Nigeria Matters

Preppies and Pikins: Between Hope and Despair

Good and Breaking News:

The age-bar was recently lowered, unofficially though, to accommodate more of our people in the electoral process this year. By our people, I mean the younger population who have hitherto been ‘criminally disallowed’.

Who these unofficial pronouncers are, I’m not sure we want to find out. However, that may be interesting.

Presaging the forthcoming 2011 elections in Nigeria are quite intriguing events. I’ll rather call them TWISTERS (By the way and if you don’t mind, try following Twister on Twitter and see what you get. Intrigues…maybe, nothing!)


Reports from bystanders at the recently concluded voter-registration exercise around the country have confirmed that the much-touted sanity in our electoral process is yet a mirage. Not yet Uhuru, those with eyes on their foreheads would say! Or maybe, what we have so far is the sanity we have always anticipated. The ‘maybe’ is with an emphasis, mind you. This is it?

One of such reports, worthy of review, beamed its radar on Oyo State, where a notable party Chieftain was arrested for transporting under-age High School chaps, in connivance with those who should be ‘trusted’ guardians, to a Voter Registration Centre.

For what? To get them all registered! Hence, he hoped to secure an undue number advantage over likely opponents when the elections finally hit the grounds. This must be to ensure that the insufficient bread goes round the few veteran elective-office holders, who have always eaten with relish and without any care in the world whatsoever for those who never even seen what a crumb of bread looks like.

How come? Though the deep intentions of people are largely unknown, it is no longer news that for a few crumbs of bread, our hapless youth, the School children and even the shameless Chieftains – elite or otherwise, will drag their heads in god-forsaken mud.


The Oyo spectacle would be nondescript going by the ‘escapades’ in the Northern part of the country.

The hangers-on up North, with reddened and bulging eyes, customarily screeching (as if applying the brakes with their mouths) and trotting to and fro presented the recruited Corps Members, who were palpably tensed, an unwholesome spectacle and of course, the ‘needed’ opportunity to be ‘loyal to the cause’. Not with the daggers being toted by the doped, street power-brokers, would the Corps Members have a choice anyway. They were coerced into submissively registering to vote hundreds of tots. Did I say tots? I mean, anyone and anything with a live fingerprint. It must have been a scene to watch. Some of us received distress (I’m unable to find any better word for the calls) calls from friends and families up North and we did nothing than ‘ah ah’ the calls, ‘na wa o’ and ‘Wetin you go do?’ the calls.


This is, I’m afraid, a carefully crafted scenario where, as expressed in local parlance, you leave the leprosy and give more attention to curing the ringworm. And Maslow, in his legendary hierarchy of needs, taught us that as long as the needs of man at any level of the Pyramid of Needs remain unmet, he can never aspire to meeting the needs at a higher level.

In most cases (that’s a diplomatic way of dodging relevant but boring statistical facts), the people continue (without an end in sight?) to struggle with the most basic needs of man. And since, ‘what you see is what you get’, the vicious circle continues to the detriment of the people and the ceaseless smirking of the bourgeoisie (this reminds me of the high-sounding colonnade of words employed in our Ivory Towers back in the glorious worriless days of schoolism).


What lies between success and failure also lies within the shadow of uncertainty. Hope! It’s the only weapon of the victims of power-plays, conspiratorial or otherwise.

Now, more than ever, that hope seems to come alive for you and for us. The latter group is constituted by the whole lot of us, who have hitherto been in the dark as to how we are governed (or led, if you are a sensitive reader); those of us, who acknowledge that things are not in their right shapes, but who neither know why nor what to do about it.

Faces, activities and words falling out of ceasing mouths in 2010 and 2011 have more than rekindled our hopes (the hopes of Pikins) in a better and brighter tomorrow.

The new world being recreated on the web, the suspicious attention given to the grassroot; the omelette being served the Pikins, oven-fresh, by the Preppies to appease the anger of the former (I take it for granted that the connotations are readily grasped); and the Pikins, who are doing commendable wonders in the worlds of music, movie, arts, academia, sports…just name it; all of these contribute to say something entirely contrary, in effect to our generation being a ‘wasted generation’.

Howbeit, let it be said, noted and bandied about that they must put a definite stop to it, those of the past (and wasted?) generations, making inroads into our generation. The way forward through this road is a better attention to details on the street, the shrugging off of crackling cobwebs of mediocrity and inertia and a mien that carries fire on the head, creaming a loud and a louder no.


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