Things fell apart in Nigeria and the cord that bond Nigeria together as a nation-state was broken. While Nigerians expected that the leadership of the country to employ tact and wisdom in restoring and strengthening the cord that binds us together they politicized the politicized and fuelled the crisis that tore the nation apart. Nigeria has grappled with the menace of Boko Haram and the marauding herdsmen that have gone on rampage mauling and killing Christians with sophisticated AK47 revolver riffle that shouldn’t be found amongst the chief of the herdsmen.
Benue State, Nigeria comes to mind where the herdsmen unleashed carnage against the Christians, killing them in their hundreds at Night and the Federal Government was and still remains at ease. Leah Shuaibu one of the Dapchi school girls that was kidnapped by Boko Haram still remains in the den of the terrorists because of her refusal to deny the Christian faith yet the Federal Government led by President Muhamadu Buhari seems to be less concerned after all majority of the girls have been returned by the terrorist group.
The Police flagrantly turned down the invitation and threatened to drag the Senate to court. Sometime ago the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service disobeyed the Senate and nothing happed. This also brings to the fore the caliber of appointees that makes up President Buhari’s team.
Bearing these few instances in mind no one has come out openly to condemn the lawlessness and injustice in the country. It seems to me that most Nigerians are still withdrawn and fearful knowing fully well that the Presidency can come against them if they dared to question the modus operandi of the government of the day. The Nigerian VIPs that dared to question the actions of the President got their fingers burnt. If the VIPs could be victimized how much more ordinary Nigerians.
One of the late Nigerian legends that was a thorn in the flesh of the previous administrations and regimes in Nigeria was Fela Anikulapo Kuti. He strongly criticize the wicked acts of government through his songs especially the military junta. He pontificated on corruption in high places, the impoverishment of Nigerians and myriads of socio-political problems brought upon Nigeria by her leadership. Fela’s voice was a lone voice in the wilderness but it reverberated all over the world. He became reputed for his fight against injustice, corruption and government oppression. Sadly, he left the Nigerian scene through the cold hands of death but even in death his voice and messages still reverberates.
The social injustice, looting, corruption, nepotism and other vices that Fela fought are still staring us in the face, unfortunately there was no voice with a strong force to condemn the atrocities going on in Nigeria. Today, the political leaders are unsettled, the fundamentalist religious leaders are unsettled too because the time for politicization of Nigeria’s challenges seems to have come to an end with the release of the music video by Falz The Baad Guy titled “This Is Nigeria”.
The timeliness of the release was key as it was released on for the commemoration of Nigeria’s democracy day. Falz did not mince words in conveying a strong message to both the leaders and the led on the canker worm eating deep into the fabrics of our country. His music video brings to the fore the myriads of challenges plaguing Nigeria which ranges from corruption in high places, religious violence and drug abuse. He highlighted the activities of the herdsmen in Benue State and other parts of the country, how they behead their victims mercilessly. Falz lightly reprimanded jobless Nigerians who often criticize celebrities over their physical adorning – “this is Nigeria just because I’m on TV, person weh no get work is checking on my watch to know if it is original”.
He also sang about corruption in the work environment where a certain Madam Philomena claimed that an animal swallowed N36 million that was kept under her watch. He obviously was making reference to the JAMB official that claimed that a snake swallowed the money kept under her watch. He went on to address drug and substance abuse by the Nigerian youth. Recall that a BBC undercover documentary exposed the trade in codeine and its harmful effects on Nigerians which awakened the government and the regulatory agencies from slumber.
The corrupt politicians were not spared in the music video as Falz gave an insight on the insatiable quest for power which often leads looting, killing and their serial occupation of political offices. It is worthy of note that he pontificated on the fact that Nigerian politicians do not face the consequences of their action. In other words they do not go to jail or face the consequences for their wrong action. He asserted that they steal millions and do not go to prison – “Politicians weh steal millions and billions e no dey go prison”. He did not fail to throw his jab at the members of the Nigerian Police Force, he accused them of dereliction of duty by declaring that they close by 6:00 pm and often defend their early closure is for security reason. The Nigerian Police Force is have become notorious for given excuses for their failures in securing the nation especially in emergency situations, no wonder in Nigeria the military now engage in civil affairs that should be originally done by the Nigerian Police Force.
Falz demystified religion while addressing the fundamental rights to freedom of expression for Muslim girls. The young girls danced to the beat of the song wearing hijab. This singular act stirred up trouble for Falz, MURIC a Muslim pressure group has given him a 7 –day ultimatum to withdraw the video. If I were in his shoes the video will never be withdrawn else the holistic theme of the music video will be defeated. Activists do not engage in dishing out sugar coated messages, they send out messages that are correctional, messages that causes everyone in the society to conform to the prescribed order.
Nigerian Pastors were not spared, he upbraided them for engaging in extra religious affairs. He called out Pastors that handled women inappropriately; he said, “Pastor putting his hand on the breast of his member, pulling the devil out”.
He also highlighted the challenge of unemployment and the insult the government hauls at the Nigerian youth despite its failure create employment opportunities for the teaming youth population. He also did not fail to beam his flood light on the epileptic power supply in Nigeria which seems to be intractable and how President Buhari insulted Nigerian youths by calling them lazy when it is an established fact that Nigerian youths are hardworking and enterprising. He said, “This is Nigeria, no electricity, Nigerians are doing multiple jobs and you talk say we lazy o”. Falz did not fail to address the menace of the herdsmen. He raised a pertinent factor in the menace of the Nigerian herdsmen who engage in mass execution of Nigerians using AK47. He said, “This is Nigeria, Fulani herdsmen de carry gun de massacre”.
Other issues raised in the topical music video is advanced free fraud popularly referred to as yahoo – yahoo in Nigeria. He questioned the complacency of Nigerians who knows that they are everywhere and act as if it is cool. Falz The Baad Guy condemned the acts of the Special Anti-Robbery Squard, SARS, who harass and harangue students, extorting money from them under the guise of doing their duty. He did not fail to add a little satire that at the same time communicated to the world that in Nigeria the best hands are not employed to give the job the best shot. He mimicked Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police who stuttered and repeated the word transmission “unintelligently” in a public event.
The music video ended with a strong voice which resonated from the background obviously the voice of Femi Falana which pontificated on the contradictions and injustice going on in some churches. He said that Church leaders take money from members to set up universities that the children of the congregants cannot attend. He said it is against the rule of God and it is against our constitution.
This is Nigeria is a strong message that should not be jettisoned. It aptly communicated the rot in the country. The message should not be killed rather it should serve as a moral compass for both the government and the governed. It is time for Nigerians to terrace their steps and set the nation on the path of greatness.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer.