Imagine you are walking down the street and you see a poster for a wanted person. This hypothetical poster will contain an APB with the following details: Wanted Urgently: A person who understands what is happening in Nigeria. This person is of indeterminate ethnicity, religion, gender, height (because the height really doesn’t matter, neither does the person’s horizontal dimensions and other physical details) etc; the person must be smart, or again that is irrelevant provided they are just smart enough about the subject matter. The person must have the competence to explain, in simple, precise and concise language—preferably English (because if he or she says it in any local language, we are not going to trust such a person) exactly what kind of maze is the country that is called Nigeria and what sort of people govern it and are governed in it.
Imagine you find the person and submit him or her to the relevant authorities and they admit the person into a maze and this person or the explanation he or she has about the true nature of the happenings in Nigeria is never to be found.
You can imagine some of the complex puzzles this person must explain. For example, this person could be asked to explain how one day the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who has patently been one of the worst the country has had with irrational, cloddish fiscal policies, combined with chronic economic mismanagement of this government has seen the value of the Nigerian currency fall exponentially from N150 to a dollar to N800 to a dollar in the space of eight years. This person must be able to explain how despite this woeful performance, Emefiele’s tenure was renewed—well, just like any underperforming public officer in this administration—and he was touted as a possible hand-picked replacement for President Muhammadu Buhari and did in fact go as far as preparing a massive campaign for the presidency with branded cars and whatnots, that only fell apart last year. Except in explaining this, the person will soon realise he or she will have to in the process explain how Buhari, despite his dreadful performance between 2015 and 2019 managed to get re-elected to continue fiddling while Nigeria burnt while his courtiers played goge music in his ear(s).
This person, if found, will have to explain how this Central Bank Governor ended up being declared wanted by the Nigerian secret police, the DSS, just when he conveniently escaped the country for ‘holidays’, allegedly for economic crimes and financing terror in the midst of a financial crisis that a badly-planned and madly managed Naira redesign has unleashed on poor Nigerians.
How this person will explain how Mr CBN governor, after obtaining a court order preventing his arrest, never mind that he never quite cleared his name nor did the DSS explain exactly how Emefiele came to be saddled with these allegations in the first place, proceeds to order the DSS trying to arrest him to arrest money traders for selling Nigeria’s domestic currency within Nigerian territorial space to average Nigerians, will be of great interest.
Of course, he or she will have to explain how the police or other Nigerian security agencies never tire of the drama of issuing arrest warrants for public officials only for the same police or security agencies of the Nigerian government to be protecting the same wanted persons. This unfortunate person, will have to explain a phenomenon like Emefiele and Abdurrasheed Maina who had an escort of armed police guards when he was being haunted by the same police for years, and other related things like how the said Maina, wanted for years, ended up being reinstated in the public service with a promotion with approval from the highest office in the land, before being arrested and jailed again.
This person, if found, should be competent to explain how Nigerians deprived of fuel and cash, and security and welfare, and…well, maybe everything else, found the time and energy to take to the streets in Ogun, Ekiti, Delta, Lagos, Enugu and Oyo to protest fuel and naira scarcity. This person should be able to explain the effrontery that these Nigerians have to demand money and fuel from their government and how exactly they were allowed to gather themselves and march onto the street in the first place when they are not doing so in the name of a politician or political party. He should be able to explain how they mobilised themselves to protest without the N500 million from Katsina. He must also explain why Nigerians are incapable of protesting without burning tyres on the streets, barricading roads, and vandalising property and poor innocent trees whose only crime is just being there. Just as he or she will have to explain why the Nigerian police always think the best way to deal with protests is to shoot at people ratatatatata, just like one state governor asked them to do to the electorate. Although, his or her job is made simpler this time because apparently, only one person suffered any serious bullet injuries in these protests when he was shot by the police in Ilorin. Thankfully, this time the person will not have to explain why Nigerian lives are wasted by the people whose job it is to protect them for trying to access basic necessities like fuel that the country has in abundance and their own money in their own bank accounts.
If found, this person, whose brain capacity to analyse data and facts must rival the Frontier Supercomputer and be capable of a quintillion calculations per second, (because how else could they process all the calculables in this Nigerian equation) must come up with explanations as to why governors of Kaduna and Kano will be quick to blame, in the words of the Kano State governor, “unknown political parties” for creating naira scarcity and encouraging people to protest. Never mind that these are governors of the ruling party in the centre and in their states, which is also claiming it is being sabotaged ahead of the elections.
Or this person should be able to explain why a state like Katsina can approve the spending of N500million naira (you saw the leaked memo, right?) to “mobilise” people to receive the president during a visit when it has thousands of people in displaced persons camps because bandits have turned the state to their arena of looting, murdering and raping and all the things the Vikings of one thousand years ago did without restraints.
This person, if found, must be able to explain the simple things, say, like the peculiar witchcraft that allows the people badly mismanaging Nigeria and unleashing untold hardship on the average citizen to sleep soundly at night, snoring and farting to their hearts’ content while these Nigerians are dodging bandits’ bullets and terrorists’ bombs, “unknown gunmen” massacres and other such habitual savagery.
This person must be able to explain how these public officials are able to say with a straight face that the naira and fuel scarcity, the Buhari and Emefiele fiasco, the banditry and terrorism, and even the lice in Maman Fidelis’ hair, are not the fault of anyone but all the Nigerian masses.
This person must be able to explain other simple things like how these Nigerians willfully submit themselves to the randy charlatans of faith, whose names will fill out a list longer than NECOM House who scam them, extort them, violate women with casual indifference and then have their congregants defend them, just as they defend the thieving and mismanaging public officials from their towns, villages, mosques or churches.
If you see such a poster on a street corner advertising for such a person, please do let me know. I am very interested in knowing the person smart enough to place such a poster and the wanted person gullible enough to be arrested or co-opted for such a task.