What I’ve learnt from 2010
1. We can run for over 3 months with an otherwise incapacitated and unseen President. Only when he his announced dead by his family will they allow the Vice to ascend to the Presidency.
In the run up of GEJ ascending from VP to Acting President several people played all sorts of roles. Some were villains and some were heroes. Notably were Turai, the Presidents ADC, his chief security officer and off course Dora. How can we ever forget that famous ambulance picture taken in the middle of the night? Sadly,the man died and rather than being remembered for his service to the country, history may remember him for the drama and secrecy surrounding his illness and subsequent death. But one thing is for sure, the Nigerians people for once stood up for their rights and fought to uphold the constitution. For this they are considered Heroes in my opinion
2. The CBN Governor can also be an activist if he wishes to.
The world over, a CBN Governor is revered for his words and ability to be heard. So much that whenever he speaks markets jolt. Well that’s not the case in Nigeria. Here a CBN Governor can wake up one morning and declare that the country is bankrupt and still be celebrated with off course little or no consideration for it’s effect on the larger economy. As such, whilst in other parts they are hardly heard and carefully chose their words whenever they speak, here you need not choose your words, just accept any invitation your given and make some noise.
3. That Africa can indeed host one of the best world cup ever.
If anyone ever doubted Africa’s inability to host the FIFA World cup then South Africa must have put those doubts to bed. In the summer the world witnessed a world class event which FIFA deemed as highly successful. Amidst the glory poor South Africans will always remember with angst the about $3.5b spent on hosting the world cup. The will surely ask themselves if they are indeed better of.
4. Babangida’s popularity is so highly overrated he couldn’t even get the North to present him as a consensus candidate.
IBB the evil genius as he is notoriously called believed so much in his genius he was prepared to stage a “remarkable” comeback into National limelight by contesting the Presidency. Whilst a lot of his so called supporters and admirers took turns in outlining his “achievements” in his 9 year run as a military junta little did they know that a new generation born during his time as President have a different agenda and a different kind of hero, the Internet. With the Internet they found a source of information and a voice that could not be refrained. Gone were the days of NTA monopoly when all you heard was Babangida. Alliances, movements, bridges were formed over the Internet crossing borders all with one voice “No to IBB”. It didn’t come as a surprise when his Northern folks threw him out of the race to be the much coveted ” Consensus Candidate”.
5. Whilst foreign music still gets our ear Nigerian music is the order of the day and probably the most danceable music on earth.
I’ve been opportuned to attend night clubs in countries like the UK, US and South Africa. In all that time, I have listened and danced to their music all I’ve listened to his a mixture of the current sounds and those of yester years without making a distinction between old school and new school like we do here. Back in Nigeria, music is reborn. Whilst there is still a long way with content our beats are simply out of this world. And unlike the musicians of the 80’s and 90’s the Nigerian Musicians of this generation know the business side very well and have been successful in selling their records and make themselves marketable brands.
6. On our 50th Birthday as a country, we are worse off than we were on our first.
At 50 one is expected to look back and count on the achievement made over the half century. It is for this reason that people celebrate 50 years as the Golden Jubilee. As a country, we were 50 in October and little can be said in terms of achievement. As a matter of fact pundits believe the country may have taken several steps backwards thus pitting us in the dark ages. At 50 we still can’t manufacture a bicycle let alone a car, we still can’t move beyond ethnic divides, and our leaders still don’t get elected. It’s no wonder a N75m cake was made to highlight our desire for the wasting money on meaningless and unproductive ventures at the cost of long term investments
7. Kidnapping is now a multi-million Naira business and no one is spared, not even primary school students.
When the Niger Delta Militants began kidnapping foreign oil workers people looked at it as a Government matter. A few years later it has turned into a multiple million Naira business as touts, law enforcement officers, criminals, even graduates see the “business” as a source of livelihood. From Kidnapping foreign workers, they now go as far as kidnapping, Grandfathers and Grandmothers, businessmen, bankers, civil servants, students, friends, best friends etc no class was spared.
8. A new set of Alphanumerics simply called a “Pin” may have overtaken the tradition of given out phone numbers in the art of friendship making.
Blackberry came into Nigeria rather quietly as far back as 2005 with the bulky ugly looking handset with ability to send and receive emails without much cost. 3 years later it has knocked out Nokia as the most sought after phone in Nigeria. From being a phone purely used for business purposes it has moved to a phone for the “socially” inclined and aware. It has made Nigerians more antisocial than social with heads constantly bent over and hands typing away without regards for those in your company. Rather than ask for a number it’s now a Pin.
9. Sectarian Violence, terrorism, kidnapping are new forms of scoring political points in Nigeria.
Over the years, we have been bedeviled with religious and ethnic motivated violence. However, this year must be considered the worst in recent memory. Just as the 50years independence celebration wasn’t spared, terror was also carried out on Xmas eve. Jos has suffered most of this violence with some cities in Nigeria suffering as well. The Government hasn’t been able to provide the necessary assurance that they can handle this matter especially with the way the President handled the aftermath of bomb blast of October 1st shortly after occurrence.
10. You might be above the law here in Nigeria, but not abroad. Go and ask Ibori
Ibori was considered a man with 9 lives after he won his case at the appeal court in Delta State. Having being on trial over an allegation of corruption, James Ibori was alluded to have brought the Appeal Court to his state thereby compromising the judiciary. On being acquitted of any wrong doing, people cried fowl and once again, alleged justice has been denied. Ibori and his supporters hailed victory and that his enemies have been defeated. With that he was set free and decided to travel once again. However, luck will run out when his wife was arrested in the UK and him subsequently in Dubai. Right now his wife has been convicted while he awaits an almost certain extradition to the UK where he is mostly expected to be convincted. The messgae is clear for all the politicians looting money, it’s only a matter of time before they are caught. The succor of Swiss Banks are indeed over.
So those are my 2010 moments for Nigeria, what were yours?