BY ROTIMI AGBANA
Nigeria’s gradual but steady descent into some very confusing socio-political and economic misadventures has been at best, mind numbing. We have now gotten to the point where paranoia and sundry psychosomatic disorders have turned many Nigerians into a seething time bomb, waiting for just the right trigger.
So let’s connect the dots; politicians kept quiet and did nothing, the masses frowned and called it conspiracy. So the masses then relocated their trust from the politicians to the crusaders. The crusaders made some noise and quickly ran into their holes and forever remained silent.
The masses whined and moaned, and they called it compromise- the crusaders have been compromised! Now the masses are left in a big sphere of illusory phantasmagoria as they seethe. Suddenly, Tuface showed up and the masses heaved a sigh of relief and his call became like a call to prayer! Unfortunately, it was either botched or whittled down. Once again, the masses are left to seethe as unanswered questions more than quadrupled over the period.
It is in a state like this that the government should, as a matter of extreme urgency move to douse the situation by providing at least a few tangible answers to mounting socio-political and economic questions that have left Nigerians more confused and frustrated than ever. Any attempt to get past this stage without a concerted effort at genuinely calming frayed nerves could spell doom for our country. No sane government takes its people for granted because when the anger of the people rises, no institution can stand it.
Brexit is a product of anger, it was seething for a long time and the mainstream media, the pundits and all never saw it coming; Donald J. Trump is a clear product of Anger. The people were taken for granted for far too long. Of course, no one but a few of us saw it coming; Who would have thought that a candidate from the Freedom Party of Austria would get so close to clinching the presidency of that country.
It was anger that produced Norbert Hofer who eventually lost to Van der Bellen. Take a look at France. Why would a far right candidate and a big fan of Donald J. Trump, Marine Le Pen be on the verge of winning presidential elections in that country? This is a woman who has openly declared that she will lead France towards FREXIT (pulling France away from European Union membership) just like Britain! Virtually every poll at this moment has it going for her.
Something that, again only a very few people saw coming. It’s called anger. When she eventually wins, she like Donald J. Trump will become another product of the anger that is now sweeping across Europe and the rest of our world, with a warning sign that reads: DON’T TREAD ON ME!
South Korea isn’t one of those places where protests are prominent, but when the people lost it, more than 1.5million people were on the streets to show Park Geun-hye that the real power is with the masses and not the other way round. Recently in Romania, when a very unpopular anti people decree was floated, hundreds of thousands took to the streets and the government that felt so powerful suddenly developed cold feet and immediately reversed that decree.
Protests of this magnitude often happen when the masses have lost all hope in institutional leadership. In other words, the protests are usually not even planned. They just blow out and those are the kinds that are way too complex to contain.
Imagine what will become of Nigeria if the anger that we all can no longer pretend isn’t there, happens to blow out. Imagine how unprepared our country is at this moment to deal with a cataclysmic distraction of such magnitude.
Isn’t it therefore better for the government of the day to aim their water hose at the direction of the heat that is seething in the hearts of disgruntled Nigerians before it degenerates into an uncontrollable fire, because if this fire does break out, it will know neither ethnicity nor religion and Nigeria would not have the capacity to extinguish a flame that knows no mercy.
This is an Age, not a Season of Anger. You don’t treat an Age like you treat a Season. You can wait out a Season but you can’t wait out an Age. With an AGE, you plan and make critical adjustments with a heightened sense of urgency. And that is what Nigeria needs now, before it is too late.