Dinner From A Lagos
It was a very beautiful evening in Lagos. I was in the
car, waiting for my wife to get her bag from her office
so we could go home together. Then, I saw him, as he
passed, looking very hungry and haggard. The general
consensus here is that he is not mad. At least, not yet.
He is clearly traumatized by the impossible condition in
which he struggles to exist each day.
Suddenly, his hungry eyes caught the
dustbin, outside the office complex, a few
meters away from where my car was packed. He
appeared so elated at his find. His face
creased into an awful gesture, which he
probably meant to be a smile. Then, with a
quickened pace, he made for the dustbin, and
began to desperately rummage in it, among
its decayed, putrid, stinking contents. He
seemed afraid that someone might come out to
drive him away before he was through.
idea occurred to me immediately. Nigerians
ought to share this heart-rending image with
me. Yes, my camera was at the backseat, I
remembered. I quickly reached for it, and
with a greater part of me hid behind the
windshield, I took two shots of him while he
was still busy searching and collecting some
items triumphantly. Then my third shot
caught him as he made to move away with his
booty. And within a few minutes, he went
down the street and was gone
This, too, is a Nigerian. Like you and I. Like Umar Musa
Yar’Adua. Like David Mark.
Like Patricia Etteh. Like Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo
(the founder/father of Modern Nigeria).
Like National Assembly Members. Like former State
Governors. Like former ministers and Super Special
Advisers. Like some Local Government Chairmen. All now
incredibly wealthy after just a few years of “self-less
to the nation”!
If this hapless Nigerian had heard that houses are
renovated and/or upgraded in Abuja with a mere “ paltry
sum” of N628 million, he didn’t show it. He was just
content to invade the dustbins, to fill his stomach with
its putrid contents, until life, his life, reaches a
T-junction, where, his candle would be cruelly
extinguished by the violent wind of the unspeakable
callousness of Nigerian leaders.
By the way, is Umaru
Dikko reading this?
That is the reality of
present day Nigeria. And make no mistake
about it, there are several others like him
out there, who would never have anything to
eat today, until they are able to find a
dustbin rich enough to yield them a meal.
Perhaps, this fellow
voted in the last election. Perhaps, he did
not. But those who are supposed to take care
of him are out there in Abuja and other
points of power engaging in unspeakable
profligacy, with the commonwealth, from
which they have carefully insulated him.
While he dies slowly, and miserably.
* * *
posted 4 November 2007