Nigeria is a country that has been struck with never-ending bad luck that stems from a history of defiance that began to sprout from the roots of colonialism — which dealt a heavy blow to a nation that will never recover.
The reason why the movie of the year — Black Panther — continues to enlighten and brighten the outlook for eager-minded fans that still can’t get enough of the global blockbuster — is simple and endearing. The idealistic view that Wakanda could’ve existed in all its majestic glory — without the scarring of global interference is almost too much to accommodate without wiling out.
Unfortunately — that dream rests with the mountain of ticket stubs that are piling up to the tune of millions of dollars that White executives at Marvel and Disney will gladly claim for a job well-done.
The bullshit of injustice continues — as once again the people that inspire what some may consider an award-winning script — are left in the cold while the pompous poachers collect their due without incident. They are able to afford that level of betrayal because it was ordained back when their ancestors conquered lands they invaded for the sake of greed.
Nigeria could’ve been Wakanda.
We were set up to win — but then it all went to hell — after the ports were overtaken by British ships that were filled with the evidence of how and why our destiny shifted beyond reach — under the tutelage of well-costumed heathens who professed the word of a God that didn’t authorize such blasphemous acts in his name.
And now centuries later — the resources that were supposed to enrich our existence and supply the accompaniments to allow our competitive entry in the global economy have been re-routed to foreign powers for their betterment — at the expense of a desperate nation that is still unable to enjoy the privilege of basic amenities.
Through the years of military coups and periods of dictatorship — there was always the possibility that things could improve in ways that would give Nigerians the ability to finally enjoy the convenience of being who they are — without salivating for opportunities to save us from our assigned heritage.
Luckily for me — I was born in the States — during the seventies — which was known as the era when tons of Africans were flooding “civilized” territories with the goal to escape uninhabitable homelands for a shot at the big time.
Now — that I’m still in one piece after weathering the tumultous climate of the eighties and early nineties — I am equipped enough to comprehend the fact that the greed that destroyed my country — still persists today in various forms.
I was force fed the goodness of America and how once I was mature enough to claim my citizenship — I would never have to look back. I was blessed to be born in such rich country that could rival the vibrancy of Oz and give the Wizard a run for his money.
There’s some truth to my good fortune — but then there’s a catch.
The other less ideal option — never stood a chance before it was eaten alive by colonizers and it sure as hell doesn’t stand a chance now — especially when that tradition of circling vultures — still persists.
If I knew then what I know now — I’m not so sure I would’ve readily absorbed the now fading rhetoric of how flawless America is — compared to other struggling nations that are hampered by poverty or the virus of bribery and corruption. I most likely would’ve strongly considered staying in Lagos — to further my education and reserved long vacations for the country of my birth.
I say this because adulthood forces you to be analytical with the aid of a porous mindset — and when that happens — virtually nothing escapes you — which can be an empowering tool that almost leads to shocking results.
Suddenly your heroes become villains and almost everything that you considered undebatable is re-initiated with a plethora of question marks.
President Trump is a bad guy whose actions and remarks match his abhorrent behavior. Former President Obama and his longtime confidante and advisor David Axelrod are supposed to be the good guys — who won the hearts of the world with a triumphant victory and the promise of why “Yes We Can” was the anthem of change.
Yet — there is damning evidence that illustrates how the Obama administration continued the tradition of interference to the detriment of a nation that can’t afford to be coerced into elaborate schemes that aren’t aimed to improve the welfare of a people that have needlessly suffered for far too long.
When the Chibok schoolgirls were kidnapped by the Nigerian-based terror cell Boko Haram back in April 2014 — the world was alarmed at the sheer audacity of armed militants being able to overwhelm the Nigerian army under the supervision of a tragically unfit Head of State.
President Goodluck Jonathan’s apologetic stance and overly-calm demeanor in the face of a national crisis was more than enough to thwart his ambitious efforts of a re-election. But — his feisty opponent during the electoral season wasn’t a massive improvement — in fact he was exactly what Nigeria didn’t need or deserve.
Current President Muhammadu Buhari already had his turn demolishing the fragility of a nation that since his departure back in 1985 — had endured the vileness of legions of military leaders that caused more harm than good — while also keeping their Swiss bank accounts consistently bloated with stolen loot.
Turns out that we had paid attention and learned from the best — when it comes to de-stabilizing those who are already systematically vulnerable.
Buhari ruled Nigeria for only two years (from 1983–1985) and his regime was often times characterized as “Buharism.” This term was inspired by “the harsh right wing military dictatorship after 4 years of civil rule in Nigeria, 1979–1983” — under Shehu Shagari.
Buhari ushered in the climate of dictatorship that only got worse after he was removed by another coup that was spearheaded by the abominable General Ibrahim Babangida. But before then — his policies were very much in line with the desire to stifle freedom of speech — by jailing journalists or artists who dared to use their craft as a weapon against injustice.
The former and re-activated Head of State had the backing of the Obama administration during his electoral bid back in 2015 which ultimately led to his victory. Axelrod’s Chicago-based firm AKPD — that professes to “represent Democratic candidates and progressive causes” — interfered in Nigeria’s 2015 election by supporting Buhari’s initiatives through heavy duty guidance on behalf of the Nigerian political party — All Progressives Congress (APC).
Truth be told — there’s absolutely nothing “progressive” about Buhari’s motives when you consider that his track record from decades ago — still haunts him. His militarized approach to a civilian template misfired greatly and alienated him from the greater population. As a Northerner — his applications disproportionately served that part of the region — which escalated the growing residue of tribal disharmony.
Axelrod’s firm was paid a shitload of money to guarantee Buhari’s historical win and even though the deal was carried out with the intention to keep it out of the press — it was exposed around the time the Chibok girls were kidnapped. AKPD claimed that once the girls were missing — they withdrew their project — but emails from that period were discovered — proving that the firm still maintained contact with Buhari’s APC — even after issuing a denial.
It has to be said that the Obama administration helped to destroy Nigeria’s path to progression — by supporting an aging former military dictator who was in no condition to help heal an ailing country. The personal interests in investing in something that was doomed from the start is the aching realization that even the good guys will get you — if there’s enough profit to seduce their loyalty.
A few weeks ago — it was announced that a little over a hundred Nigerian school girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram. And now the 101 school girls from the Northern town of Dapchi have been reportedly returned to their families — even though the rumors that 5 of them were killed — still persists.
Despite Buhari’s presence and empty promises to bring back ALL the girls that were taken almost four years ago — the tradition of suffering children who are stuck in a leaderless country is the legacy that remains.
Nigeria has accommodated its fair share of setbacks — but the burden of revisiting the bad old days with the assistance of an administration that gave America its long-awaited “Messiah” is the “fuck you” that I didn’t see coming.
The election cycle will begin again in 2019 — and with the damaging report that includes Nigerians being sold as slaves in Libya — while others are killed in certain parts of Europe as they try to cross the Mediterranean sea — it’s impossible to predict how a roaring comeback with the appearance of newly-minted candidates with “progressive” views will be implemented within the confines of a purposefully staged process.
But — no matter how miraculously we defeat our demons — there’s no denying that the wasted years under Buhari was the poisonous sting from the Obama administration that will undoubtedly soil his legacy to some degree.
And that could be a somewhat adequate settlement.
By Ezinne Okoha