I woke up from my nightmarish slumber with a loud scream that woke up everybody in my house. Sitting up on my bed, I asked my startled wife for a cup of cold water, as I tried to make meaning of all I had been privy to in my sleep; reflected on what the whole revelations meant. Gradually, all the missing pieces started coming together. The visions were revelations of events yet to unfold in Nigeria; projected scenarios of the likely outcome of the no-love-lost relationship between the Nigerian ruling class and the largely exploited, impoverished and abused masses; a timely warning to the animals in human skin ruining Nigeria to change their depraved ways or face the winnowing music of forceful change.
But what is really wrong with you scoundrels? Don’t you know your time is fast receding? Why can’t you feel the gust of the incoming catastrophe; the inrushing blizzard of transformation that is coming to carry you off to the land of perdition, where you will weep and gnash your teeth for the grievous harm you have caused this country and its innocent people? Know, today, that the inevitable hour of reckoning is near. Yes, judgment day will suddenly come upon you! There will be no escape from all your crimes against Nigerians. You have stolen, impoverished, killed and maimed with reckless abandon for years without respite from any quarters. You are about to be rewarded for all your evil deeds.
You preying bandits! Nigerians have judged you and found you guilty as charged; guilty of having overseen the careless butchering of Nigeria – its people and its resources; guilty of having orchestrated the saddest elegy Nigerians have been forced to listen to for decades; guilty of the holocaust that is gradually depopulating Nigeria; guilty of having led Nigerians on a wild goose chase for years without end; guilty of having taken Nigerians across the Rubicon of potential extinction, where anything can happen; guilty of having kidnapped the national wealth; guilty of having robbed Nigerians of their fundamental rights and freedoms; guilty of terrorism of the cruelest kind; guilty of feeding fat on the ignorance, docility and cowardice of Nigerians; guilty of many sins.
Murderers! You are still living in dreamland thinking you can keep a free people unfairly manacled to your apron-strings against their will forever. You hide within the porous fortifications of your egg-like castles to fire salvos of cruelty at Nigerians. But know today that your cruelties cannot kill the Nigerian spirit. For your own good, stop this regime of nonsense and give power back to the people it truly belongs. Maximum rulers belong to yesterday. Be warned, for the sword of Damocles swings menacingly over your fat, oiled heads!
Beware, those of you who are in privileged positions of authority today! You and your families might enjoy the best luxuries that life provides; you might drive the best cars, eat choice meals, drink choice wines, live in the best houses, wear the swankiest clothes, attend the best schools, jet around the world in private jets, cruise the oceans in your gigantic luxury yachts’, and enjoy all other stolen privileges; but if in your drunken state of assumed omnipotence you ignore the deprivations of your fellow countrymen, check yourself, for tomorrow is very pregnant with dire surprises.
You over-stuffed Jackals! How does it really feel like to be hated by so many and loved by so few? How does it really feel like to live your lives in perpetual apprehension, unsure of what the next minute might bring? How does it feel like to be so evil, while all the time pretending to be so good? How does it really feel like to be so materially rich, yet very poor inside? How does it really feel like to live two lives? You live very miserable lives, indeed; more miserable than the victims of your brutality. Your conditions are pitiable; more pitiable than those of condemned criminals. I laugh whenever I see you strutting around, putting on empty airs, making vain shows of your cursed possessions and daring anybody to challenge your effrontery. You intentionally affront Nigerians and believe nothing can happen. You make mockery of the plight of the poor, pushing many to suicide. Why do you revel in evil orgies? Why do you always thirst for blood? When will your ravenous appetites be ever satisfied?
Mingy maggots! The forces massed against you are mighty, indeed. The ranks of your enemies are swelling by the day. You can’t stand against them all and hope to win. You are up against all the wretched, vengeful members of this polity; up against all who have felt the full force of your naughtiness; all who have been conquered, but not vanquished by your recklessness: the unemployed and under-employed workers, the hungry, the homeless, victims of violent crimes, the uneducated, the disenfranchised – all downtrodden Nigerians; the largest, angriest army in Africa. They are crying for blood and calling for justice. It will soon be payback time for them; a time to strike back at their enemies. How do you intend to keep this irate mob at bay? Can you withstand the first wave of attack? Can your weak fortifications really protect you? But why have you refused to listen to wise counsel to look in the mirror and change your ways?
I see terrible doom befalling the ruling lords of Nigeria in the not too distant future, if nothing is urgently done to check this debased orgy of insanity. A very horrible spectacle will play out in this country that will signal the end of this Tsarist system of madness. When this end finally comes, all the wicked operators of this evil system of serfdom and their collaborators will be completely defeated by the resilient will of the Nigerian people; none will be left standing. This order of darkness will fall flat on its face and will be replaced by a new epoch of light. This gang-up against the people will be put down. Justice, peace and tranquility will reign once again. The furious blasts from the consuming furnace of change will overwhelm all the enemies of progress and hold them up to public ridicule. I see masters becoming slaves and slaves becoming masters, serfs turning into lords and lords turning into serfs, haves becoming have-nots and have-nots becoming haves. I see a lot of calamity befallen the princes of this empire. It will be very terrible for the guilty ones on that day. They will be very much afraid.
You scoffers! I don’t expect any constructive reactions from you to the foregoing revelations because people like me are disdainful to you. You see us as spoilers of your jolly ride; as powerless, loquacious busy bodies who should look for better things to do other than disturbing your fun; as troubleshooters who should let sleeping dogs lie; as toothless Alsatians that bark but can’t bite; as noisy empty vessels without class; as frustrated, jobless rabble rousers without substance. You think you are clever; that you are wiser than everybody. You will feel the pains Nigerians have been feeling all these years when hell is let loose on you. You will experience the trepidations you have forced on Nigerians for so long. You will feel the emptiness of poverty. You will certainly feel all these and even more, when that day comes.
For those pessimists who have concluded that Nigeria will never transcend its current niggardly state because its people are supposedly afraid of confronting the system, you are in for the rudest shocks of your lives. You think Nigerians cannot replicate in Nigeria what has happened – or is happening – in other parts of the world, where dictatorial regimes are being overthrown left, right and centre – some peacefully, and others violently? You say Nigerians play it safe because they are afraid to die. Some of you have hastily conjectured that because of the cultural, religious, economic, political and other polarities in Nigeria, its oppressed people can never unite to fight for a common course; that the proletariats lack the required class consciousness or solidarity to challenge the status quo. But you underestimate the effectiveness of grinding poverty-induced pain as a catalyst for change. Being poor students of history, you are obviously oblivious of the fact that all the revolutions that have occurred in recorded history were preceded by the same oppressive conditions Nigerians are currently subsisting in; conditions that activated the popular uprisings that culminated in the fall of those dynastic establishments.
However, these bloody visions can be prevented from manifesting. Change doesn’t have to be violent, for violence does not benefit anybody in the long run; it tears relationships apart, destroys infrastructures, throws up refugee problems, leads to economic collapse, activates disease migration, traumatizes people, results in neglect, encourages enmity, and engenders a general state of underdevelopment and anarchy. The obvious lesson from contemporary warfare is that “the costliest peace is cheaper than the cheapest war”, borrowing the words of President Bill Clinton (1999).
But knowing the refractory character of Nigeria’s ruling class, they should not be expected to refrain from their set ways. So, what is that other way out of this point-no-point? How can we end all this without bloodshed? Like Cicero’s question in The Letter to His Friends: “What can be done against force without force”? Some students of non-violence would say, “Many”. I am a student of non-violence and believe that outside physical violence, there are other more peaceful, constructive, effective and sustainable measures that can be taken against this state of force without physical force. If we must take a stand against this system of death, I suggest we should take it boldly, firmly and bloodlessly; that is all things being equal.