All this drama, is it leading anywhere?

March 23, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Prince Charles Dickson

“And, since they are theater people, they are all talking. All of them. Simultaneously. They do not need to be heard; they only need to be speaking.”

– John Green, Will Grayson, Will Grayson

And so my friend tells me that he cannot recall when last he bought fuel at the regulated price, nor at the gas station. His cousin says he cannot recall the last time he had six hours of electricity. The youngest wife of the clan adds that if the situation was just forces of government ineptitude, it would have been better: But nature through a very hot weather won’t allow anyone to sleep well.

So, what happened to the power generator, with a wry smile, my colleague asks: “when there is no fuel to run the car, how do we run the generator?”

We equally are in the clime that inflation has hit double digits, and every imaginable item has hit the roof in terms of cost, including packaged water. The wailers are wailing, and the defense attorneys for the government continue to defend.

Last week, one group told us that Nigerians are no longer happy people, due to reasons X, Y, and Z. The news was received with two templates, first the wailers who said, we knew it, and the praisers: who said all this is to get at the President, and his changed government.

While I ruminated on project Nigeriana, a friend strolled into my thoughts, “don’t worry Oga Charles, everything will be fine soon, you know it is not easy to build, unlike when we want to destroy, a task which is far easier.” As he explained he pointed at a building to drive home his point.

All that came to my mind was only some five years ago, a Jonathanian was pontificating on how the Otuekean was building what had been destroyed and it would take several years to build. And nine months on the road I am hearing the same sermon again.

So as I simply nodded and, glancing briefly at my phone, saw a broadcast message asking that I pray for some Nollywood diva called Ibinabo Fiberisima, that was the second one I received. I some weeks ago received a “copied whatsapp message” allegedly signed by her son asking for understanding and all that…

My mind wandered, this case must have followed a trajectory: why did they allow it to get to this point before asking for prayers?

The truth remains that as a people we are religious, we don’t joke with our Fridays and Sundays. We don’t joke with our “juju” either. We love music, we are intelligent and yes, we excel in as many things we put our hands to as a people.

We are resilient, while people talk about the American dream, we as Nigerians are not dreamers, we are simply lucky, to the point we have more often not got leaders by sheer luck than preparation.

Amongst us are the ethnic jingoist and nepotic parapoist, we have those that do not see beyond faith, creed and clan. We are divided on many fronts, united in soccer and corruption. However we are equally a dramatic nation, one full of drama, with so much suspense.

One hell of a telemundo if you ask me, if one section is not disturbing us how Oloye Bukola Saraki the Senate President is about to circumvent the course of justice in his CCT trial, El-Rufia is not only carrying his Dane gun looking for Sani Shehu, but equally about to Islamize or kill religious freedom in Kaduna.

Then did you hear that the whole of Osun state got in allocation just a fraction of the millions one Onitsha businessman has in his account, and that simply meant salaries wouldn’t be paid again.

I do not know these days, when Mr. Buhari is in the country or out, but so did Obasanjo and his shuttle diplomacy. Anyway, it is all drama. To important issues, how about the missing budget, will it be signed this month or will the drama continue?

We are gradually forgetting all the noise about increase in tariffs for electricity, the same way we will forget the CBN employment of children of the nouveau riche and the Ese Oru and Yinusa thing fading into other scenes and acts overtaking the episodes.

And I do not know if we have agreed to devalue or revalue or if we have simply accepted that the dollar is bigger than us. Maybe all that was one big drama too, like the Dasuki arms-gate is gradually fading and becoming only court day news, to the point that in recent weeks, it is no longer even making front page news anymore.

As a nation everything about us seems to gradually be turning out like the drama queen in reverse as, we not only now habitually respond to situations in a melodramatic way, but we are also melodramatic about serious issues. I sincerely believe that we are not ready for Project Nigeria, we do not really have a template as to where we want to be, how we want to and when we want to get there, and are we showing signs, or we are still dramatizing?—Only time will tell.








Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.


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