The Oasis Reporters
April 16, 2021
Prof Onyemaechi Ogbunwezeh
The evening sun was about to set, as Abuja opened her sweaty arms to welcome me. More than 200 others; from all tribes and tongues and peoples and nations; all borne on the belly of Lufthansa‘s Airbus 320-300 from Frankfurt, came also.
I was on home soil once more.
Before the touchdown, as the big bird made its landing approach,I looked out the window, like is always my predilection.
Sprawled before me was a city that could be best described as part construction site, and part residential area. No heavy fumes attesting to the presence of industries of any kind could be seen anywhere from this height. Was that the nature of the city, or was that one of the corona victims?
On the gangway, on our descent to the bus that whisked us to the arrival terminal, the suffocating warmth of this isles of my birth bade me welcome, with gusty winds.
I cleared the immigration quickly after going through a grueling corona examination. I was proud of Nigeria’s approach on this score.
I am now in Abuja.
I took in the city, as the city started unravelling her character to me, over the next few days. It didn’t take the city a century to make the first impressions on me.
One of my first realizations, was that the Nigerian elite are pursuing rodents, while Rome burns. And nothing summarizes this inglorious preoccupation, like this city called Abuja.
Abuja is like an open invitation, which a dead carrion, sends to scavengers of every land and clime.
It is the table at which the future of Nigeria is picked off her dead bones, by an avaricious armada of political mercenaries,who religiously pretend to patriotism as they rob the nation of her future.
The serene avenues of this city bellies the boiling magma, threatening to engulf the nation and cause rains of blood to deluge our streets. Abuja is a compounded mixture of a comic tragedy, battling to out-class the sterile mimicry of Dante’s inferno.
In Abuja, convoys of infernal myopia, race to appointments with men of low morals clad in togas of power. These meetings are essential arenas, where Nigeria is swooped on by a massive congress of inveterate thieves armed with knives of infamy, to butcher and sacrifice the country at the altars of their own pockets. There, the posterity of Nigeria is embezzled.
Abuja … a city of contracts and contractors
Abuja is the federal capital of a country listing dangerously to starboard. Abuja is a city of contracts and contractors. Nothing more, nothing less.
In fact, the major political characters in the city are all Nero incarnates, burning Rome.
The country is in crisis, and they are busy scrambling for the scraps of power. They are ensconced in that lazy obliviousness, that clouds the eyes of reason, in power centers, before disaster makes landfall.
Abuja makes you realize that Nigeria is a feudal empire of elitist avarice. In this city, there is a pall of elitist indifference to the rot enveloping the nation. It is like the first-class passengers of the Titanic, eating caviar and dancing to crapulent orgies, while the condemned ship gradually sinks to the bottom of the Atlantic.
Next time, you are in Abuja, open your eyes. It is like a huge court of imperial debauchery, hosting every flotsam of impunity, which the cavernous underbelly of Nigeria, has been mass-producing since British roguery created us for her avarice.
The city is a concrete jungle of contracts and contractors, sitting atop a diminishing pile of petrodollars. The only industry here is government. Every other thing is allied to it. Abuja is the summary of Nigeria’s rotten culture of unproductivity,dressed in the borrowed robes of architectural opulence.
Abuja is that inglorious site, where Nigeria erected a temple to her unproductivity. State Governors troop to this site at the end of every month, begging bowls in hand; to collect their monthly allocation accruing from crude oil sales.
This means that no critical thinking, visionary planning, or conscious action are undertaken in those states, within the month, to seek ways of creating functional economies that could challenge comparison, with that of other nations. The Governors are in their Palatial State Houses, trotting around like castrated Pashas, who are satisfied with the pomps of office and pageantries of mediocrity financed by the begging bowls they haul back from Abuja every month.
Abuja … slumbering away her potentials
Abuja is the signature tune of a nation slumbering away her potentials, in lazy affectations to wealth.
Abuja..between vision and reality
The vision that was Abuja, was a great one. But the reality of Abuja, is today a horrendous nightmare to most Nigerians. The agitations sprouting all round the country at the moment, are testaments to the fact, that Abuja has cemented itself as an enabler of our collective mediocrity. Abuja and her contractors and power mongers are stealing us blind and impoverishing us all beyond redemption.
Nigerians should know that the politicians they sent to Abuja, are mostly hungry and avaricious men, without vision. They only genuflect to the Golden Calves of their stomach.