Senator Dino Melaye is a very clever politician, I have to give him that. He’s also a good student of the Nigerian psychology. Using his genius, he’s been able to play a spectacular game on Nigerians and it’s working well so far. Right now, there’s no amount of evidence the police will provide that some section of the country won’t still see his arrest as persecution, motivated by politics. To many, Dino Melaye is a freedom fighter. He’s fighting for the weak and the oppressed. Some have even gone as far as comparing him to Fela. They feel sorry for him and the pouring of outrage is simply unbelievable.
Nigerian politics is like a mafia. They don’t want to reform the Justice system. It works perfectly for them this way — especially if you’re in power. We like to use the Criminal Justice system to oppress each other. Oga Bank Manager oppresses his driver. Oga Senator oppresses Oga Bank Manager. A more powerful elite uses the same system to oppress Oga Senator. Then Oga Senator runs to you – the children of Oga Driver – for sympathy and you gladly give it to him. This is one of the few times where you are willing to leave the comfort of your homes to protest in the streets of Abuja in the name of fighting against injustice, even though your entire life has been a glaring example of oppression and injustice perpetuated by the same clique of people you’re desperately trying to defend. The Irony.
I agree that we should stand up for justice at all times. I want Dino Melaye to get justice. I want the CJN to get justice. I want everyone to get justice. We should always stand up for justice even if it is against ourselves. But that’s where it ends for me. I am not going to waste too much energy wailing. This is a country where the average citizen is continuously being shortchanged by the political elite – by depriving them of quality healthcare, education, clean water and so on – so, I’m sure you’ll understand if I find it difficult to be too sympathetic.
Dear Suffering Nigerian,
There are too many issues that require your sympathies right now and rich, powerful politicians fighting because one section did not like their cut from the heist shouldn’t be one of them. Besides, they are rich and powerful enough to fight this fight themselves without your help or sympathy; they can hire the best lawyers to defend them in court – something you may never be able to achieve in your lifetime because they’ve deprived you of it. They can also hire the best Social Media content creators and Journalists to defend them online. Last last, dem go dey alright.
Dear Suffering Nigerian,
In your spare time, you may take a glance, or two, to see how the fight is going and have an opinion every now and then, but things like this shouldn’t consume you. You have enough on your plate to keep you awake at night and people like Dino or the CJN shouldn’t be one of them.
If you wish to feel worried about injustice in Nigeria, then, worry about that 10-year-old girl called Imabong from Eket who, right now, is being sent to Lagos to live with an ‘Aunty’ who’s going enslave her as a ‘House Girl’, thereby robbing her of her childhood. Or her cousin, Emem, who will have a nail drilled into her head because she has been accused of being a witch. Please, worry about 11-year-old Yunusa from that small, remote village in Bauchi, who, right now, is being sent to Zaria to go and beg – with a yellow bowl in hand. Worry about Esther, a pregnant woman in Aba who is likely going to die while trying to give birth to her baby or Iya Bola from Ekiti, whose premature baby will not survive another day due to lack of adequate medical equipment at the hospital.
As you can see, there are numerous problems in the country that requires our outrage right now. Why waste it all on a very rich, privileged politician who’s having a fallout with his old friends — all of whom have benefitted greatly from the Nigerian State at the expense of the majority?
Let me be clear, I’m not saying Dino (or anyone) stole Nigeria’s money to become rich. His basic salary and bonus, as a senator, is already enough to enrich him at your expense. Also, this isn’t personal. If I run into him, I will shake his hands and ask how he’s doing. But at this time, a hungry family somewhere in Kano deserves more of my sympathy than a rich, powerful politician having a hiccup in his political career.
This also does not mean that the CJN or Dino Melaye should not get justice. It’s just that I have other priorities; other more important issues like poor healthcare and unemployment to worry about, and considering where we are as a country, you should, too.
Imagine you invest half the energy you use to defend your favourite oppressors (thereby enabling your own oppression even further) into fighting for a better economy, security, happiness, quality healthcare, education, good roads and electricity. Imagine how quick things will change.
Remember, at the end of this game — of thrones, your real problems will still be here, waiting.
Suleiman Ahmed, a UK-based Software Engineer and Writer, is the author of ‘Trouble in Valhalla.” He tweets from @sule365.
The views expressed in this post are those of the author and in no way reflect those of Nigerian Diary.