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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

“…Maybe I Concur” – By Isaac Adeonipekun Omole



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“…Maybe I Concur” – By Isaac Adeonipekun Omole

“…Maybe I Concur” – By Isaac Adeonipekun Omole

The song had lines like, “Dem say I get big head, I concur….” In short, he (Timaya) did say that he couldn’t agree less with what people say about him etc. I am not writing this piece because I want to solely analyze an artiste musical work or works but to point out the fact as regards the Nigerian system. The fact that Nigeria as a country has turned to a country where the citizenry have no choice than to concur with those in power, agree with the happenings in the system and basically allow themselves to be deceived for as long as these persons are in power. And perhaps “dis-concur” with them at the polls.

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When Timaya and Don Jazzy, renowned musical artistes in Nigeria, released the track “I Concur”;  to some, it was just a track that was funky and made people dance but the seeming truth was that the song could be given more meanings than the meanings the artistes intended.

The song had lines like, “Dem say I get big head, I concur….” In short, he (Timaya) did say that he couldn’t agree less with what people say about him etc. I am not writing this piece because I want to solely analyze an artiste musical work or works but to point out the fact as regards the Nigerian system. The fact that Nigeria as a country has turned to a country where the citizenry have no choice than to concur with those in power, agree with the happenings in the system and basically allow themselves to be deceived for as long as these persons are in power. And perhaps “dis-concur” with them at the polls.

When Afrobeat Maestro, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, did mention in his song that Nigerians were suffering and smiling, he didn’t just say this because he ran out of contents or words but because it was the truth and nothing but the truth. Nigeria as a country has gone through a lot since it has gotten independence from the British in 1960; same for its citizens who have witnessed the country’s fortune dwindle down the years. Corruption and all other acts of maladministration have made the citizens of Nigeria unhappy, but what would we have them do? They still would smile, go to their places of work, or run their businesses. They seem not to have a choice.

An average Nigerian understands that the Nigerian state is bedeviled by corruption and that the economy is put in such a way that the poor get poorer while the rich get richer. Truth be told, an average Nigerian is not oblivious of the challenges rocking the country- looting of state finances by public officials, Nepotism, Bad leadership, Deceptions and lies by political office holders,” misgovernance”, misplacement of priorities by political leaders,  dwindling standard of education, nefarious activities committed by citizens, and the father of all these challenges “Corruption”. And the only people that feign ignorance of the knowledge that these challenges are not visible or will stop are only those who are deceiving themselves or maybe those at the helms of affairs who want to play down the state of things in the country.

Most times when politicians promise “Change” in the system, I laugh and roll on the floor, not because change is not a word in the dictionary but the “Long-awaited Change” in the Nigerian system is far-fetched and quite unrealistic. The “lie” that most people do not want to hear is that corruption and maybe some other challenges may not end in Nigeria. Even the youths who swindle foreigners through “Yahoo-yahoo” have premised their actions on the unavailability of jobs in Nigeria and the prevailing poverty in the country. So, the youths have concurred with the fact that the system is bad and may not solve their problems thus they decided to help themselves albeit in an illegal manner.

Let me at this point tell a short tale to serve as back up for my points. I was at a time chatting with a man who was a bit older than me. We spoke on all matters, including matters affecting the Nigerian state. At a certain point, I asked him, “Can corruption end in Nigeria?” He laughed uncontrollably, making me understand that the question I asked was more of a JAMB question. I almost felt offended due to the response he gave me but I immediately told him to outline reasons for giving me such a reply. He stated, “My guy, corruption no fit end for naija jare, make we no deceive ourselves. It is part of the system and will remain part of the system. I don’t even want it to stop…ehn now!” This statement of his was funny but it was the truth, and the same statement he made indicated reflections of what an average Nigerian felt about corruption. Alas, the man had concurred with the system, abi what should he do?

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Still on the matter, let me just brief you all of an encounter I had with a middle-aged man at a bar. At the bar, everyone was having drinks, so we saw news on the television as regards Lai Mohammed speech on revealing corrupt Nigerian politicians. The moment the news was unveiled, the man next to me hissed, loud enough for me to hear. His action prompted me to take a look at him sternly. He immediately made this comment,” All this politicians’ sef, they are all the same. PDP, APC, APGA,’ ikan kan naa ni won jare’. They all are thieves and useless; this Lai Mohammed guy is good at lying. Woo, make my children reach there too; make dey go get their share of the national cake. The truth is corruption cannot end, it will only thrive the more”. I got interested in the matter and asked the man, “Sir, what you just said is the truth but I still have the belief that Nigeria will get better, what is your opinion about that sir?” He laughed profusely and he gave this reply, “I was not joking when I spoke the other time, and everything wey I talk about corruption and all these politicians na true”. Everyone at the bar had no option than to agree with the man. He had hit the proverbial nail on the head. He concurred that all politicians in Nigeria were the same and corruption has come to stay, we corroborated and approved to it by following suit (concurring with him).

“The country is this, the country is that”, we all know but do we have a choice than to allow things be? I wished we could have revolutionaries in the country that could launch actions that will completely overhaul the system and restore sanity; however, it is a wish and wishes are not horses.

Sometimes, I look at Nigerians and I admire their endurance. I feel that they should be a ministry of endurance in Nigeria that would see that Nigerians reap the benefits of the tolerance they have showcased thus far with the system and the persons causing mishaps in the system. The moment our leaders want to launch policies that will be at a disadvantage to us; they throw it first to the masses in miniature versions hoping the masses would soon get used to it so as to pave way for execution of those repressive policies.

Let’s take a good look at Osun state where there civil servants are being paid “half salaries”. Is that good or bad? It is bad on the path of the state government of Osun. These civil servants still go to their places of work and do hope that the situation changes. Look at Imo state where the state Governor is erecting worthless statutes and creating weird ministries. Which one is the ministry of happiness and purpose fulfillment? It is unheard of. When he did these things, Nigerians lashed at him on all media; eventually, they forgot about it and just saw it as one of those things “Our politicians do”. The monies Okorocha spent in erecting statutes could be used for other meaningful things or projects.

Nigerians did not have access to petrol during the last yuletide season. Yet, we have a president who is the Minister for petroleum who told us lies about the state of things. I perceive that the federal government had plans to increase the price of fuel and deliberately or indirectly involved in the fuel scarcity matter. As many expected, Nigerians clamored that fuel be made accessible to all and sundry, even if the price would be increased.

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The youths they say are the leaders of tomorrow, and are supposed to be problem-solvers and solution-providers. I feel they should be the one to stage revolutionary actions that will occasion the proper change Nigeria needs. But, most Nigerian youths have concurred with the system and what they care about is not how the system will get better but how it would favour them. Last year, student union leaders in some Nigerian tertiary institutions were either suspended or impeached for their involvements in acts such as embezzlement, corruption etc. One of such leaders is the Former President of the Obafemi Awolowo University Students’ union for the 2016/2017 academic session that had allegations of corruption, embezzlement of funds, abuse of fuse, and sponsorship of cultists attack on students on his neck. He was impeached however before the union in OAU got proscribed. He made me believe through his actions that some youths are the miniature version of those at the “top”. Another example of  how some Nigerian youths have seen some vices in the society as normal was when I heard a story that the speaker of a faculty in a particular university, alongside some other students, were suspended by the congress of students for forgery, embezzlement etc. It was said that the suspended speaker and the other persons organized a particular event in the name of the faculty’s parliament, but they ran the event without any budget or documentations or receipts.

At this point, I want you all to know that I am not a fault-finder neither am I a pessimist. Nevertheless, every day I hope that things get better in Nigeria and transformations envelopes the system so that we all can be proud to be Nigerian citizens. Come to think of it, I do not even think that the current leadership can solve the problems the country is facing. The Chief executive officer of the country seems to be clueless. He himself is alleged to be corrupt; first, he declared that since 2003 his cattle have remained at 150,000, is it that the cows do not reproduce? One other allegation is if he even has a valid WASSCE result, that I don’t know ooo. He even has corrupt people round him and is anti-corruption war is geared towards the members of the opposition in Nigeria, which is very wrong.

Enough of the analyses, I sincerely do hope that sincere change sweeps the country and the vices in this country, especially those destroying the system, are eliminated. For that to happen, we would be asking for the following- having responsible and responsive leaders, elimination of corruption and other vices causing havoc in the system, bridging of the gap between the poor and rich, execution of beneficial policies, creating employment opportunities, allowing for a good economy etc. However, the question remains, can these things happen in Nigeria? To some, Nigeria is spoilt beyond repair, I don’t know if you concur with that.

As for me, I concur with the fact that Nigeria is in a very bad shape, and greatly in need of an overhaul or a great change. I also concur that the present crop of leaders Nigeria parades are of no good and are damaging the system. I cannot mention or x-ray all the problems in Nigeria in this piece because it would mean writing thousands of pages. Moreover, I have highlighted a few, and Nigerians though not happy are just trying to cope with a system ravaged with so many problems.

For me ooo, the first step I would do to “dis-concur” with the system is to first vote out the current leadership at the helms of affair by 2019 and vote in somebody who would at least be technically responsible and responsive to Nigerians. The question I leave you all is, “How do you intend to “dis-concur” with the system?

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