An Unpromising Generation: So What If Sadiq Abacha Insulted Wole Soyinka? By Shina Orodele
You must understand that it is in this part of the world called Nigeria that I can start an article with the above line without being afraid of being hit immediately by the gods even before completing it.
In a real world I would not bring the name ‘Abacha’ near ‘Soyinka’ because it will be like committing a sacrilege. It is an abominable act like slaughtering a pig in a mosque. Kamari! But alas we are not living in a real world. Ours is a cryptic world where odd and strange things happen but what makes it even really cryptic is that those strange and odd things are no longer seen as strange or odd because they happen regularly that they have lost their strangeness and oddity to us.
It is in this part of the world that a man can be sentenced to life imprisonment for stealing a mobile phone that doesn’t worth N100,000.00 while a man that stole unnamed billions of naira would be asked to pay fine of half a million naira and afterward swept the case under the carpet. And so you should understand when your friends and family felt bad that you were arrested for stealing half a million naira and not billions of naira. You would wonder how people would encourage you to steal at all not to talk of huge amount. It is because they understand the cryptic nature of our world.
So you will pardon me for starting this article with that line and so you should know I will even build a followership if I even meant it. I will build a followership If I came out and provide justification why the son of Sani Abacha should speak so stupidly to someone that is old enough to be his grandfather, some one that when his name is to be mentioned they add words like world-acclaimed, renown, literary giant, celebrated, legendary etc in contrast to when his father’s name is to be mentioned, they add words like dictator, tyrant, usurper, murderer, looter etc. Not because I would be making sense but just for what we are – occupants of the cryptic world. I would even have more followers if I did not belong to the same tribe with Wole Soyinka. Before you know it, no one will be looking at the content of what I wrote but that I belong to a different tribe with Wole Soyinka and the internet will become a battle field where missile of words will be thrown at one another.
You would need to look at the comments made by our youths on the internet for you to realise that no doubt ours is a cryptic world and Sadiq Abacha found a habitable nest to lay his eggs of insult to one of the greatest men the world has known while the world most irresponsible youths applaud him.
In case you still wish to understand more about our cryptic world, let me take you back in time when a man who forcefully enthroned himself as the president of the country ordered the killing of everybody that stood against him, he made the Central Bank of Nigeria his personal asusu (money box) and withdrew funds at will then stashed them in foreign bank accounts. It was a restless moment when people who did not openly oppose him but doubted their loyalty were framed and imprisoned. He formed killer squad who answered the message of death for him. He had no rule of engagement as he killed and stole at will until Mr Death came to visit him in the form of prostitutes and thus went the way he came.
Now back to our cryptic world. This same man – Sani Abacha was to be celebrated as patriot and as God (God does everything in our cryptic world) would have it, one of the few men, Wole Soyinka, that stood up to him back then was to be celebrated along with him. Soyinka refused to be put in the same class with a murderer; he refused to be linked with a thief. And what? The son of a usurper told him to keep shut, the son of a thief told him who gave him the gut to speak. The son of a murderer blamed him for surviving the killer bullets of his father. Before you know it, this same son that in a saner clime wouldn’t dare raise his voice in the corner of his room not to talk of replying a noble laureate who is respected for always fighting for the masses has built a followership among the youths mostly from his region.
I read some comments made by our youths and wonder that if Wole Soyinka after feeling disappointed about the recklessness of his generation called them a wasted generation what will a sincere and practical person call my generation? Perhaps, an unpromising generation. There is no doubt that our generation is worse than Wole Soyinka’s generation which is antepenultimate to ours. We are the generation of gross irresponsibility, a generation that has refused to take its destiny into its hands and still allow the recklessness of the previous generations control us and instead of us to buckle up to correct the damages made by the previous generations we exert our energy deliberating whether we should condemn their bad deeds or not. And since we are so debased and injudicious enough to even think we need to condemn vicious acts of our past leaders like Sani Abacha, then how do we even say we need to make corrections. Afterall some of us have justified their deeds and have even gone ahead to praise them naming them as patriots of our nation. Is it not ideal that patriots should be celebrated and emulated? So who will be the next Sani Abacha? Who will be the next patriot?
I have seen many baseless reasons posited by some of these online commentators on why Abacha should be praised and Wole Soyinka reproached and kept wondering how disoriented many of them are. However, I stopped wondering when I nudged myself back to the reality of our cryptic world where such skewed commentaries are applauded. I must say that I saw many people supporting and raining praises on Abacha not because they meant it deep inside of them but because he was from their region. It is not new as such strange actions have become a normal occurrence. When a public servant is accused of corruption and advised to resign, our unpromising youths are the one that will stage a protest that such person should be retained. Their reason; he belongs to their tribe. It is now so evident that no matter how corrupt or evil you have performed in the government you will always find some irresponsible youths in your home who will defend you because you belong to the same tribe with them. Pathetic! What an unpromising generation.
There was this comment that why did Wole Soyinka act cowardly by taking on the dead and not the living and you wonder if such commenter had gone through school and if such person read at all. If he did he would have known that since the existence of Nigeria, Wole Soyinka has never been for once silent in speaking against any government that refused to perform his duties to the people of Nigeria. But if one looked deeply one will understand that such person knew that but being the people we are – the cryptic beings, he decided to pretend he was dumb and not to have read about all the valiant acts of Wole Soyinka against several irresponsible governments. He pretended not to have read about how Wole Soyinka escaped death by whisker from the hands of his killer hero Abacha.
Another wrote that Wole Soyinka has no moral stand to reprimand any leader because he himself has contributed to the woes of this country. His reason; he was the founder of cultism on Campuses. Like the above commenter, he pretended to be dumb and not to have read that Wole Soyinka never established any cult group but was one of the founders of a fraternity called Pirates Confraternity. He pretended not to have known that the club was founded to protect the interest of the students back then from oppression of all kinds. He pretended that the club was never known to have committed any sort of crimes or immoral acts. He pretended not to have known that members of the club were respected and many students wanted to be part of the club but the club set standard which could only be met by the bests of the students. He pretended that he didn’t read about how some other fraternity clubs were established and with time, evolved to different groups which we now know as cult groups. He pretended that he didn’t know that it was several years after Wole Soyinka and other visionary students formed the Pirates Confraternity that the existing cult groups became terror groups. Perhaps he didn’t take his time to look and understand the difference between the fraternity group Wole Soyinka and his colleagues founded and the cult groups on our campuses today. I don’t know if he pretended or actually did not know that Pirates Confraternity has been banned on campus over two decades ago and the reason for the ban. Someone need to tell him to go and study how cult groups came to existence and how they became terror groups, the roles of the society and government in the present campus cultism.
To those mischievous people who although know the truth yet keep trying to link Wole Soyinka to campus cultism, would a sensible person ask Mohammed to take responsibility for the acts of Boko Haram and all the people using the name of Islam to commit atrocities because he founded Islam or that Jesus should take responsibility for the acts of Rev King and all the fake pastors swindling their church members because he is the essence of Christianity? The question is for them to answer. I doubt if they would continue to link Wole Soyinka with campus cultism after they had honestly answered the question. Funny me, I have forgotten we live in a cryptic world. Of course, they will still come out and posit the same baseless points after all how do we know they are from the cryptic world.
One funny youth was so proud of himself to have spotted how Sadiq Abacha ‘defeated’ Wole Soyinka based on what Soyinka said about how the lives of an elected president and his wife were snuffed out under the authority of Abacha. He was glad that his genus hero, Sadiq Abacha was able to discover that the elected president did not die when his father was alive. It is unfortunate that our people in our usual cryptic manner instead of helping him and his genius hero by educating them that planned order such like the assassination of MKO Abiola does not end with the death of the person that makes the order if the order is in favour of the power that be but left them celebrating their foolishness in the market centre while they watched with amusement. They refused to educate them that for the fact that the authoriser of a project was not the one that completed the project doesn’t mean they will rob him off his initiative by not making reference that it was actually him that authorised the project. What I expected them to do is to challenge Wole Soyinka to substantiate his point but nay they are too intelligent to think in that line.
The statement I found most grotesque was the one made by a youth that instead of Wole Soyinka to help us find solution to our uncountable problems he was talking about the past and the dead. The youth challenged Wole Soyinka to face our living corrupt politicians and leave the dead to rest. What!? Where this being does came from? Find no further, he is one of us, he belongs to this cryptic world, he belongs to our generation, the generation of irresponsible and unpromising youth who are chronically lazy and wants an old man who during his prime had done his bit, a man who had done what needed to be done as a citizen of Nigeria and of the world to still come out and fight for them.
Our lazy youths want the old man to come out to do what he did when he was young as they while they sit in the comfort of their fathers’ houses collecting pocket money at their late 20s and 30s from their mamas and papas and use part of it to buy recharge cards to recharge their phones only to later come online insulting one another on frivolous issues and not able to act on anything that will make the country progress.
They want the like of Wole Soyinka to take to the street and protest for them. If we were in anyway responsible, the like of Wole Soyinka will not be the one pointing out the misconducts and disgraceful acts of the government to them. But the old man after looking at his children and grandchildren wallowing in laziness and unable to take their destiny in to their hands, will like a true patriarch who can never sit down idle and watch his house on fire, come out to do what they couldn’t do.
It is high time we come out of our cocoon and accept that we have been irresponsible for long. It is high time we agreed that we have allowed others to decide our destiny for us while we fool around. It is high time we stopped supporting criminals or corrupt politicians just because they come from our region. It is high time we spoke truth to ourselves and come together as one family and build our home Nigeria or else ours will be far worse than a wasted generation and while they are looking for a suitable name to call us, in the meantime, we will be considered as unpromising generation and the wasted generation will continue to toss us around as they want with the singular reason that we are too irresponsible and disinclined to entrust the future of this country in our hands – which is fact.
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