The Monkeyfication of The Nigerian People
There is no set of people in the World that has been monkeyfied like Nigerians. Students of the English World are amazed, I am sure, about my use of such a word non-existent in any dictionary of the Queen’s tongue. But if a word like Vuvuzela could find its way into the dictionary; then I think monkeyfied, monkeyfication and all other variants of the word must be allowed too. Lets start with a definition of the various words.
Monkeyfication : A deliberate attempt at undermining the intelligence of a people without a recourse to their possession of a brain and will. An obnoxious replay of the concept involving bananas and monkey.
Monkeyfied : A successful act of distorting history and law even in the clearest situation.
I will stop my journey to new word construction now and move on to the sore in my heart. Remember the award Nigerians got affirming us as the happiest set of people in the World? The World monkeyed us. That was a painful reminder of the extent to which our psyche has been destroyed. A nation full of potentials but blinded with so much greed and evil. A nation where politics and kidnapping are fast becoming the only prosperous business. Lets just examine a few sectors where we have been monkeyed.
The Monkey Independence of 1960
The union jack was finally lowered and the green-white-green flag designed by Mr. Akinkunmi was hoisted. The new super power has just been born. God bless the Queen replaced by Arise O Compatriots. A country touted to be the emancipator of the black race, the black race’s most populous nation – a nation with the 2nd biggest city in Africa, Ibadan. Ibadan that elicited so much emotion from the poem of JP Clarke. The country with the groundnut pyramid in the North, rubber in the East and cocoa to the West. I was not born then but I can feel the euphoria of the reality of a won battle, a people freed from the shackles of colonialism.
But alas, it was all a facade. My first realization of this sad fact came from the book written by the famous African nationalist and statesman – Kwame Nkhruma titled – Neo-Colonialism, the last stage of imperialism (1965). He was of the opinion that Imperialism just shifted for a more subtle form of slavery. According to Wikipedia –
Neocolonialism is a term used by post-colonial critics of developed countries’ involvement in the developing world. Writings within the theoretical framework of neocolonialism argue that existing or past international economic arrangements created by former colonial powers were or are used to maintain control of their former colonies and dependencies after the colonial independence movements of the post-World War II period.
Recently, I read the second autobiography of Wole Soyinka titled – You Must Set Forth At Dawn and see below an excerpt.
Recent memoirs by former colonial officers revealed how crooked that beginning was. The elections that placed a government in power at the center were rigged – by the British! John Bull was not about to leave an independent Nigeria under the control of any uppity radicals – as the southern nationalists – the East and the West – were perceived. Thus, on instructions from the British Home Office, even the Nigerian census was falsified, giving an artificial majority to a North that was largely feudalist by tradition and conservative in political outlook. The census was actually based on sample head counts- random or selective, no one knew – which were then roughly multiplied by the acreage of the land mass, irrespective of actual population densities!
Isn’t it very clear that our monkeyfication started from the beginning? We were deceived into thinking that a new nation so independent has been formed but alas- it was a smokescreen. Interestingly, rigging has never stopped being a part of us – the foundation was wrong.
Various Military Incursions and the Lies
Each of Nigeria’s Military coup came with the same message – The condemnation of the past regime. Each one accused its predecessor either civilian or military of corruption and we bought it most of the time. By the time the new regime settled in, we knew better. They promised to spend just a few months and organize elections but we know how many years were spent by the likes of Gowon, Babangida (Who by the way wants to come and collect what he left behind) and Abacha (Whose family and friends are trying to beatify).
We know how Babangida deceived and took us on a jolly ride from 1985 to 1993. We remember vividly how a nation voted massively for Abiola on June 12 1993 and the evil one annulled the election. How can we forget how we were monkeyed with a new phenomenon in modern politics – the Interim National Government, a very crafty and stupid creation of a warped mind. And who better to head it than a kinsman of Abiola’s.
What have done to deserve such cruelty? What have we done to deserve such monkeyfication?
Nollywood and the Monkeying business
Yeah I know what I am saying. This is just to prove that every facet of our lives is filled with a propensity to monkey people. I do sit through the torture of watching Nollywood movies once in a while. I find myself drawn to the absurd ones maybe due to my Nigerian blood and our affinity to want monkeyness. Or how can I go through the hell of watching a film set in 1950 where the lead actor was using GSM phones and driving a 2009 Toyota Avensis? How monkeying loving can one be not to run when an actress wears the same hairstyle throughout a film that spanned 12 years. I can go on and on. But we keep watching. Same can be said of a Yakubu who has set a new World record of the most absurd miss in football history. But I can bet that 1 year down the line when Eneramo misses a goal, we would call for Yakubu to be reinstated to the Super Eagles. What a people we are.
The Monkeyfication of Ogun People
I cannot finish this piece without remembering the people of the Gateway State. A state so close to Lagos that the spirit of excellence being exhibited by Babatunde Raji Fasola should be seeping to them. But Otunba Gbenga Daniel has other plans. He doesn’t like photocopying, hence he decided that a dance of shame is the best way to go. Talk about ingenuity, and you are talking about the man OGD.
He is such a political maverick. Wow, a man who could pull such a stunt must be given a Nobel for stupidity. Or in what other place could a governor convince legislators loyal to him to impeach a sitting speaker with 9 out of 26 members present. Even unread citizens who take part in Cooperative society know about the word – QUORUM. So how can one tell me that OGD is oblivious of such a word. It is part of the monkeyfication business. This business didn’t start from the impeachment but from ridiculous attempt at monkeying the future of Ogun State with the 100B Naira bond. I wonder how some people think. Kudos must be given to the legislators who stood their ground, at least they have shown that a few of us cannot be easily monkeyed.
Our problem in Nigeria is not that we are illiterates or ignorant. Our problem is that we know we are being raped and killed but not ready to take action. Our problem is that unlike the real monkey in a zoo who has no choice but depends on the magnanimity of the zoo visitor who hands him bananas to dance for him; we do have a choice but we agree to every manipulation of the few idiots ruining our nation.
Maybe one day when we look inwards and see how bad things are, maybe we will wake up from our slumber and take charge. Maybe people will register to vote this time. Maybe they will also vote. Maybe credible candidates will start campaigning early and better than the thieves who are the only ones making noise at the moment.
Maybe one day, we will refuse to be monkeyed. Until then, I keep my fingers crossed!