By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed, and you can beat a fool half to death but you can’t beat the foolishness out of him. African Proverb. It’s new but it’s not news, it is news but really is it new. Everything is Rivers, either Rivers of Babylon or rumble in the rivers, emergency rivers, or legislative rivers.
The impasse in Rivers state is a contagion, we are all suffering from some form of Rivers or the other. I recall those days in school, Communicable diseases…It was not so much of anything serious until I was infected by this young girl, a medical student…I was wooing her and she had left her notes, I still recall the text, something on Communicable Disease In Africa bla bla bla… it said “An infectious disease transmissible (as from person to person) by direct contact with an affected individual, it is a contagious disease, a contagion, transmitted only by a specific kind of contact… If you hear someone say a disease is communicable what they mean is that the disease is contagious and can be spread to others. For example, HIV is a communicable disease. Much like the common cold, some diseases are viral and some bacterial, viral diseases are the type that are most commonly passed from person to person. I am guilty, you are, we all guilty.
Let me say conclusively even before my admonition takes shape, the Rivers saga will come and go. We are only victims of a contagion that spreads fast and as it is, for now the cure seems far from us. Rivers state is trending, for all the wrong reasons. I can’t recall if the Aluu 4 even got this news space, it is so much of a news item, that the several dozen kids killed in Yobe are now secondary item. I will spare us the agony of the Amaechi vs Dame Patience, and Jonathan war, in the contagion called Rivers, for the following reasons… Gov. Amaechi and President Jonathan are birds of the same plumage, products of same faculty of PDP, the institute called Nigeria. Forget what a section of the media tells you. Both men have failed their people, and have only succeeded in giving Nigerians another ‘Oputa’ Panel. Something to engage us while they loot away and we create sainthood of otherwise political miscreants. For example, before the fight at the ‘dis’ hallowed chambers of the RSHA went contagious, the Senate almost did its own fisticuffs over state of the nation address.
We have forgotten Dino Meleye reloaded, and while it is a subject of debate, these fights largely show the poor cerebral quality of these men on top, and the high amount of hooliganism quotient in them. Soyinka, Nwabueze, Falana and co, with respect, these names have only shown how we all have caught the disease, what has Dame Patience done, that Turai did not do? Really is it news or new? Nigerians learn slowly when they manage to, but sadly forget quickly, but for increased awareness, the social media, and a big plus–a growing democracy. The contagion called Rivers is only a repeat episode of Jos, Ibadan, Yola, Ekiti, etc. Of all that I have read, known and what informed sources say, at best, this is a crude fight for power, on the other hand, it is a fight with no moral, no agenda, a fight of ego and on a final count–there is no fight at all, it is all diversionary, nothing will come out of it, we won’t even learn from it.
What saddens me is that Nigerians have refused to learn, I hate this psycho-make of us. Unfortunately it is partly who we are. We are either fighting ourselves or fighting for those that are misgoverning or looting us blind because we share faith, creed and not on any defined ideology. “Soyinka, Nwabueze, others condemn Rivers Assembly crisis”, “Jonathan is a man of peace – Presidency blames Amaechi, calls Soyinka to order”, “Patience Jonathan is my Jesus Christ… –anti-Ameachi lawmaker says”, “Rivers Assembly: An extension of 16>19”, “Amaechi writes Jonathan, NASS, demands redeployment of state police commissioner”. “Injured Rivers lawmaker to be flown abroad for treatment”, “Rivers crisis: Gov. Amaechi shows rare maturity”, “Rivers State: “Try Us and See” Melaye’s Group Dares Presidency”, and finally, let me ask, does any of these headlines defy expectations?
I will end with this small gist, its author is unknown: There once was a farmer who discovered that he had lost his watch in the barn. It was no ordinary watch because it had sentimental value for him. After searching high and low among the hay for a long while; he gave up and enlisted the help of a group of children playing outside the barn. He promised them that the person who found it would be rewarded. Hearing this, the children hurried inside the barn, went through and around the entire stack of hay but still could not find the watch. Just when the farmer was about to give up looking for his watch, a little boy went up to him and asked to be given another chance. The farmer looked at him and thought, “Why not? After all, this kid looks sincere enough.” So the farmer sent the little boy back in the barn. After a while the little boy came out with the watch in his hand! The farmer was both happy and surprised and so he asked the boy how he succeeded where the rest had failed. The boy replied, “I did nothing but sit on the ground and listen. In the silence, I heard the ticking of the watch and just looked for it in that direction.”
You can educate a fool, but you cannot make him think, a whole lot of us as Nigerians have refused to sit on the ground and listen, we are all talking at the same time. Are we really engaging in any critical-problem solving manner? We just do not want to think, or maybe we are…only time will tell.