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In Technicalities We Trust

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Technicalities in Nigeria

You are not (in)sane, Nigeria is just happening to you

technicalities in Nigeria

Nigeria should be on Netflix. It is a politician’s paradise. We now have a number one citizen whose entire history is marred with irregularities and we have supposedly rational heads justifying it with whataboutism. Someone has to write that script.

Data and hard facts are not sacred here. We now know that forgery, perjury, and other illegalities can be waived. But we won’t argue the law with learned folks. That is reserved for lawyers and the courtroom. However, we can bask in this era of technicality, and decide our role in it, for better, or for worse.

There is no simple way to actualise objectives here. For a developing country, discussing AI over tech penetration, border closure over food security, SUVs for lawmakers over health care, and Airports over road and train networks shows unseriousness. Nigeria is like a simulation, where people come to test their tolerance for the absurd. It is long overdue for a cable TV slot.

2023 – The Year Of The Technicality

A year that was pivotal for Nigeria in terms of electing a determined leadership and finding a place in the global order, turned into a violent contest, where ethno-religious sentiments were core issues, as opposed to economic growth and security. It was the status quo, retaining the old order by any means necessary. What was supposed to be transparent turned otherwise with an umpire whose body language wasn’t impartial.

The election petitions are another one for the books. The judges reading out judgments with the demeanor of MMA fighters about to brawl during weight check is not something anyone can explain to legal minds in functional societies or any informed and educated party in Nigeria, without sounding insane. The ripple effect will not be kind in impact.

The Great Nigerian Media Dance

The media in Nigeria plays an active role in the continuous desecration of democratic ethos. Well-funded propaganda machines actively churn out misinformation and disinformation. There is hardly any national daily that disseminates ‘actual’ news or portrays the mood of the nation. The art of fact-checking is now alien or skewed in logic, and poor reportage is what you can expect from newsrooms nationwide, save for a few. Social media is doing a good job of filling that void by giving us real-time eyewitness narratives. 

Media houses now rush to regurgitate – word for word – the utterances of government spokespersons, with little attempts to investigate and report facts. As we have seen, several of such comments have turned out to be misleading or outrightly false. Sadly, retraction is not a trait for these spokespersons. They double down and gaslight the public. Several masters of this art have come and gone, with the system built to accommodate new entrants to the space of public gaslighting.

Middle-Class Sabotage

The Nigerian middle classes are a special breed – the proverbial Turkeys who vote for Christmas”. Middle-class Nigerians continue to shy away from politics and how it affects their economic prosperity. This class also harbors many (pseudo) intellectuals, who dump their education in the bin in an attempt to rationalise poor economic policies. To these sycophants, the government of the day can do no wrong. A deep dive into their motive almost always reveals nepotism. They will gladly settle for crumbs at the table over broad-based middle-class growth.

Notwithstanding, the middle class remains the most (arguably) affected by bad governance, being as they are, just one sickness or job loss away from poverty and possible death. The journey to being poor can be fast and sudden, but many of these turkeys remain resilient in their pursuit of unsustainable wealth. For this, they will sacrifice ethics and engage in intellectual hara-kiri for a seat at the table. But like the tortuous journey to Europe via Agadez and Libya, most will simply never make it.

Pandora’s Box

As the rule of law, ethics, and a general sense of order increasingly slips away in this society, it is not out of place to say that Pandora’s box is now open. How else can one rationalise perjury and forgery being a prerequisite to being President or Governor of a state? The very fabric that keeps society sane and in check is being torn apart for the ambition of a few. While nations are charting ways forward, the political class, with the support of pseudo-intellectuals stay focused on the journey to nowhere.

Policy arguments are being viewed from an ethno-religious prism. The activities of state and non-state actors in the 2023 elections unveiled the role and sentiment of ethnicity in Nigeria’s politics. There is now, more than ever, a call to defend net negatives, regardless of the cost to society and the greater good. It is important to note that these issues have always existed but were somewhat downplayed, as opposed to now where people engage openly to ensure regional, ethnic, and religious supremacy rules over logic and reasoning.

Watching value systems erode will cause damage to the psyche of ordinary Nigerians. Something must give way. Eras come and go, and societies blossom or fold. History has shown us that. Currently, only one arm of government existsthe elite. They are one in thought, action, and interaction. They make and break the rules as they see fit. Other arms are merely ceremonial.

Counting the Cost

This is a story about leadership and followership, of a place striving to make basic amenities affordable and readily available. It highlights the consequences of past choices, and their impact on Nigeria’s youthful population. This is a skeletal rebuke of the ruling class – a gathering of mafioso-like individuals, who specialise in obfuscating facts and engaging in daylight evil; a party of the shameless, anti-progressives, and morally bankrupt intellectuals. This is also about the current government, whose actions and inactions edge Nigeria towards the ‘failed state’ status. We will soon find out our elastic limit – or if indeed, we have any at all.

Related Story: Introducing: The Agbada System of Government

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