Solititude And Melancholy 2: Just Before We Forget

by Dele A. Sonubi

Just before we forget and suffer collective illusions, the following names or groups should continue to drum sound in our memory and remain landmarks of errors in accounts of our national woes; their character must be taught to our children as how not to behave in Nigeria:

General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, who took Nigeria through 8 years of memorable military rule with massive depletion of the national treasury, and who staged 8 years of transition to civil rule only to slide us 100 years backwards with the annulment of June 12, 1993 general elections. He stole our hearts with smile and filled his purse with spoils from crude oil and wages of our disunity. He currently intends to come back and rule Nigeria again as a civilian president! He had the chance to make the life of an average Nigerian filled with pride and confidence, with joy of owning properties and satisfactions of his/her fruits of labor. He could have made Nigeria more effective with functional infrastructures i.e NEPA, Water, Roads Telecommunications and a Nigeria where there is justice and freedom. He did not use that chance then. For eight years he misled us. How can we be sure he will lead Nigeria aright again?

General Muhamadu Buhari, subverted a democratic government with the barrels of gun, suspended the Nigerian Constitution of 1979 and promulgated many obnoxious decrees one of which was the notorious decree 4. He jailed many people and abused the hell out of our human rights. Again he wants to govern Nigeria, how can we forget so soon, the terror of the Buhari /Idiagbon regime, the nightmare of their reforms. How can we forget so soon that these ones terrorized us. Eventhough recently, he has proved to be a true democrat, pursuing justice on the premises of rule of law, but let us remember his days as head of state and the short-lived joy of those years.;

Evan(s) Enwerem, one of the many Nigerians who shamefully bears the title; Senator but is currently unclear of allegation of forged documents and change of names;

Chuba Okadigbo; who resigned as the senate president because the house was going to subject him to debate over allegations of embezzlement of public funds, stepped down from senate to shamefully contest as the vice president to rule this nation (under God!) Chuba Okadigbo was reported to have driven cars in the convoy of 30 other supporting cars. His presidency at the Senate was also characterized by stealing the maze of the Senate to his village in Oyi, several hundreds of miles away from Abuja the city of government where ordinarily the mace should permanently be;

Tokunbo Afikuyomi, who was accused of visa scams, and who also accepted to have made illegal entries of Governor Tinubu’s educational claims is still in the senate house and remains a senator of the federal republic of Nigeria;

My main man, Arthur Nzeribe, the defender of what is right, the ABN man. He used the Association for Better Nigeria slogan to truncate the June 12, presidential election. During the aftermath of that June 12 political impasse, people wept, people lost lives, lost sense of directions, sacrificed Kudirat Abiola, MKO Abiola, Pa Alfred Rewane, Tunde?, Chukwuemeka?, Hauwa?, Malam Sabo? and many other nameless civil society members who joined the struggle. During the impasse orchestrated by Arthur Nzeribe/Babangida/Abacha and many other faceless enemies of Nigeria, Nigeria witnessed darkness and bleak; a stage in history that was blurred by the blood of patriots. After that period, we said to ourselves; never again shall we allow such cloud of misfortune. But then came Obasanjo and here comes third-term and that unimaginable period when we paid for liberty with blood of our beloveds looms over the air once again;

Mohamed Sani Abacha, that leader who will forever go down in history as Nigerian terrorist against Nigeria. He staged a coup against Nigeria; he won the coup and made Nigeria a living hell;

James Onanefe Ibori, the governor of Delta State who was sued to court for being an ex-convict parading himself without reference to his former conviction. The case went from lower to higher courts. Eventually, the case was thrown out and James Ibori declared public holiday in his state to celebrate (eheeheeh…..ahahahah…..Nigeria)

Police Commissioner Tafa Balogun, who stole 17 billion Naira (about 140million US$) money meant for the Nigerian Police; meant for the rest of Nigerians. He alone stole so much; and

Alophus Wabara, The senate president who collected bribe from the minister of education Fabian Osuji in order to “favorably” consider the budget of the ministry.

The list is long, but I am sure, many other Nigerians who have wept for this country can fill in the rest of the gap.

However, we can, if we want, remember that advanced democracies and civilization such as the US, Canada and Britain, had had their own share of periods of insanity. Insanity was exhibited from the era of trespass against the Aborigines, the period of slavery, the dark ages when blacks were persecuted because of the pigmentation of their skins, when Mafia gangs subverted the existing laws and ruled by their own allegiance, to the present era of “bush”, and The Loss of the Radii or Raid of the Loss Arch (only in this case it is the loss of American/British lead search for nuclear plant in Iraq). The difference between them- the western systems and us- in Nigeria, is that they challenged the judicial systems, they exerted un-ignorable premium on America doing what is right. We must continue to borrow leave from these ones and forge ahead from the colony of insane, the colony of the mentally and socio-politically derailed people into the empire of the sane, the nobles, and a polity of civil righteousness governed by the emperor that is under the rule of law! Then Wole Soyinka at 70 can retire to eating pounded yam and palm wine with Obasanjo in Ota farm, and I can stop writing, leave solitude and melancholy and concentrate on Yoruba folklore!

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lasisi ahmed May 15, 2006 - 3:11 pm

you have really succeded in transforming the fiction idea into materialistic instrument of african da to day routine in all aspects of our comments and write up. pls keep the pen and idea dangling.

EWI ADESOJI PAUL April 26, 2006 - 9:01 am

Hello Bros. Deelo,

I think these are wonderful comments that truly reflects the modern state of Nigerian polity. Keep up the good work. Please you permit me to send this to some of my friends. It's such a beautiful and coherent write up, that in itself can initiate public comments and debate among friends. This is really cool.

Your little neighbour,


dorothy April 25, 2006 - 5:42 pm

Dele, you always know when to bring out the words from my mouth!

Anonymous April 21, 2006 - 2:43 pm


Anonymous April 18, 2006 - 7:57 am

Can we be accused of complicity when we refuse to participate? It seems to e that amnesia is the 'opium' of the masses. Like a woman who always 'forgets' the pains of labour soon after, we are always ready for another round….

Anonymous April 18, 2006 - 6:18 am

Good Write up Dele, indeed the list goes on and on and on and the nation of Nigeria still carries on. I refuse to be counted among the troubles in Nigeria – I have NEVER defrauded anybody or mismanaged any responsibility bestowed on me. I have NEVER purposefully driven on the wrong side of the road, I have NEVER stopped my car in the middle of the road, irrespective of others, to engage in a fistfight or language exchange. I have NEVER carried out an inflated contract neither have I submitted a bid for any contract. I have NEVER visited any friends in top government office and neither has anyone of them sent me gratis in any form.And it goes on and on and on…….

Just last night, three of us women were in a car discussing on our way back from watching a movie on vengeance – where one man took on the whole government of the land and crippled them. He mentioned something I cannot forget, 'the people should not be afraid of the government, rather the government should be afraid of the people'. My friends are convinced that one day, a unified Nigerians will stand up and say 'no more' to all the rubbish we see and hear………even feel everyday. I dared to say what my fear was 'will Nigerians ever come out as one voice?' thay said yes, emphatically. They said Nigerians have not come to the point where they believe they have a stake in what is going on but one day they will and rise up against the government and demand order.

I look forward to that day becuase i believe in the Nigerian Project but like some, I am dying slowly to the pain and fear that it may never be attained. As parents, we have an awesome test ahead. I am in a dilemma as to what I should teach my children. For our children to be successful in Nigeria today, they have to be two-faced: one for the society and one for when they come through the doors of your home. Invariably, we must grow hypocrites!

How tragic!!

Your friend, Pwana

mary April 18, 2006 - 6:07 am

Its a very articulate, interesting, and well thought piece….. and i totally agree with your views… Nice work, keep it up!!

Paul I. Adujie April 12, 2006 - 11:37 am

Mr. Sonubi,

that was nice, very nice…. many thanks.

Most sincerely,

Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

Anonymous April 11, 2006 - 10:07 am

Great article, my brother. God bless you. I, too, refuse to bear responsiblity for evil committed by others. Ah, dele, you speak the custic truth! Apart from tinubu certificate scandal "our people" looked the other way in the following instances:

In 1979, upn members walked out in the national assembly but some turned around to collect contracts from sagari govt but senator adegoke who stayed was crucified.

In 1999, the pseudo pro-democrats collected huge inducements from abdulsalam abubakar to support transition and some to monitor elections. They declared the election free and fair but today "pdp rigged that election" and all others

In 1993, a chairman's party sdp won a presidential election but it was the loser's chair that opposed annulment while the winner's chairman endorsed interim govt.

Couple of yorubas served abacha, but today, jakande remains the scapegoat.

In 1999 obasanjo was a bastard and pdp party of rogues but today, our representaives in that govt are those/siblings/ofspings of those who called him basatard.

Ngige stole obi's madate but today ngige is the hero and obi the underdog (i don't like your dodging this one) because the want to annoy aso rock.

Alamie was corrupt; deserved removal but today his removal was tyranny. (we had to beg the assembly members to vote for removal) ditto ladoja dariye

The latest is the case of the vice president facing fbi investigation of money laundering through his mistress in the usa and corruption allegations at home but enjoys immunity. He now becomes a hero just by opposing third term.etc etc

There is hope for our nation if youths can take trouble to pierce through the smokescreens like dele has done in this beautiful piece.

Anonymous April 10, 2006 - 6:21 am

I think I will agree with the author in many of these instances. Once again, Mr. Dele Sonubi, you have done well. This is surely well written. Keep up the good writing


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