RUNNING AFTER THE WIND
All day long, I sat here in confusion thinkinga way to redeem my battered image. In one of the days in my confusedworld, the wind whistled past me, and I watch the leaves quiver against itspassage. Another time, I watched the wind blew past indifferently assand-grains filled the pores of my skin with my eyes watered from the passageof the wind. At this point, I jack-knifed and the wind came rushing backin what I thought to be its destination. Hopefully, I ran after the wind andfaster the wind ran. I laid a strategy and vowed to grab the wind. Happily, I thought I have grabbed the wind but behold, my fingers touched theemptiness of my palm. I opened my palm, nothing. Stupidly, I ranafter the wind again and the wind wavered past oblivious of my great and bestefforts. Round the world, the wind went, and around the world, I ranafter the wind. In my effort to grab the wind, suddenly, I crashednoisily on the rockygrounds, and the wind and watchers of the scenario murmuredmerrily. Then I discovered that I chase after emptiness— so is theland, Nigeria.
Nigeriachasesafter impossible in all her dealings because she is not genuine in all herpursuit. Nigeria thrivesafter nothing and here efforts will be wasted in running after the intangibles.Then, I rose from the ground and a hollow feeling filled my being. Myrotten intestines oozed disgustingly into my nostrils and the wind spread itall over the corners of the globe. This land, Nigeriaoozes its rottenness throughout the world. In London,Washington DC, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Moscow, Tokyo, Toronto, Madrid, Cairo, Johannesburg etc, our image launderers are yet torealised that they thundered after nothing. In their globetrotting, theysought to change the opinion of the world about our sickness, yet the smell ofthe Nigerian rottenness oozes from the mouth of the messengers of deceit.
Another style of image laundering to deceiveunenlightened minds is here again. This time, it is from one tribunal toanother without restraints as our nation’s resources are being plundered intopersonal pockets of some people in the judiciary. The leaders have left no onein doubt that there are untouchables in the country despite their allegedcomplexity in corruption, just because they are among the power-welders. Howcan a court in Nigeriadeclare that a person accused of corruption, fraud etc would not be prosecuted?Yes, Nigerialaw is like a web; too weak for the strong and too strong for the weak. Thesignal here is that our leaders in collaboration with the judiciary arelegalizing crime, especially if one belongs to the powers. With this, my adviceto the Nigerian public is to always go for injunction restraining any crimecommission or court from prosecuting him in any allegation leveled against him.
There is hardship choking the masses to death,corruption by our leaders at the highest peak, inflation soaring out ofproportion, armed robbery, police robbery and pen robbery injected into thelife of 90% of the citizens, yet our leaders cared not, but rather they goabout the world mediating between warring families and giving aids atwill. But the odour of our dehumanisation assails the nostrils of thosewe seek to convince. As long as we continue to strive after the wind, thewind will continue to elude our grasp, and our grab will be the emptiness ofourselves, while the sighs of a hungry Nigerian people will continue to roamthe streets of the world looking for a drop of spaghetti from a benevolentspirit to mellow his appetite. And in pursuit of the crumbs, they arearrested daily and hourly jailed while some are repatriated from countries toosmall to be our sons.
Independent Corrupt Practices Commission(ICPC) is initiated to cloak the sickness of only those who are connected toAso Rock and deceived the world. Constitution and laws are flawed by these AsoRock gangsters, and if by mistake they find themselves in courts, the judgeswhich they appointed use unexisting language to quash further proceedings oftheir evil, hence, their actions will be justified and glorified especially bytheir hired media men. They promulgate decrees and make bills totreacherously deal with us and finally humiliate us out of contesting anything,even words with them. We chase after the wind and what we will begrabbing is emptiness. And no amount of tricks will hide the smell fromour rotten innards unless genuine and committed effort is initiated, carriedand prosecuted no matter the type of head that is involved.
Consequently, I gathered myself confidently inhigh expectation and decided to grab the wind from a source. I leaptafter the wind, and faster I ran, and faster and faster the wind rushed overthe trees. In my effort to grab the wing again, I smashed against a huge treeand terrible pains wrecked my being. Jeeringly, laughter erupted at mypains and the wind blew the jeers all over the world. This is theconditions of almost all the states in Nigeria. States like Abia, Lagos, Oyo amongst othersare controlled by gangsters, as their men patrol the streets, exploiting andextorting the wretched their hard-earned money on daily basis. In Abia, it’seither the Bakassi Boys or some unnamed groups with receipts threatening peopleto death. In Lagos,it’s the Area Boys holding sway, as most times they beat people to pulp.
Because these leaders want to accumulate thewhole money on planet earth and have an estate in every big city in the world,they employ every means to deal with the helpless, which has led the land toits state of rottenness. The gods are angry and everything is now in chains;chains of bondage. And attempting to walk or run in chains is likerunning after the wind.
After this, I pause my running and the treesand leaves swayed rhythmically to the passage of the wind. Again, theclash of the wind in the forest boomed in my ears and I hear nonsensicaldialogues being encouraged for more confusion. Dialogue to settle allrigged and manipulated elections. Dialogue whether petroleum pump pricesshould be increased again; whether more hardship should be unleashed on thepeople, whether inflation should soar farther, whether education should befinally buried in the oblivion, whether the nation’s treasury should be lootedfinally and leave it naked in the cloak of propaganda of anticorruption,whether, an Igbo should be the president of Nigeriabefore 200years; countless debates. All is a debate to the gallowsand emptiness. It is a debate of how to grab the wind.
In shame, I shrouded and vowed not to succumb;for I must catch the wind this time. Then I covered my body with thickclothes to protect myself from getting any wound should I fall. But thewind grew ferocious and my loin clothes parted from my waist. As I tried tograb my clothes at its disappearing cover, it flew away with the wind. Lo, my sordid nakedness stared the world in the face; and my shame is theshame of Nigeria. Nothing is left in Nigeriaanymore. Get connected to Aso Rock, do anything, just anything and youwill get away with it.
Grabbing the leaves to cover our nakedness isa deceit, and brazenly flaunting our nakedness in dramatic posting which willinvite more jeers. As long as we are not genuinely committed to equity,justice and balance in the country’s polity and also with improving the livingstandard of the people and the country’s economy, the feebleness of our effortswill continue to make the birds of the air whistle disgustingly ourdegradation, a fireside discussion around the world.
The odds are too many, and seeking to redeemit through mere and futile propaganda trips, without the rule of justice,egocentric mediations in warring countries and granting of aids while thecountry is rotting away is an illusion. We should leave the wind alone,stop chasing it, come back home and do internal cleansing and then initiate atrue and genuine reconciliation of every Tom, Dick and Harry. Finally,integrate all into the main stream of Nigerian politics; elevate/promote peoplenot based on religion or tribe but base on merit. This is a way forward,if not...
Dr. Kinsomebody C. Egbuchu