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Stats: 2,505,259 members, 5,702,698 topics. Date: Friday, 03 July 2020 at 11:49 AM
|GANGSTER PARADISE by mceze(m): 8:21pm On Aug 15, 2018|
This is my forst time of writing something like this, criticism and correction is highly welcome..
Michael Chukwudi Eze
In Loving Memory Of The Fallen Heroes.
Nneka came into their neatly arranged small sitting room to join her son who was sitting on one of the settee that has seen good old days. The sitting room looks well kempt but scanty with materials.
She was a woman in her late fifties, a widow. Her husband was formerly a worker in the defunct Nigerian rail way corporation in Lagos. He died from heart attack as a result of his unpaid entitlements from the government.
She went into trading, and vowed not remarry, and will train her only son up to tertiary level.
Her son-Jude, is now a graduate, and graduated as one of the best student in his department.
Immediately she stepped into the sitting room, Jude rose to greet
“Good afternoon ‘Nne Oma’,” as he fondly calls her.
“Good afternoon ‘Dim’,” as she fondly calls him too. She sat down, and asked:
“Why are you all smiles today? Have you secured a job?”
“Mmmmmmm! Nnem, not exactly. Job, especially white collar ones are difficult to come by these days, it’s mostly reserved for the children of the elite or those who have ‘connection’ or ‘Long Legs’.”
“Things have gotten out of hands in this country. It is no longer easy for the children of the poor to secure jobs these days. It’s either you know someone or you bribe your way.”
“Bribe your way! How?”
“Jobs now are for sale! Especially government jobs! And of course you know I will never indulge in such acts.”
“My son, I will never be a party to any evil practice or practices. So, you know I won’t support you into bribing any one, even if we have the means. Be a man of good virtue like your father. Stand on the path of truth, and always, I repeat ‘always’ support good cause.”
“Nne Oma, am tired of job searching, and hunting o! My thoughts and dreams were to graduate with good grade, secure a good job, and then take good care of you! But alas! You are still taking care of me after graduating. When will I take care of you if things continue this way? Is it in death?”
“Soon my son, very soon!”
“Look how scanty the sitting room is, you have virtually sold everything including your wrappers just to fund my education. All the neighbors know the number of wrappers you have. And look at your looks; one will not believe you were the one in those pictures of yester years.”
“It is old age my son.”
“You look older than your age. Am going nuts these days, I hardly sleep at night, and am ashamed eating your food at this age.”
“My son, don’t worry, everything will be alright.” “When will that be?”
“Patient Nwam! Just be patient.”
“Nne oma! If things don’t improve, I will be forced to take the ‘Libya
“Libya kwa! What do you mean by that? Hope is not what am thinking?”
She gave him a cold stare...
“Nne, it is o! it’s better to die trying than to live and not trying.” “Mbanu Nwam! It has not gotten to that.”
“It has o!”
“Is it not the Libya that rejuvenated slavery in this twenty first century? An African country that sells their fellow Africans into slavery? Aru! You better kill me before embarking on such journey.”
“Slavery is slavery! Are we not slaves in our own country? What’s the difference with what we are experiencing in the hands of our so called ‘leaders?”
“Do you want your organs to be harvested? Think of something worth while to do with your life.”
From outside came the voice of crowd. People chanting song.
“Who are those people,?” Nneka asked.
“They are my people.”
“Your people!? How and for what if I may ask?”
“For a new era! We are tired of this present government, we want a change. Look around you, nothing is working! Election is around the
corner, and we the youth have decided to take our destiny into our own hands by voting for a new party.”
Chanting was still going on outside.
Nneka and her son came out to meet the crowd that trooped into their compound, they were mostly youths of both sexes, from different tribes, ethnicity and religion, chanting:
“Change! Change!! Change!!!” With mixed Hausa intonation-
‘Changi! Changi!! Changi!!!” among the crowd.
When Jude came out, the chanting and shouting increased. It was so lucid that he was the one championing the cause. There was smile all over his face when the crowd saw him and cheered the more. He waved his hand, and the noise died down and he addressed them:
“My fellow compatriot, I greet you all! Thank you for heeding to this clarion call. It is in the interest of this great Nation that we the youth from all walks of lives have decided to take our destinies into our own hands. We all know what is happening in our land, it is even glaring to the blind!”
“For how long will we continue like this? And For how long will this present party take us for a fool? A child of sixteen years, will he/she be referred to as an infant?”
The crowd shouted “No!”
“Exactly! A child that cannot crawl talk less of to walk at that age is tagged ‘abnormal’. It is in that regard that we the youth have decided to support a new party, a party whose flag bearer is a man of integrity. A man tested and trusted.’ A patriot! We should all rally round to support
this party. The future belongs to the youth and a great fulfilled future is what we yearn for.”
The crowd cheered loudly- “Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!”
Jude waved his hand and the atmosphere became silent again. He continued his speech:
“This Government has failed us, there is wide spread corruption, stealing with impunity. We are been ruled by women, instead of the man we elected. Our resources are been siphoned. Those who speak against the rot in the system are either sacked or been asked to go on compulsory retirement. Example is the governor of the Apex bank. We now have a drunkard as our president, an ‘Ogogoro’ sipping leader, who can even sign his death warrant after getting drunk.”
“Is that the kind of leader we want?”
The crowd shouted- “Noooooooooo! Noooooooooo!! Noooooooooo!!!”
Jude was elated with the response and attention he was getting. It is written all over his face, and that compelled him to continue:
“My fellow youths, we are about to rewrite history if all hands are on deck. If we all do our assignment very well, I foresee the first time in the history of this country that the incumbent will be defeated. It has happened in some African countries, why can’t the same feat be replicated here?”
The crowd listened in silence as Jude continued:
“Vast majority of the populace are the young ones, who don’t know
the power of their votes then. But now, we have woken up from our
slumber, and will exercise that power to vote out any inept that wants to bring this country to its knees.”
Jude talked at length about the ills in the land, and the crowd always cheers him to ride on.
He inferred his speech by saying:
“………Let’s vote wisely, vote for change! Posterity will not forgive us if we fail in our quest to change things for good...Let’s vote the right person, let’s vote Daura!”
Immediately he mentioned that name, Nneka came back to reality. It looks like she has been dreaming all this while, but the mere mention of that name, sprout her to reality and she shook her head and muttered silently-“Ummm! Ummmm!!”
She called the attention of her son who was already in cloud nine as a result of the praises been showered on him. He excused himself and went to her. She asked for permission to address the crowd.
Jude came back and demanded audience once again. They were all silent, thinking that he wants to speak further. He told them that his mum wants to address them instead.
“A Nation suffers when the right people refuses to speak. My children, I will give you all a motherly advice. It’s either you adhere to it or not. But posterity will acknowledge that I spoke when am supposed to! Am happy to see that you’ve all come to reality with things on ground, but I will advice you not to make a mistake in trying to correct a mistake.”
There was expression of surprise on their faces, and somebody from
the crowd shouted “What mistake are you talking about?”
She cleared her throat and continued:
“Majority of you here are young and full of vigor, and I respect that. But you are all neglecting one thing-History! If we fail to acknowledge bad history, we will all be consumed by it when it rears its ugly head in the future. I am of old, and I know what I am talking about. Just like the adage goes ‘what an old one can see while sitting, the young cannot see it even if he or she climbs an Iroko tree’.’’
There was absolute silence that even if a pin drops, the sound could be heard. Nneka was happy with the effect she was having on the young lads and she continued:
“The importance of history is for us to amend the past. The first man that falls into a ditch is not a fool, but the second who saw what happened to the first and still fell. I was enjoying all the moments, especially the right observations made by my son in his speech, but when he mentioned that name ‘Daura,’ I jolted from the dream world to reality. I reflected to the past when most, if not all of you were not born.”
“Tell me it’s not the Daura I know? The former military dictator that ruled with iron fist? The one that was dethroned through bloodless coup? The one that dethroned an elected leader, took power and closed borders? Which man of integrity dethrones a constituted authority? The man that contested and lost, incited violence by using military term
‘Primates will be soaked in blood.’ And indeed, primates got soaked in
their own blood. Countless of your counterparts were killed especially youth corpers. How soon do you forget all these things? What kind of
myopic minds do we have in this country? Are the youths programmed to accept failures?”
Someone shouted from the crowd:
“But he has changed, a reformed democrat!”
And she replied:
“The foresighted can see through those façade. Does the expression
‘A leopard cannot change its spot’ mean anything to you? My people says- ‘Uzo din njor, agaya ofu. Ma odi nma, agawaya!’’
“Meaning- if a road is bad, you go it once. If it is good, you go it more than once.”
“Are you now advocating that we continue with this tested failure,?” Jude asked.
“Am not advocating for anyone, even the one you are clamoring for, is also a tested failure. What do you call a man who millions got missing right under his watch? Does that not show incompetency, a tested failure! A man who after services has not improved himself in any way, either through education or business wise. Even his cattle rearing business is an apology.”
“I can go on and on. Is that the kind of man you want as your leader? A ‘coupist!”
There was no response, just absolute silence. She continued:
“Did I not hear in your speech where you said the future belongs to
the youths, why opting for incompetent old goons? Choose from among
the young vibrant politicians. Young politician with vision and penchant for success. They abound in every geo-political zones of this nation. But the gap toothed snake is not an option!”
Someone again from the crowd shouted:
“He promised change, promised employment, feeding allowances at the end of every month, transparency and lot of juicy offer.”
She muttered “Hmmmmmmm! Hmmmmmm!! Hmmmmmmmm!!!” While shaking her head. “The aroma of food is quite inviting, but certainly not that of Ogiri. I wonder how the youths of nowadays reason. Are their brain filled with cotton wool? If among population of over 150 million, we cannot produce a good leader, we are all failures!”
“It’s the older ones of your age, especially an ugly monster from the west that is even spear-heading the change mantra, campaigning for him- Mr. Integrity,” another voice from the crowd shouted.
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark, the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of light…The words of Plato. I am so surprised myself, it’s such a pity that the older ones who witnessed this history are advocating for this harbinger of doom. Be warned! They are not after your interest but theirs.”
She pointed at a particular figure among the crowd and said:
“Look at you! Leading the sheeps to slaughter. I believed you witnessed this history too. Old age is associated with wisdom, but your grey hairs are like ashes of shame. Shame on you!”
The figure lowered his gaze in shame. She shifted her attention back to the crowd;
“I would not bamboozle the young ones. Even if I would, would I do likewise to my only son? Would I lead him astray? They say a word is enough for the wise. Think wisely before leaping, or else you will all leak your sores! Don’t say you were not warned when history repeats itself. I have spoken!”
She retired to the background, but was surprise with the reaction of the crowd chanting their old song- “Change! Change!! Change!!!” Her own son inclusive.
She thought she has made some vital points to dissuade the youth from continuing the journey of self destruction. But their reaction after her speech says otherwise. The whole scenario looks as one pouring water on a rock. She shook her head and went inside while they continued with their activities.
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