POPULAR culture remains central to the production of knowledge and communication of societal ills in Nigeria. While Nigerian hip-hop artistes smile to the bank despite their bare embrace and glamorisation of anti-social behaviours; others get endorsement from multinationals in a nation where first class products rarely get the attention of chief executives. Others however detour, reckoning with the social responsibility of communicating halting anti-social behaviours. I argue in this piece that Nigeria’s behindhand positionality in the comity of nations is owing to mixing of wrong elements in our private and public lives. This has characterised religious, economic, political and social activities. Nigeria’s socio-economic and political higgledy-piggledy and tardiness of Aso Rock is herein linked to its unholy matrimony of a variety of progressive and retrogressive actors forming exploitative alliances to edge out a perceived enemy and in the process edging out the significant ‘Others’. As a metaphoric ‘science student’, President Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Nigerians are reaping the results of this unholy matrimony.
The rave of the moment in Nigeria hip-hop circle is the ‘Science Student’ song by Olamide, the one they call Badoo and its associated ‘shakushaku’ dance. The innovative labelling of the song as ‘science student’ is patterned after students in science class who normatively carry out experiments in laboratories, mixing different substances to get the desired results such as the famous iodine solution mixing with starch to give blue-black colour. By implication, what is mixed, determines the outcome. If you mix the right substances, the outcomes become desirable and vice versa. Wrong substances (Tramadol, Bajinatu, etc) litter major streets with huge patronage; they are seen as performance enhancing drugs. The unintended consequences of the intended action are misbehaviour and poor body coordination emblematic in the staggering shakushaku dance. Wón tipo chemical pò ojúti dirty (they have mixed different substances) therefore reveals a person whose eyes become defocused, blurred and uncoordinated to the extent of being capable of doing the unexpected owing to wrong combination.
How are President Buhari and the ‘trashed’ leader, Tinubu, ‘science students’? After three serial failed attempts to win elections and control the Federal government, PMB and Tinubu did political amalgamation of ‘northern and southern’ Nigeria collapsing their structures from the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) into the new All Progressives Congress (APC). They used traitors in the Jonathan government to oust it. Rather than testing their popularity with the masses, they utilised the structures of persons with ‘dirty’ antecedents to actualise their political victory. They forgot that once the common enemy is defeated and power is won, the conspirators will engage in battle of strength and supremacy over party governance and government control. Today, Senator Oluremi Tinubu has told us how the combination of wrong political elements has made the eyes of the ‘leader’ dirty. Just like Olamide pleads with the smoky ‘science student’, PMB now saddles the aggrieved leader ejèbùré nítorí ànóbì (pacify partymen) assignment ahead of 2019.
The 2018 poor international ratings of Nigeria in corruption and poverty rightly attest to the ‘science student’ character of the present government which thrives on mixing ‘gutter’ characters with saints. The government recruited supporters across party divides, not minding that those with clean records were the only essential elements needed in a government that wants to fight corruption. After forming government, fighting corruption from within becomes a problem. They even appointed those who have come to dent their anti-corruption crusade as ‘science students’ to drive their agenda. It is to the credit of these characters and the behaviour of the ‘Oga at the Top’ that has made corruption and poverty ranking nosedive. Little wonder, kòséwé kòségbò, wón tipo chemical pò, o júti dirty, won ti po chemical pò awon omo science student.
In this revealing combination of progressive and anti-progressive forces, no propaganda seems to do the magic anymore. Why? Àsírí èko ó tití lójú ewé (pap secret is unveiled in the presence of its covering). Olamide constructs this line to underscore the revelation of hitherto impossible things which have now become the essential features of the APC government. Many traits which were packaged for Mr President before 2015 elections have fallen like a pack of cards. The clannish, nepotistic and favoristic manifestations rather than altruistic posture reverberated again in PMB’s justification of his first visit to Taraba rather than Benue and Zamfara based on his belief that more persons were killed where his tribal affinities domicile. In Benue, PMB revealed that he was truly in charge when he said he was not aware that the Inspector General of Police he ordered to relocate to Benue never stayed beyond a day! Olamide maintains that aféfé ti fé atirí fùrò mother nature, gòbe ti selè àsírí tú (the wind has blown open the hidden. trouble has started).
Now the smoke of insecurity, kidnapping, poverty, and unemployment, poor health infrastructure, poor education, poor road network and electricity continues to billow (eruku ti pojù àsírí tú); and even the pre-2015 mystical ozone layer constructed by the likes of Tinubu for Buhari as the solution to these problems is losing its protective testimonial. Today, the Buhari monstrosity of pre-2015 era is fast depleting. This is why it is funny for a Nigerian president to promise assisting Ghana, a better ranking country in fighting corruption! When ozone layer bursts (Ozone layer ti be, àsírí tú), the earth becomes warmer and more heat creates more problems. Such is the current fate of PMB as political actors begin to pitch their tenths strategically ahead of time. The fate of the corrupt party-men being ‘ill-treated’ under the present structure is to re-align with other ‘science students’ since they have become internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the instant structure.
While Tinubu may be sounding as if things are normal with the ruling party, PMB continues to search for new ‘science students’ ahead of 2019. Let those interested in fighting corruption align forces with the people who are interested in ridding the society off corruption and not curry the favours of the corrupt for electoral victory and later turn back to haunt them. To do that is, in my view, fraud and corruption. At the receiving end are the masses who suffer from ineffectual policy mixtures and implementation by APC appointed ‘science students’.
- Dr Tade, a sociologist wrote via firstname.lastname@example.org