Ah, Nigeria. She never fails to amaze and amuse me.
When General Muhammadu Buhari was declared winner of the just concluded presidential elections, a large section of Nigeria celebrated. Of course, the celebrations were in order considering that history was made. I honestly never thought I would see the day in Nigerian politics where an opposition candidate defeats the incumbent president. Well, it happened in my time.
The results of the elections which basically relegated the ruling party to a regional party and transformed the opposition party to the ruling party was testament that democracy has indeed come of age in Nigeria; a great thing of joy I will say.
While the affluent with tentacles in the incoming government popped Champagne in celebration, okada riders took to the streets especially in the Northern part of Nigeria to perform life-threatening stunts to the cheer of an admiring crowd but one man decided to proceed on a walking expedition (trekking) to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as his own way of celebration.
As the story of this man unfolded, we were told that the man had made the said promise if General Buhari emerged as winner of the elections and being a man of his word, he kept to the promise.
Nigeria watched keenly as the man trekked through various states till he finally got to his destination. He was given a hero’s welcome. He attained the status of a temporary media celebrity through a bet he made. While the nation was still very much in the throes of euphoria following the outcome of the elections, nobody ever thought to ask some underlying questions but not to worry, his stardom faded as quickly as expected and we continued the slow trudge to transition admist the inequities that bedevilled us.
I was however shocked again when I read in the news today that another man, while taking notes on the fanfare generated by the first trekker decided to carry out his own but this time for the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan. The man has decided to trekk to the president’s hometown in Otuoke to prepare for the arrival of the soon-to-be-ex-president. The man was quoted to have said he was doing this to acknowledge the achievements of President Jonathan while in office.
Then I heard another, and another, AND ANOTHER!
What is the meaning of this? Why will a grown man decide to abandon his job, his family and trekk for days for a self-appointed task that serves no useful purpose? Could his boss be that nice or did he apply for a leave of absence or is he just looking for something to pass time as he’s unemployed?
Of course, people have already asked me why didn’t I say something when someone decided to trekk for Buhari? Am I so anti-Jonathan that I castigate everything that concerns him.
See the difference: the originator had a bet, a ridiculous one all the same but a bet nonetheless. This other guy is keeping to the very Nigerian tradition of flogging a dead horse. Yes, I said it!
A section of Social media has been full of praise for this new entrant into the trekking competition we were blissfully unaware of. Many have lauded his decision as noble and patriotic while the other half has seen this for what I see it as; a pissing contest and maybe an attempt to scavenge the crumbs of the national cake left on the master’s table.
Whatever it is, this competition will reveal to the thinking mind that unemployment has got Nigeria in a chokehold. A man who is gainfully employed will have his mind completely barred from political shenanigans such as these. His attention will be fully transfixed on productive activity where he ekes out a living but you know what they say; the idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
The issue of unemployment is a matter of national importance that must be addresses with all alacrity by the incoming government to save us from this folly that is gathering momentum.
Picture credits: The fun part of the Internet