I Am Not Man Enough

Last Saturday elections in Nigeria has finally exposed me to what seems to be the latest theories on self- evaluation. At least, it has helped me considerably to know myself. And I have decided not to pretend anymore. If I could do nothing, or refused to do anything while my house, my business, indeed, my whole life was being heavily mortgaged by a PDP "do-or-die" charade election, then I do not deserve to be called a man; neither do I deserve any respect from my children, and my children's children.

I have this passionate believe that writing about the ills of my society makes me a courageous person. I may be one of those citizen writers who wallow in delusions of competence, thinking pen is mightier than the sword. Now I think I should know better. Now I think I know being a father does not really make me a man. Now I know that doing everything possible to take care of my family – nuclear and extended - does not even make me a man.

 It is not that I expect anything different from the result of recently "concluded" gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections in Nigeria. Iwu's preparation caused little surprise. In fact, I consider any kind of mourning over the outcome as self-pity, and self-seeking. Anyone shielding crocodile tears may have been following Nigeria's events but without aptness. I am compelled to say here that, any Nigerian that did not see the massive rigging in advance should be tried in Zamfara State, where a do-or-die punishment is awaiting them.

In fact, I am deeply disappointed in those who claim to be the watchdog of the society but now crying over massive rigging. It is equally disappointing hearing the so-called intellectuals faking surprises now. 2007 "elections" – if you don't know – had been manipulated right from the onset. It all started in 1999, and please don't ask me how. I knew this but what did I do? Nothing other than to wait for others to bring out the man in me.

Meanwhile, you can continue pretending as if you did not have pre-conceived opinion that, PDP would use everything in its arsenal to out-do other parties – in terms of anything under the scorching sun. Continue hiding under your warped objectivity. Continue to indulge in self-deceit; continue to make an ass of yourself. Just continue.   

I mean how would you term this statement from a PDP top notch: "my chairman wants victory for us in all the 36 states of the country. I will not argue with my chairman. But if we can leave a few for the opposition so that we can be a truly democractic country, I will not object to that. We can leave just a few for them. But when I informed our governors of such idea, they rejected to volunteer their states". And what would you think if that top member happens to be Mr. President alias Mr. Democrat?

See, I sit quietly and comfortably here in a white man's land, waiting for the real men in Nigeria to start it. I spoof Nigerians, especially the youths, and pour scorn on them for not defending their votes. I blame them for allowing themselves to be used either as thugs or thuggery. I lampoon them for falling for the rhetoric - of inconsiderate leaders. I often wonder why they have refused to fight for their rights.

I curse the man or woman who had created Nigeria. I pick the group picture of past Nigerian leaders and burn it. I look at myself in the mirror and I see a coward. I mock myself for living a coward life. I walk ambly to the bacony of our rented tenth floor. I had escaped to this Oyinbo land where men and women built with their courage. Real men had fought to make this land worth living; they had fought to make sure every election is being conducted in a situation that progress can be made or advancement possible; where voters would not be subjected to acute mental or physical pain.

Things are now becoming clearer to me. Even when I had the opportunity to get rid of one of the "owners" of Nigeria, I was too timid to pull the trigger. Instead of fighting, I had run away - to a white man's land. I prefer reaping the fruit of other's labour instead of planting my own. I embrace a foreign god, often use my precious time  in churches and mosques asking God to bless Nigeria when in fact, I should hold every Nigerian government accountable for their misgovernance. I should fight. When would I be man enough to stand up for my rights? When would I be man enough to fight against unnecessary woe?

I don't really care about who wins elections because I strongly believe the same people will still be there – except Pat Utomi – at least to experience what a technocrat can do. That is why I am angry. I am angry with myself. I am angry at Lord Lugard. I am angry at Awolowo, Zik, Aminu Kano, Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello, Aguiyi Ironsi - for failing to see 1975/76, 1979,1983, 1993, 1999, 2003, 2007, and beyond. I am angry at Shehu Shagari for being visionless. I am angry at Buhari for dismantling a chance at getting started. I know I am angry than the angry man. And I am sad – for not being man enough.

It is now clear to me that I have been hiding under the keyboards to escape from the larger task. If I didn't have flair for writing, perhaps I would have put my energy, anger, sadness in leading or participate in an action that would have revolutionalized million minds. Now I know I am not a radical by nature even though I admire certain radicalism. This is why a Ehindero can continue to fool me, ranting about the reason behind the ban on political rallies in the country.

Hear him: "As a result of the violence perpetrated by hoodlums following the release of the results of the governorship/House of Assembly elections in a number of states in the federation, it has become imperative for the police to take a strict action to prevent further breach of peace".

The fact that Ehindero is using hoodlums as an excuse for banning political rallies ahead of presidential poll, exposes the kind of police he heads, and of course, a shame to his uniform and status. Does this mean that social miscreants called Area Boys have uncanny power to direct the course of Nigeria's election? By the way, what is the usefulness of those gun weilding soldiers who had been unshackled to patrol the street – in a "democratic" Nigeria? 

Even then I hesitate to join Michael Oluwagbemi's (busanga) call that, "The honorable thing to do will be to start training a squad force to take out the people bringing the shame on Nigeria. If you are a man enough, sign up". The funny and unsettling thing is that, I quite agree with this emotional outburst. But the fear in me has not left me yet, hence the need to continue shouting Alleluyah Messiah till thy kingkong come.

One Andre Gide says, "Be faithful to that which exists within yourself." But do I even know what exists within me anymore? My life has been wasted because of my lack of courage. At least, shouldn't I preserve my children's life by fighting the forces that had rendered me unable? What is it that I really want to gift my children? Can't I be man enough once in my life and fight for my children's future just like chimpanzee or cat protects its offspring? Even if that would cause me my own life? Hum, fate loves the fearless, says James Russell Lowell.

© 2007 copyright                                      mysmallvoice@yahoo.com  



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Re: I Am Not Man Enough
Remi Oyeyemi posted on 04-18-2007, 18:28:09 PM
See, because you hit the nail on the head, and make the "keyboard heroes" re-examine themselves, they seem to have refrained from commenting on this piece. Or may be I am rushing to judegment. Let us wait and see. This is because this is the truth about many of us. [I]ojo idajo ti sun mo itosi nitori ni aipe, a o gba ara wa l"owo iya.[I]
Re: I Am Not Man Enough
Exxcuzme posted on 04-18-2007, 19:37:40 PM
ou know what? you might not be a coward after all. A lot of well meaning Nigerians have died to make the country great but the structure of Nigeria have made it impossible for their struggle to come to fruition. The people that laid the foundation for the Nigeria structure(British) know what they are doing. The combined different ethnic groups with nothing much in common to make a country-divide and rule. When they left, leaving their agents and surrogates to take over leadership.


Hold on to this; they made sure to combine different groups that have nothing or not much in common. The main tribes in Nigeria, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba did not have much to do with each other before the advent of the colonizers. They made sure to leave immoral agents as our rulers.
The 1967 coup tried to kill some of these immoral agents but it failed because the structure that was laid made it impossible. There has never been common uprising in Nigeria where all the tribes in Nigeria rose up as one to demand for a change. The closest to a "NIGERIAN" were the University Students. This group got rubbish when Babaginda came to power and ruined the university system. NANS was then infiltrated by Objoke and neutralizes as he conquered Afenifere and the Igbo organization. When was the last time NANS fought for anything? Remember those brave NANS leaders of the 70s and the students that died for a better Nigeria. When the universities were *******ized most of the brave one went abroad i.e. Sowore to continue the struggle in America or the other guys in Britain. Imagine if the education in Nigeria is still good, people like Sowore would have probably inspire you to fight for your rights. Ozodi would have probably written in the newspaper why you should not be afraid to die because "As long as the individual wants to live and fears death other people will be able intimidate him."


This village is a microcosm of the whole Nigeria. When was the last time Zayyad or Gwobe joined anyone to change the structure in Nigeria. Their only fight is parochial. It is either Objoke or their tiny enclaves.

The only time Nigeria will be better is the time our Northern brothers realized we are also fighting for them. However, I doubt we will ever have the opportunities since most of the educated ones are elite. They only fight for their pockets which is why Gwobe would fight for Athiefku or Buhari with gullible southerners not seeing through people like Gwobe that he is part of the problem for Athiefku or Buhari are not the messiah for Nigeria. We know Athiefku was one of the people that imposed OBjoke on us 2003. Buhari is thesame as Objoke.......reused, dirty clothes.

Hakeem, you know as well as I do that the Yoruba have a way of changing a leader they don't want.......which is rooted in the culture and history of the people. Thesame goes for most tribes in Nigeria.

However, we have not arrived as a nation. Nigeria has no common culture, unless a 419, arguing and making noise which is predominantly a southern thing.

To me, we have to separate and come back on each other's term. Presently dieing for Nigeria has no meaning as Nigeria as no meaning to most of us. I can die for an Oduduwa state, at least I enjoyed a little bit of free education. But the country, Nigeria has never given me hope for me to lay my life for it. People can quote Kennedy's "ask not what your country can do for you………" but America from it inception has always provided for its inhabitants better than where most of them came from.

My friend, Hakeem, you are not a coward as you do not have a cause to fight for now. Not Nigeria anyway.
Re: I Am Not Man Enough
Tola Odejayi posted on 04-18-2007, 19:54:42 PM
It's all well and good to castigate people for cowardice, but remember...

One man's cowardice is another man prudence.

One man's bravery is another man's foolhardiness.

Each person has to decide where he draws his own line.
Re: I Am Not Man Enough
Auspicious posted on 04-19-2007, 01:32:00 AM
Hakeem Babalola not only castigated others for cowardice but himself as well. And I support him in doing so. But then again, as Exxcuzme has opined, perhaps we are yet to find something to fight for. It is difficult to fight for the survival of a contraption that lacks foundation (Nigeria).

Nigeria is a forced marriage that is sustained by chicanery and deciet, hence the difficulty in finding volunteers to die for her cause. It is my belief that were Nigeria to be founded on justice, accountability and respect between the constituent groups, we wouldn't need to beg for volunteers to fight for our rights.

Still, we can try to be couragious to fight for our various identities and self-determination if the powers-that-be today refuse to let us sit down and respectfully debate the terms of our co-existent as one nation called Nigeria. It is enough already!

Auspicious.
Re: I Am Not Man Enough
Oluye posted on 04-19-2007, 02:07:29 AM
But what did you expect?
Wasn't it obvious that no credible election could take place with hungry electorate, faulty constitution and wobbly judiciary? We so much want to imitate the West, we forget our peculiar situation. In the US, the electorate receive notification about their voting centre in the mail, the age and location of all citizens is computerised etc.
If the press, judiciary and our well paid lawmakers cannot resist bribes how on earth will anyone expect hungry policemen and civil servants to resist financial incentives from the parties?

Wasn't it obvious that the main thing Nigeria really needs right now is not spending billions on elections every four years but addressing poverty so that the electorate will not be bought over anymore? An additional N15 billion was just released to INEC to respond to court orders in preparation for Saturdays elections, can't we evolve an ingenious, less expensive, method of evolving new leadership in Africa?

Wasn't it obvious that whether Atiku or Obasanjo, it was still the power of incumbency at work? In the wisdom of our forefathers, our Monarchy system rotates leadership, so that election is within the house that is due to lead thus reducing the impact of power change on the whole nation and weakening the power of incumbency. In this arrangement, the other ruling houses play the opposition.

What beats me is how a people made up of different tribes and languages will want to adopt the leadership pattern of countries bounded by one language and a predominant ethnic group. Is it working in Iraq?
All men want to lead, something must discourage and eliminate some. Some are disqualified by their educational level, some by their character, some by race etc. When society fails to adopt a workable and appropriate method, chaos results. Be it monarchy, military dictatorship, democracy or communism, it is never the best man that leads. Only the one made fortunate by the terms.

We've got it all wrong. It is a miracle that Nigeria is still standing at all.

Are the elections about deliverance from tyranny or about changing the face of tyranny, irrespective of who wins, Utomi inclusive? Does Utomi's call for Nnamani to take over not have ethnic connotations which characterised his campaigns at the initial stage?

Good that AC won Lagos state. PPA and ANPP also won some states, let them show us the difference by running those states well. If Atiku held the PTDF for many years and showed no probity how will he perform with the National purse?

This is simply a case of big Wayo beating small Wayo, they should just get on with the remaining wayo so that thereafter we can resume addressing the real issues.

On NVS we think about the ideal state and ethics, forgetting that we are depending on Nigerians, whose basic instinct is presently for survival. People don't think of due process when they are hungry and angry!
People like Utomi are more useful channeling their energies towards industrial revolution in the private sector, it is that which will translate into more jobs, better income, eradication of poverty and focus on due process at the national level.
But is it all about service?
Re: I Am Not Man Enough
Auspicious posted on 04-19-2007, 06:33:20 AM
Excuses, excuses, excuses!

Excuses upon Excuses..

All is excuses!

Auspicious.
Re: I Am Not Man Enough
Busanga posted on 04-19-2007, 16:30:25 PM
QUOTE:
Excuses, excuses, excuses!

Excuses upon Excuses..

All is excuses!

Auspicious.


That is all you hear from Oluye..ain't that right? LOL!

I hate to advocate violence, but in the face of the latest turn of event I feel like Soyinka felt when he stormed that radio station with a hand gun and the conflict he confessed he feels about violence. I am re-examining my treatise on violence against oppressive powers. Does that make me a coward?

P.S: Michael Oluwagbemi is not Obugi...
Re: I Am Not Man Enough
Afeni posted on 04-19-2007, 18:38:13 PM
Speak for youself. I have no doubt that I am man enough. The problem is that how do you get close to these men when they have dozens of Isrealy trained body guards? I am not willing to blow my life to take-out a few body guards that are just carrying out orders. Now, if I was in a room with IBB, Abdulsalamy, Maj. Hamza e.t.c I have no doubt that I will do what has to be done. I am not afraid of death, but I also realize that I only have one life to live, and if it has to be spent in such a way, it better get the job done.

But as it is now, it is almost impossible to get close to these men. All the events they attend are designed in such a way that the people that will bear the blow of an explosion or sporadic gun fire are the innocent.
Re: I Am Not Man Enough
Afeni posted on 04-19-2007, 18:41:59 PM
That being said, I won't hesitate to tell these men my mind regardless of how many degenerates they have shielding them.
Re: I Am Not Man Enough
Keem posted on 04-20-2007, 00:05:37 AM
Michael,
I'm deeply sorry for referring to u as someone else. It has been corrected. And I am not calling you a coward rather mocking myself for not heeding your call. In fact, 90% of what I wrote is about myself, but now take consolation in what Exxcuzme and Auspicious opined - that Nigeria is not worth fighting for.
hakeem
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