President the man I saw had seen the good and also the bad, a man with both experiences that would have been able to guard the Nation against itself. Such that we would be on the course of building a new political edifice, one that would be truly Nigerian. A system that works and is suited to our needs; and also capable of improvement based on our experience.
In that dream we had a political arrangement that was tight enough to contain stress and strains, but at the same time eradicate the ready vehicle for personal dictatorship and despotism that could emerge. The dream scene showed that with a terrible past, our leaders would use past political experience as a rational digest to start all over, the right way with an ideology that would be a business of open-mindedness to change, thereby allowing our political edifice to grow and develop with a strong virile opposition. But how can, for most of us who were awake while I pretended to be sleeping my dream was a mere mirage at best a photocopy of what should have been the original.
An enviable Arewa, Afenifere, Biafra, Niger Delta, in a strong and stable, united Nigeria devoid of the thieves we have today, but oh, how cruel life can be, all that I said was in a dream. In that dream I saw us as a secular Federal Republic of National Independence, without all these Paris, London and Beijing or Moscow lending crooks breathing on our back, controlling our President like my little cousin does with the remote to the television and the sister does to their guard dog ironically named “Opposition”.
In that dream we had a home made political system not the crooks in APC, PDP and the confusionists in other clubs called political parties. I saw a nation of that had a self-activating economy, I did not recall sighting a woman in any form who was busy speaking English with the UK accent. The dream was that in which the political system was a two-party system, where both parties were people’s parties securely insulated from the cash-power of both domestic and foreign business...I saw a nation that had better leadership to offer. I never saw APC/PDP as such sights would only be seen in a nightmare. The national ideology that appeared in my dream is national patriotism, a nation built on a solid foundation (unfortunately Nigeria is not).
This foundation was literally, planned from the people, by the people, for the people. The Nigeria we live in is unfortunately an accident of passion. Lady and Lord Lugard while having foreplay thought up Nigeria for administrative ease. In my dream an Ibo man was distinctively Ibo, same applied to my kith and kin that remained proudly Hausas, Fulanis, Beroms, Tivs, Urhobos, the Yoruba man remained such whether he be Ijebu, Egba, Ara oke or Ara isale.
And that one was Ibo did not necessarily mean that the Hausa or Yoruba was his enemy. Sadly this was a dream because in reality Nigeria was established with the diverse ethnic build as a tool for disability rather than strength, and the mistake we call leadership has continued to exploit it to and for their selfish and ‘sellmeat’ as long as the greed, power, money are proportionately equal to their mad ego.
In my dream the land called Nigeria belong not to Nigerians rather to the different ethnic entities that make up the nation and all lived in an appreciable level of peace and harmony. In that dream no one was forced to be Nigerian, no one lost his/her identity, like today everyone wants to wipe off their identity and just be called a Nigerian, badly this is not possible because the word Nigerian has no meaning even when it had or the little meaning it had, Obasanjo has spoilt, PDP has disgraced through the caliber of morally deranged and insane men in their ranks, and APC is preparing the funeral rites.
That dream had a Yoruba Nigerian, Hausa Nigerian, an Ijaw Nigerian, Isoko Nigerian, Ibo Nigerian, and all sorts of Nigerian all living happily there, here and after like in the lion and sheep in those colorful Jehovah witness’ awake magazines.
It was simply a beauty to behold, a people’s patriotism, not a presidential dictatorship and a party’s despotism and colonialism of its own people.
My dream saw a citizen oriented armed forces and police politically monolithic in term of the national ideology, not the type that fought themselves and left crime on the prowl. Not the type that went on strike, borrowed arm robbers their uniforms to perpetuate crime and harassed innocent conductors and kabukabu drivers and motorcycle riders for 20 Naira.
A moral code, covering private, public life, and entrenched in the constitution, the code which is animated by the national ideology, and distilled out of traditional Nigerians mores, Sharia code and Christian ethics. But na dream, you do not build castles in the air, so I woke up to find we are not in Wakanda
We are in Nigeria where governors bought heaven on earth in the name of mansions at least hence they know hell is their destination they might as well enjoy what earth has to offer. Governor who bleached with their wives and slept with their Commissioners’ wives and ordered the assassination of the cats belonging to their political rivals. Politicians who observed due process in the golf course with a can of Heineken beer and their daughter’s classmate playing with their chest hairs and they smiled away destinies of future generation.
The more I slept I realized that there was a great difference between illusions and realities, I knew I was only pretending to be asleep, because how could I be asleep when PHCN or is it NEPA or DISCO, had taken electricity power for the third day counting and fuel to run the generator was like asking for spring water in the desert. I felt saddened by the illusions of our leaders and the realities which they refuse to face and tackle...
I end thus.
As youngsters, we neighborhood kids would play street football. The minute we got home from school, we’d drop the books and hit the pavement. The kid across the street had a dad with a great arm and a strong addiction to football. As soon as he’d pull in the driveway from work we’d start yelling for him to come and play ball. He couldn’t resist. Out of fairness he’d always ask, “Which team is losing?” Then he would join that team, which often seemed to be mine.
His appearance in the huddle changed the whole ball game. He was confident, strong, and most of all, he had a plan. We’d circle around him, and he’d look at us and say, “Okay boys, here is what we are going to do.” The other side was groaning before we left the huddle. You see, we not only had a new plan, we had a new leader.
This is the leadership Nigeria needs; yet it is the same leadership that we lack! For how long—Only time will tell.