Nigeria Matters

A Few Good Men…

NOTE: The Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) is a fictitious federal law enforcement agency that acts as a branch of the CIA with broad-ranging powers to stop terrorist threats in 24.

The two hour premiere of ’24’, a high octane, hair raising, bone chilling, adrenaline driven, 007ish, hit TV show kicked off this season with a big bang as usual.Jack is back and we (the fans) can thank President Wayne Palmer for that. However, within the first few scenes as the plotline unfolds, we realize that Jack’s release from a Shanghai dungeon and the claws of the Chinese government came with a hefty price tag. He is to become the proverbial sacrificial lamb. The plan is to deliver Jack to a man named Abu Fayed in exchange for information regarding the whereabouts of an infamous terrorist –Hamri Al-Assad, who is allegedly responsible for a wave of suicide bombings across America within the past 11 weeks.Over 900 people have been killed thus far; Jack was fully aware of this grave situation and could have tried to make a run for it.But he didn’t. His life was on the line. But the stakes were higher. For many to live, he must die. As he’s been handcuffed to a metal grate in some deserted alley by one of his co-agents to await his grim fate, he says, “The only reason I fought so hard to stay alive in China was because I didn’t want to die for nothing. Today, I can die for something. My way, my choice.”

Personally, I think it should be a prerequisite for all aspirants of a political office in Nigeria to rent at least the first two seasons of ’24’ In fact, ’24’ ought to be included in some miscellaneous administration budget and incorporated as a training tool for every government official, including those who are in a position of authority and influence. The day-to-day operation of CTU should demonstrate the meaning of getting the job done. Well. Fast. The focus and spirit of dedication with which the employees handle their tasks, particularly during periods of crisis management should become ingrained in the psyche of every Nigerian civil servant. I’m not familiar with the organizational structure of our political leaders in Nigeria. But I do know one thing. It is obviously not cutting the mustard. Where else would most of the Nigerian ‘politics’ experts who churn out essays after essays about the incompetence of the Obasanjo’s of the world get their inspiration? And if I’ve been misinformed, why are armed robbers still ruling the roost with blatant audacity in Nigeria? Why are citizens of an oil-producing nation still living in suffocating darkness? Why is running water a luxury that a great majority can only dream of? Why are many people plagued by medical conditions that are brought on by excessive environmental pollution? Why? Why? Good grief, WHY?

As Nigerians head to the polls again, come April, I hope many have done a bit of soul searching. I hope they will speak from their hearts and cast their votes for the right man or woman. And if I were the campaign manager for a presidential candidate, the type of individual I would definitely peddle to every voter is someone:

  • Who will ask NOT what Nigeria can do for him or her, but what he or she can do for Nigeria
  • Who will not bark administrative orders from the comfort of a “generator powered” air -conditioned office while fuel tanks of the worker bees run empty
  • Who can see to it that roads and highways are no longer a death trap for many Nigerians
  • Who is more interested in tossing domestic violence offenders behind bars rather than homosexuals
  • That is fundamentally, willing to be a Nigerian first- by eliminating tribalism from the Nigerian Political Landscape
  • Who will stack the needs of many, higher than the wants of a select few
  • Who would ensure that everyone is held accountable for their actions and no one is above the law
  • Who is willing to get off the beaten path and can walk the talk
  • With a gentle heart, a strong will (reminiscent of Moses), a clear vision and the resolve to get most, if not every mission on our national “to do list” accomplished
  • Who will pledge to eventually make boreholes a thing of the past like dinosaurs
  • Who would guarantee that power plants no longer exist in name only
  • Who will facilitate the accessibility of medical care for all. There’s no reason why women of childbearing age should continue dying from postpartum hemorrhaging or complications from minor surgical procedures like Myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroids.)
  • Who would fight tooth and nail to help eliminate poverty and unemployment
  • Who will ensure that Nigeria or Nigerians are no longer in the same sentence with corruption and fuel scarcity

CTU employs several “torture expert” personnel. Their job is to inflict pain on suspects who are potentially withholding vital information. The methods used vary from non-invasive (sensory disorientation approach) to the invasive use of chemicals such as the (imaginary hyoscine pentothal) to induce pain. Jack is also at liberty to torture suspects physically and emotionally and is prepared to do both.

I remember a scene where he is seen interrogating his brother (Graem) about the whereabouts of their father-a suspected criminal. After tying him to a chair with a lamp cord, he threatens to hurt Graem unless he spills the beans-FAST! “Where is he?” asks Jack. His brother swears on his family’s life that he has no clue.“Not good enough,” Jack growls. “You brought this on yourself,” as he grabs a trash bag, puts it over Graem’s head and begins to suffocate him…

Most fans of’24’ know that Jack would stop at nothing to get the job done. His commitment and loyalty to his country is a recurring theme in ’24’. And as far as he is concerned, everyone, regardless of family ties is dispensable.

Majority of us, who’d been catching a bit of the ongoing political drama in Nigeria from a distance, are doing what we do well…keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for the best. Some are on their feet publicly demanding change. Others are on their knees praying for a miracle. Collectively, we are looking and waiting for that messiah to heal the wounds of our dearly beloved sick Nigeria. Mother Teresa once said, “We can do no great things; but little things with great love.” This time around, I too am sincerely hoping and praying that God would forgive us our trespasses and bless us with a few good men like Jack Bauer who understands what it means to serve others. A few good men and women who are willing to bleed for Nigeria…No questions asked! Maybe I’m hoping for the impossible. Maybe I’m asking for rain in hell. Is Nigeria beyond salvation? Only time will tell!

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