Run before Nigeria swallows you – Viola Okolie

Run before Nigeria swallows you – Viola Okolie

Hey you, are you on social media making jokes about issues that would frustrate a “normal” human being?

When you heard that LaiLai Mohammed had planned to create a billion jobs from the dressing of masquerades, rather than bury your head in shame while contemplating the fact that as the rest of the world was hurrying to beat each other in new and exciting innovations, Nigeria was planning to bury it’s youth in raffia skirts; did you instead concentrate on making memes; hurling jokes and asking your friends to submit applications to “Ijele plc” as masquerade handlers and dressers?


When the duo of Kachikwu and Osinbajo did not know whether they had removed subsidy on petroleum products or if the subsidy just got tired of existing in the Nigerian matrix and wandered off to try it’s luck in Ghana, did you start making jokes about the silent “p” in psychology? Or did you quietly recalculate the household budget and make a mental map that would take you from point A to point B in the shortest possible time in order to conserve fuel? Did you quietly find a filling station and queue up, purchasing PMS at almost a 100% mark up without bothering with the whys and wheretofores of the increase? Just gimme fuel and lemme go?

Do you pause long enough in the contemplation of the sorrows the ruling class has foisted on us to insult members of the ruling class who do not partisan the way you do? And do you do this while making excuses for members of the ruling class who partisan the way you do? Are you honest only when it comes to manufacturing propaganda and lies in defence of your pet politician? Even to the extent of declaring yourself  criminal and admitting to being “fantastically corrupt”, sanctimoniously condemning yourself even without the benefit of a trial in order to excuse the oral flatulence of the national gate keeper?

Do you condemn lynch mobs with long, flowery, gag-inducing updates embellished with the self-righteous contents of your little mind? And then turn around to join the mob baying for the blood of yet another “thief” who has been tried, found guilty and sentenced by the court of public opinion? His defence hastily patched together by the same people accusing him of wrongdoing and presented before a competent court of media jurisdiction? Do you think it is right that an individual is being held in contravention of court orders for running a rogue radio outside the shores of this country while “Libyans” are allowed to roam the country and pillage and murder at will?

Do you have trust issues?

And that is a serious question for me and might not mean what you think it does?

Do you for instance, trust someone who’s every word has been a lie, every promise has been a deception and every action has been a disservice? Have you cloaked anyone in undeserving robes of integrity and mistaken every flatulence induced scowl for a “no nonsense disposition”? Has the word trust recently found it’s way into your dictionary, sneaking into sentences like “we never trusted the 7 month old to use the money well even though he had not given us reason to mistrust him, but we trust the one year old who has delivered nothing but grief since he was birthed”?

Are you reading this now and thinking, “what nonsense is this one talking about now? Sai Baba!”

If you have answered yes to all of the above, then congratulations. You are a bonafide Nigerian. It does not matter on what side of the partisan divide you find yourself, even if you have pretensions to a fictitious “fence”, you ARE a Nigerian and trust me on this, even if fuel sells for N1,000 per litre; tomatoes relocate to pluto and the price of goods and services skyrocket until you would need a wheelbarrow full of naira to purchase an egg, you will be good.

You will survive this.

You will live to worship your pet politician and count your meals thusly: one-zero-one; or one-one-zero; or zero-zero-one; or zero-one-zero. While your pet politician zooms overhead in his private jets fuelled by your sweat, blood and tears; and his kith and kin count their meals thusly: pre-breakfast-breakfast-midbreakfastlunchsnack-lunch-midlunchdinnersnack-dinner-nightcap plus one more for the road.

If the combination of numbers above made meaning to you, congratulations. De ja vu!

If you however found it hard to see yourself fitting into any of the scenraios described above… Andrew, what are you still doing in Nigeria?

You better check out before Nigeria swallows you whole without even an obligatory chew.

Don’t worry about the rest of us, we’ve got this.

*in Fela’s voice*

Shuffering and shmiling…

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