For several years now my good friend Paul Adujie has been drumming it, telling all those who have the faculty to comprehend that Nigeria is the best country on the face of the earth. Day in day out — to the annoyance and consternation of millions of Nigerians — he has been at it. Well, I am now a believer, a convert. It’s been almost six months since I returned home and I can see clearly now. Without an iota of doubt, I am now convinced that Nigeria is better and greater than any other country. I love it here, I love Nigeria.
I love Nigeria for several reasons, least of which is the fact that the society allows you to get away with quite a lot of things, including murder. Above all, you have the license to steal, to mismanage; you have the license to be a fuckup, be a complete failure, be an ass; and you definitely have the license to be a dupe and a peddler. It didn’t take me long to realize all of the aforesaid. And so I am grateful, eternally grateful to my dearest pal, Paul Adujie. What a guy! Long before most people understood the concept of patriotism and or nationalism, Paul has been at it.
Common, what’s not to love a country where there is no concept of sexual harassment; and where women are just for the asking. How does a society thrive without deep respect for women? Isn’t it beautiful that I can promise job or promotion or better academic grade in exchange for sexual favor? Isn’t it great that I can talk to, talk at, and talk adown at almost any woman without any repercussion? What is there not to love about a society where, within a generation or so, illicit sex has become as common as beans and fried plantain? Gay sex, cross-dressers, sex with minors and incestuous relationship has become the fashion of the day.
What’s not to love about a country where everything is negotiable, including crime and punishment? So far, I have been able to negotiate with the police and security services, the immigration and custom services, and with lawyers and judges. The other day, I was so bold, so audacious that I even negotiated with armed robbers. Nothing is “black and white,” nothing is the way they seem, and certainly, nobody is above inducement. Don’t be surprised to know that nothing is free in Nigeria: you pay for sex, pay for friendship, pay for trust and pay for prayers. You’ll need lots of prayers from rental-pastors.
Because I love Nigeria I am not going to insult her and call her a failed state even though she is unable to provide basic human needs to the vast majority of the people. Nigeria’s loss is my gain: I provide all the services the government is unable to or has refused to provide, i.e. electricity, water and sewage services, personal security, tax collection, and law and order. I bill my neighbors for the use of my generators and boreholes and for other services. I rent out guns and goons and enforcers. Government is irrelevant, but I am not. I am the alpha and the omega of my neighborhood, above the law. I am the law.
Thanks to Mr. Paul Adujie, no one is ever going to be able to question my patriotism again. In the same stream, any one who calls into question the stated and unstated motive of our next president should be considered a traitor; any one who criticizes the acts and pronouncement of the President and the Vice-President should be summarily arrested and tried. However, you if want to criticize the Courts, please go ahead. We all know the Courts are corrupt and indolent and redundant, but not the presidency. You may also criticize and abuse and trample on the National Assembly, they are of no use, anyways. They are just a collection of Ghanagoers.
Something else: “Diaspora Nigerians making private and public pronouncements and proclamations in the name of Nigerians and Nigeria must ensure that they are not rabid partisans lacking in integrity, credibility, fair and balanced transactions in matters Nigeria.” They must desist from sending petitions, writing letters to criticize or engage in legitimate political acts. And indeed, such political protests “are not objective, neutral or dispassionate efforts. These are persons who are knowingly fomenting unsettling conditions, persons who are unwittingly being used by persons, agents and defeated political partisans.”
Professor Mobolaji Aluko, please consider this a warning! I hold the saying of Mr. Paul Adujie to be true and sacrosanct: You cannot be a critic and a patriot at the same time.