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Clapping With One Hand ~ Jonah Ayodele @Obajeun

The human mind is truly the factory of the future. When I got an email from a politician requesting that I become his speech writer based on recommendation he got from some unnamed quarters, I almost lost my mouth to French laughter. There is a new game in town, those idle children, Facebook addicts and twittering gossips must be cautioned with baits. I did not think twice, these string operators cannot be my equal in logic. I won this voiceless battle effortlessly, Farouk Lawan has a big lesson to learn from me. It was a triumph of the human mind and its visionary conceptual capability. In the ceaseless struggle for supremacy, the human mind is ever driven to the ultimate frontiers and limits of paradigmatic thinking—the zone normally reserved for the extra-genius. My predators are actually clapping with one hand, welcome to the land of deception.
Unfortunately, we are saddled with a leadership that is wobbled in its contradictory priorities, a leadership with no mind to engage imagination. In the relentless battle for global political ascendancy, armies of the mind take up position every minute. In a globalised world, infirmity of the mind is the greatest political and physiological ailment. Since no nation is an island unto itself, every human society is subject to maximum buffeting by the tumultuous wind of change and innovation. The repercussions of innocence are as swift as the rewards of leadership excellence. But because we are constantly sucking the breast of optimism, we hope to make sound by clapping with one hand.
There is no point in seeking to return to an El Dorado which never existed in the first instance. This is where nostalgia becomes a form of psychiatric disorder. One sure thing about the organic society is that it is always gone. It is just a stick to beat the recalcitrant reality of the present. This delusionary foundation of the nation has led to momentous blood shedding and population culling on an industrial scale which goes on till this very moment. Famously, Major Chukwumah Kaduna Nzeogwu warned that he was ready to cull just one percent of the populace if that is what it will take to put Nigeria on the path of rectitude and righteousness. The ensuing civil war probably did just that but 40 years after, there is still no righteousness and rectitude in the land. We have a history of clapping with one hand.
This is the order of battle, now overt, now covert, which has defined modern Nigeria and the struggle for cabalocracy. But while the battle rages at both the intellectual and political fronts, we cannot ignore the fact that we love to chase shadows. The argument is that no matter the complexion of the sky, what the bird eats is what the bird flies with. Yet despite sharing in the continental aberration of non-democratic elections, Nigeria remains a unique and perplexing paradox. In the last presidential election, power was prised away from a power cabal that has held the nation hostage either directly or by sly proxy since independence. Jonathan’s mandate appeared to have been divinely ordained; a darkly mysterious intervention in the body politic. It spoke to the possibility of a new beginning if a famously “shoeless” boy from the tidal backwater of Otueke could accede so effortlessly to the Nigerian imperial presidency.
However, our leaders have not brought any superior cultural values and intellectual mettle to bear on the governance of a very difficult nation. As Obajeun has said before, our leaders might have been promoted beyond their competence. This is what happens with the rise of a restive society brimming with unhappy consciousness, when the aggregate of oppositional wisdom trumps the disaggregate of inept leadership. Our leaders’ crime seems to be their fundamental inability to properly read and situate political turbulence and an approaching hurricane Isaac. Yet the poor formerly shoeless fellow from Otueke is not the cause of Nigeria’s fundamental problem. He is merely a symptom and symbol of its alarming dedegeneracy. We are popular for clapping with one hand, like chasing shadows in London Olympics.
Our leaders never had the symbol of change agents. We have been looking for signs and signals of that new beginning, of a great stirring of the huge black behemoth. Alas, it has turned out to be a backbreaking mirage; a damp chase that suffers a huge disconnect from the great yearning of the Nigerian multitude. Our current leaders have turned out to be a continuation of the past. We have been saddled with a mere change of personnel rather a change in the personality of the post colonial state. Until we engage our mind and rationalize why we keep clapping with one hand, our shadows will always elude us.
Rather than a genuine national consensus, this was the cocktail of contradictions that has borne the Jonathan presidency aloft and may yet shipwreck it. It requires a sober rectitude, tactical astuteness and strategic brilliance to plot one’s way out of conflicting passions. But for a man who has found himself in a great foxhole, Jonathan has continued to dig in with frenetic fury. Apart from a series of unforced errors, Jonathan has been helped along in his perilous misadventure by a string of inexperienced special advisers who will soon publish book for the angry populace to consume.
The masses may have voted en-masse all right, but they lack the mind and logic to see this through. Once the vote-counters appear to shortchange them, they desert in droves to look for petrol cans or burn their voters’ card in a ritual act of electoral suicide and political self-immolation. This brings no results, we always seek what never existed. In case my language is not clear to you, what I am saying is that so long we keep clapping with one hand, fighting corruption by appointing Okupe as Aso Villa lion and keeping rotten Petroleum Minister, by shielding thiefing business moguls and lawmakers (Otedola/Farouk Lawan) through never-ending undefined probes and investigations, by seeking a critic-free society, by showing laxity to protect the citizenry, our shadows will continue to laugh at us.
It is me, @Obajeun

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