I made up my mind long ago that I have had enough education; that is, I was not going to return to school anymore. It was not that I could not do without a doctorate but because I could hardly afford the bill now that I had started raising a family. I felt it was wiser to take a bow and sacrifice my chances in order to give my children the best education as much as I could. Ever since, that has been my singular devotion and I thank God things are falling in pleasant places.
Moreover, some artisan made me to realise the ‘futility’ of education in our climes. He made a jest of educated folk, especially now our ‘change agents’ are ‘npowering’ graduates with a mere pittance, N30,000 monthly salary, which he confessed he could make in a couple of days. So, he asked me, “what would I go to school for? My cousin is a graduate; he has a master’s degree. For years, he could not get a job and I was the one feeding and clothing him until we were able to buy motorcycle (okada) for him. Now, the government has even banned the business and taken his motorcycle. He is back at home and pestering my life. So, sir, you tell me, why I should go to school?”
I didn’t tell him he had won a convert. I only made lame excuses, but he was unconvinced. Of course, I was not convinced either because the young man said the truth. In less than an hour, he left my house with N5,000. Since that encounter, I really felt there was no more need to go back to school. However, I must now confess that I had never felt like going back to school like I do now; not even before I gained admission to acquire university education had I felt this strong urge.
It all made sense to me, yes; it now does. I mean what an Indian national told me at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, some years ago. He told me over lunch that Nigeria was a country where organised people don’t succeed whereas the unorganised people do. Everything comes flooding into my mind right now, permeating my very soul.
This is more so since the news broke that ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists are being ‘deradicalised’, rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society at public expense. What a society this is!
The icing on the cake is the plan to send them abroad to acquire education. Can you beat that! Is it not the same same Western education they say is evil and because of which they took up arms against the people?
Nigeria would be the first country in the world to reward terrorists. It is disheartening that, while our soldiers are dying in battles with the hoodlums, the government now wants to repress their morale and discourage them by this noxious policy.
How come now government wants to spend so much giving them education? Why send them abroad in the first place? Is it that we have no schools in the country? Would it not be cheaper to build schools for them here or equip the ones we already have to suit the august students? And, by the way, having never been to school and knowing nothing but kill and go, which class would the government be enrolling them in? In any case, which country would welcome this bunch of characters? Maybe, Yemen and Afghanistan? I don’t see any decent country accepting to train them unless those sold to terrorism.
On a very serious note, I too would like this country to do something for me and my kind for once. Those stupid organised Nigerians that follow due process and play by the rules. “In our very before” (apologies Zebbie), some guys burst and vandalised oil pipelines, and even kidnapped expatriates, thus birthing the nefarious evil in most parts of the country today; they were begged and rewarded handsomely. In fact, some of them were sponsored abroad like they now want to do for Boko Haram, though the case is quite dissimilar. Also, bandits are rustling cattle and killing or kidnapping innocent people for ransom. Yet some governors call them for negotiation.
Only the Igbo have not mastered how to take advantage of the absurdities of our land. Each time they try as much as whimper, the government unleashes venomous security agents on them with menacing crocodiles and dancing pythons. The few that seemingly succeeded only feed fat on their people or escape abroad from where they splash outlandish propagandist inanities on the social media, endangering their kinsmen at home now encased in suffocating security cordon.
Some blokes go into politics and arrive Abuja with polythene bags but soon return home in siren-blaring convoy, completely made and well loaded, enough to demolish their father’s mud house and erect mansions in its stead. Nobody asks questions despite the eerie noises about fighting corruption and instead of apologising to Abacha, we are still busy denigrating the memory of the true Nigerian that he was.
Please, let someone help me get this message to Senator Geidam. He should make room for those of us about to join the school of terrorism. I have since discovered my folly. In Nigeria, whoever wants to succeed must take to some crime. When a killer is compensated for his heinous crime instead of being killed or quarantined in the gulag for life, is it not impetus to recruit more killers? If all it needs to get sumptuous free meal in our famished land is to kill, then who wouldn’t like to be a killer? If going into politics, even as a thug or motor park tout (agbero) is what government needs to deliver me from hunger, why should I not join them?
Tell me, what have I gained being organise, playing by the rules, except to hide from menacing herdsmen that have taken over my ancestral land after feeding my subsistent crops to their cows?
This is the season of change and I am ready for the Next Level. Let no one, even among my brethren that have been encircled by enemies, waiting for doomsday, try to dissuade me. Nothing pays in Nigeria like deviance. I only pray the administrators will not deny me and my kind access because I am Igbo that must be denied even the most basic things. I cannot be deterred to try my luck though. After all, if our borders are open to all manner of creeps to come in, plunder our land and be rewarded, why cannot the authorities show me a little concern despite my conquered people, who revel more fighting among themselves than confront the common enemy at the doorstep?
The problem, however, is that Nigeria is fast plunging into a country coached in the past tense. We are not capable of showing exemplary conduct because we are bereft of goodness, beginning from top to bottom. After progressively destroying their today and tomorrow through their scorching policies, the northern elite sold a dummy to their youth, making them believe they care, whereas in actual fact, they hate them as much as they hate the South. The best the northern elite now do for their youth is export them to the South on ominous reconnaissance or at best to do sundry menial jobs. That much they do in recompense for the years of waste. Or they give these misguided and abused men AK 47 and let them loose on the innocent on a killing binge for their abusers whose cow they protect, not knowing that they are even worse victims.
Oh, gosh! A pall of thick darkness hangs over our world. Wickedness multiplies every day. Neither government nor the governed has solution to the unending bloodletting due to the nauseating parody and evilness in the corridors of power.
As terrorism goes to school, may something prick the soul of the authorities and cause them to recoil from this piggy idea on the Boko Haram nemesis; because it does not add up to reason. May they realise that, after the curtain falls and our sun eclipses, there remains an incorrigible judge across the plain to whom we shall account for our devilry or goodness.
THE SUN, NIGERIA