THIS IS NIGERIA By Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman
“The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain…To build a nation where peace…And justice shall reign”
Today, one who carefully studies Nigeria might conclude that the labour of our heroes past is about to be in vain if something is not done to fix the ugly condition of the country. At the same time, he might need to ask The God of Creation when are we building a nation where peace and justice shall reign in a country plagued with Nepotism, Tribalism, Religious Bigotry and Media-Praganda.
Many times, we have cried against the media. Now, we do not hear what we need to hear but what they want us to hear. We cannot be wrong if we say that the media today offers nothing more than Breaking News, Controversies and Sensational Headlines for Ghana-must-go bags and bank alerts. These can only be achieved in a country like Nigeria by capitalizing on our religious, tribal and political differences.
Some months ago, I wrote an article on what I experienced on my way to Osogbo from Ilorin. The policemen stopped us and ask some of us to bring our bags for a search and we obliged. During the search, a Fulani man who was passing by was called by the policemen. Like the Colonial Masters who set up their own courts and judge, they asked him questions in the English Language that he does not understand. The innocent man was then asked to get into the police vehicle. He tried to explain himself, smiling yet wearing a confused smile but who wants to listen to the dirty Fulani man?
So, the policemen asked us to go but I was curious. I went to one of the police officers then asked what what was the offence of the Fulani man. “Don’t beg for Fulani man o! Who are you? If you love yourself, get into your Bus. Do you not know that Fulani Herdsmen are killing people? Did you not hear that they are bringing Boko Haram to the South-West?”, he retorted. I left him but sensitized those who cared to listen. If a Police Officer erroneously believes all Fulani need to be checked and watched, would an average citizen not even kill them just how propaganda worked in Rwanda leading to the bloody war between the Tutsis and the Hutus.
Are we going to watch while the Media makes vain the labour of our heroes past? Internationally, the Muslims had been writing and still writing against the term, “Islamic Terrorist”. Many in the West are being made to believe that the “Jihadists” are coming for them and their lands to spread Islam. No wonder some non-Muslims would look at a Muslim and tell him he is too humane to be a Muslim like Islam is defined by Violence and Belligerence. How do we build a nation where peace and justice shall reign when crime is affiliated with a tribe, violence with a religion and cruelty with a colour?
In an attempt to address the Social Vices in Nigeria, a Nigerian artist, “Falz the Bad guy” came up with a song titled, “This is Nigeria”. In the video, a man dressed in a Fulani attire stood up, picked a cutlass then attempted to slaughter a man that was blindfolded which he later did. Obviously, this is to talk about the “Fulani Herdsmen” killings. Falz’s fault? Maybe no..Maybe the Media’s. When did we start to affiliate crime with a tribe? Violence, War, Murder etc have no religion, tribe, colour or language. If care is not taken, all Fulani would become herdsmen, others will write, more videos produced that depicts the Fulani man holding a knife and slaughtering people and before we know, the Fulani man has no identity other than violence.
We need to talk. We do not need to belong to any religion or tribe before we state the obvious. I wonder if Falz would do that if he is Fulani. Do we have to wait till an Igbo man sings a song to address the issue of Kidnapping and a Yoruba man in Agbada represents it? Till a Yoruba writes a book and an Igbo man in Wrapper, Hat and beads is used to address the issue of fraud? Do we wait till a Muslim writes a play with a guy reading the bible before killing people takes the lead role just to denounce the killings done by the Lord’s Resistance army headed by Joseph Kony or the killings in Central African republic. Do we fold our arms till videos of ISIS are made with the actors reading the Qur’an before beheading people just because the playwright wants to condemn ISIS? Are these going to happen in the name of addressing vices or in the name of Art and Symbolism?
THE LYRICS AND HIJAB MATTERS
Once I wrote about what I found amazing. The DJ was serving Eedris Abdulkareem’s Nigeria Jagajaga. The lyrics;
“… Nigeria jagajaga Everything scatter scatter Poor man dey suffer suffer Gbosa, gbosa, gun shot inna di air…”
This song addresses the problems facing Nigeria at the moment but what were the listeners doing…Dancing…no thanks to galala dance moves that maybe no one even bothered to care about what lyrics. Do we call that Art? in Falz’s, “This is Nigeria”, some girls in Hijab were rocking the Shaku Shaku dance and we want to believe they represent the Chibok Girls. It is pathetic that we want to call it Art when there is no single connection between the Chibok girls and the Shaku Shaku dance. What type of Art is that? What is the category? Charlie Chaplin’s, The Great Dictator was funny but we all know this is for Hitler, Nikolai Gogol’s satire against the then Russia Government, “The Government Inspector” was humorously put but we know where and what it was aimed at. Where then did we learn this misplaced and incoherent form of art?
We can understand if the girls in hijab are used to portray religious people abusing drugs and keeping late nights but Falz chose his words and the characters in the video. He knew when a crime scene should come in talking about criminal cases, he knew when to touch his watch when singing about the jobless person checking if his watch is original. He knew that a woman must portray Madam Philomena and the lost money, the pastor, the SARZ, he knew someone had to act the sansmission e transmission. Hence, the argument that the girls in hijab portray religious people abusing drugs would be strange to the artist. If they represent the Chibok girls, their dancing shaku shaku makes it very ridiculous like girls twerking in Charlie Puth’s “See You Again”.
I reiterate that the girls dancing Shaku Shaku is not Art! Is it not more reasonable if the girls just sit and someone with Ak47 is dancing Shaku Shaku instead? However, it is important to note that Falz raised very important issues that we should address collectively as a Nation.
God bless Nigeria!
Bashir lucas Samson Lukman
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