A State Of Gelotology In Nigeria
By Prince Charles Dickson
If lice are not completely gone from one's clothing, one's nails will not be free of blood. (If the causes of one's problems are not removed, the problems will persist.)
These days in addition to professional comedians, I listen to our leaders, follow events in Nigeria in a state of gelotology, it makes one laugh and while you reflect on the shame we have become as a nation.
When I listen to them I ask whether those we refer to as leaders really know what they are up against or it’s just us the followers that are lost on reality.
On one of my voyage not so long ago, I had a flat driving to the airport, as we fixed it, me and my driver. I could not help watch as a man certainly in his sixties exerted himself dancing to one of these budding Nigerian artiste. Out of curiosity, the Journalist and writer in me got the better as I strained my ear to hear the song that was making him dance so hard and with all the smiles.
The song...Omo na mental case, start to dey craze...kolomental...and boy, the smile on his face. It hit me, how bad it had become, the old lyrics was gone, Dan maraya Jos, Ebenezer Obey, Hacourt Whyte, Victor Olaiya, and the rest. Now we dance to all sorts just to give laughter to the soul.
As an individual I guess I am alive because of the level of laughter I have been able to personally generate for myself in this insanity called Nigeria. When many are forced to listen to four minutes of record time where a young boy keeps screaming testing the microphone from the beginning of the track to the end and nothing more and that song tops the chart.
Laughter is an audible expression or appearance of happiness, or an inward feeling of joy (laughing on the inside). It may ensue (as a physiological reaction) from jokes, tickling, and other stimuli.
Each day our leaders here in Nigeria ensure that we laugh with tears as a result of the expensive jokes they dish out due to their recalcitrant behavior.
Inhaling nitrous oxide can also induce laughter; other drugs, such as cannabis, can also induce episodes of strong laughter. Strong laughter can sometimes bring an onset of tears or even moderate muscular pain.
The last phrase of that ‘short’ definition is true about Nigeria...but for emphasis it’s not strong laughter, in our case its painful laughter.
Scientifically speaking, Laughter is caused by the epiglottis constricting the larynx, causing respiratory upset. The study of humor and laughter, and its psychological and physiological effects on the human body is called gelotology.
The study of Nigeria, its politics and peoples is also one that can be referred to strange case of gelotology.
A 6 years old laughs an average of 300 times a day while adults laugh 15times to 100 times a day. Nigerian politicians never stop laughing as the steal us dry and misrule us. We have cried so hard that we equally laugh at their bizarre ways.
We will not revolt, either through violence, or even an intellectual revolution or a purge of some sort. So let us keep laughing, we live in a nation and times when absolutely nothing and everything is both impossible and possible.
Our President rules from anywhere according to his Minister for Information, we are told that despite the state of insecurity in the North, a record 900 plus kidnappings in the South East, we are still the investors’ haven. If you see that as vexatious and refuse to smile you may die of too much thinking, a form of patriotism in these parts that is scary.
If you think we are sane, I laugh because in Kogi, while it has witnessed increased violent killings, its state government says it has refused to pay teachers because they cannot spell their names and do not know how to fill bank teller. It is not annoying, I advise you to laugh, afterall our president doesn't give a damn.
After berating each other as fools two elder statesmen and former presidents, have come together to protect their class exploitation in our cassava republic. Which reminds me, how of us have been privileged to eat cassava bread, the official bread of the state house. We cannot eat the regular one these days as the price keeps increasing. To stay alive, just laugh off the stress.
I always believe that many times you have no choice but to sometimes do a surgical between the speaker and his words but it is only in a system like ours that Dokubos are given podiums to speak, and then we gratify him with responses when he should be treated as a comic.
Abeg like we say in local parlance I can't fit laugh. But I mean it is better you laugh and enjoy all that was in offing at the Olympics where N2BN has gone down the drain, and the sports minister tells us not to worry that we will win 5 medals in Rio come 2016.
What more is laughable…we are nearing the end of August from years back when a complete ship disappeared on Nigerian waters to the point where tractors were blown away by wind in Bauchi state and we are dancing a dance of shame of $620,000 that was first exhibit, bribe, gift also disappear. If all these are not serious matters then please join me in laughing.
We have over the years become a nation of clowns, clowners, and clownees, all engaged in the act of laughing out our stress, our difficulties, and our irrational behavior.
Only in our parts do we see a government that has not paid local government workers for over three months complain about a corporate organization that sacked its own. With a life expectancy age of less than 40 years. The bombs do not hack you down; robbers do not shoot you down. You are not stolen and you do not disappear, you are advised to laugh it out while thanking God for the gift of life in the nation of the happiest people.
When last have you really seen the Senate in really upset mode for the common man, they are always in jolly mood, exchanging banters, collecting their remunerations after which they go on recess.
Even when the nation is on fire, our Federal Executive Council still manages to give away contracts, they do not fight, they are all smiles as they lie to us about a 2013 budget, when the 2012 budget that was bare passed just few months ago is yet to function. Nigeria is fun, it is a big problem to itself, corruption incorporated yet I beg to say it is still a sweet place to live in…
I end this admonition by saying let us laugh! And pray that the Almighty Allah helps us realize the reality of our grim circumstances of existence. The fact is that there are still lice in the Nigeria fabric, serious issues are still amusing. If we continue like these whether we will still find it funny and laughable only time will tell.