I do not know if you are familiar with this picture/post and ensuing hulla-balloo http://grandioseparlor.com/2007/04/a-presidential-servant/. I am sorry that I have not yet figured out how to make short links to other posts. However:
Dare Obasanjo ( son of our about-to-be ex president) posted a picture of a domestic servant in the employ of his father at the presidential villa. the man looked dejected and deprived. the room in which he sat lacked even the most basic amenities required to make a room look like it was lived in. A mattress covered with a faded sheet of floral fabric lay on the floor and the man sat next to it under a window. In the caption under the picture, Dare referred to him as a "servant". The world took notice and people in blog ville started shouting.
I was not surprised that he had called the man a servant. The word servant has been made derogatory by man. God is the greatest servant of all but man has succeeded in dehumanising those who are in his service.
What I was more surprised about was that a servant living in our presidential villa looked like a homeless person and that Dare's comment on the backlash following the posting was that he hoped he had given people a chance to vent and that he was amused that they were all so concerned even though they had "abandoned their country".
I am glad this is a blog because in that one moment of reading that statement, resentment and disgust flooded my insides. I was not angry at him but rather at myself and the rest of my brethren. When we let thieves and rogues populate our senate, house of assemblies and gubernatorial positions, destroy our infrastructure and cause us to become second class citizens in foreign lands in our quest for peace and better futures, what do we expect as intellect from one of their children?
His father likes to think that he has done a lot of good and taken our country to another level. Yes he has. He has surrounded himself with alot of ass-kissing criminals that shade his view of how much the country has fallen apart and promoted the legalization of corruption. He is never quite aware of the gravity of the situation. Does anyone remember January 2002 when the explosions happened at the Barracks in Lagos and our dear president showed up surrounded by his retinue of imbecilic ministers and protocol officers completely decked in expensive lace to shout at the devastated families that he did not need to be there when they bombarded him with their cries of distress. Twenty minutes later, he was whisked away to another part of the country where he was wined and dined to the glory of his position and it was only when he saw the backlash that he was given a complete picture of what had happened and he issued a public apology. He has always had an over inflated view of himself (claiming he had to wait for God's directive to run for re-election; is he the only one that talks to God?) and so he has been easy to push to the role of a figurehead kept complacent and occupied with people who come to heap false praises at his feet. I wonder when he realised that he was seriously disgracing himself and his country taking international trips like no business and did any one ever hear the gists of Stella's pilferring.
Dare might not know and then again he might. Irrespective, he has been desensitized towards the bigger picture which is shame because I know for a fact that his father started off as a soldier and thus was not always wealthy. What makes me panic is that it is people like him that will be handed the reigns of the country by all their connections whilst those of us that really want to make a difference and just simply want a country where your efforts are rewarded equally and your aspirations have a chance of being realised.
My parents really were not going to send me abroad. The money was not there and at this moment, it still isn't and our prayers always ask for a legal miracle. After my mother witnessed how I was blackballed at my JAMB examination because I refused to pay the invigilators, she saw how futile her and my father's efforts to raise my brother and I in Nigeria to be upstanding and honest citizens were going to be. I left with money generated from the sale of our only house. I left as the older one to try and make a way for my family. I did not desert my country. It had no future ahead for me if at one point in time, I did not want to be caught up in social infrastructure failure, corruption and bribery, sexual harassment with no laws to defend my honour, marriage to fufil societal obligations and an every day struggle. I left because I wanted to know that there was a place were effort was rewarded in its exact proportions.
The white man's land is not really better. It has very little history that was not dependent upon the destruction and sabotage of others.
I am going to return. I only beg God that when I do, I do not have to deal with the Dare Obasanjos, his father's generation or others of the same breed of ignorance and self serving attitudes