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  • Writer's pictureNnaemeka Ali, O.M.I

Updated: Feb 24

If you want to understand how heartless Nigerian elected officers are, see how they fight whenever a policy doesn’t favour them. How many governors have cried out when ASUU remained on strike for over eight months? How many of them condemned it? No, they didn’t because their kids aren’t affected. On the contrary, their kids enjoyed a first-class teaching method in the Western world’s capitals.

What did they do while kidnappers terrorized the whole nation? Who among them went beyond mere make-believe condolence visits to the community butchered by herders, unknown gunmen and other criminals parading our country? Did they threaten the president or see the carefree attitude of the president as a plan to destroy their political party?

No, they didn’t. Instead, some relocated their families outside Nigeria, and others doubled their security.

How many of them complained that all these years, while we were facing fuel scarcity? When airways doubled their fair, did they make any statement? How many of them complained that the price of commodities skyrocketed every day?

No, they all kept doing it as if it were business as usual! They never cared because they all travelled on our public fund and paid nothing from their personal pocket.

How many of them showed their indignation when they killed our brothers and sisters at the Lekki Bridge during the EndSARS protest?

No, they only went ahead, dining with those killing us.

So, why are they crying out now? Why are they using the masses as the reason they’re enraged? Do you think it’s about you?

No, it’s not! Not only that, but they don’t care about you. They neither love nor like you. They’re vampires and will suck you dry to quench their thirst for blood. Let it sink into your head that these guys never care for Nigerians.

The tantrums they’re throwing now aren’t about you. They’re simply trying to use you to achieve their goals. This is the only time they feel what you have always felt. Their chicken is coming home to roost! Don’t fall for their crispy game, please!

Just come to think about it. They’re now talking about the president disobeying the court of law. Don’t fall for that nonsense. It’s not about the court of law. How many of them spoke out when this government disobeyed the court order to release El-Zakzaky and Nnamdi Kanu? Who among them remembered the court of law?

No, they didn’t because it wasn’t an occasion to loot the nation dry. They’re never fighting for you. It concerns them and their project to rig elections and misappropriates our public funds.

So, as you vote this week, show them you have a choice. Tell them you can decide who rules you. Vote wisely; vote to end their impunity by choosing leaders ready to go the extra mile necessary to make you proud. Don’t allow either ethnicity or religion to cloud your conscience. Vote for your future and the future of our nation: vote to end this exile and constant brain-draining of our country.

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  • Writer's pictureNnaemeka Ali, O.M.I

Updated: Feb 24

In September 2022, Viola Davis powerfully brought the Female King of Dahomey, Queen Nanisca, to life on giant screens. In that epic docudrama, The Woman King, written by Dana Stevens, Gina Prince-Bythewood combines the energy and adventure of the 18/19th Century Amazonian soldiers, offering spectators an insight into the long-forgotten history of the Dahomey kingdom. Though the film is often criticized for embellishing the image of Queen Nanisca, the storyline was successfully done, highlighting the prowess of a female king whose story history wanted to silence.

And in February, this year, while we celebrate Black History Month, like Gina Prince-Bythewood, Jada Pinkett Smith offers us another breathtaking documentary. This time it’s a docuseries. In this four-episode (Netflix) series, she brings another adventure and the reign of a Female King and warrior to life. This time, it’s at the Central heart of Africa, around the lowland forest of Africa, in actual Angola. The name of the female King was Njinga (Adesuwa Oni).

Born in the 17th century, when the Portuguese were terrorizing the entire Atlantic Coasts of Africa, scavenging for slaves, Queen Njinga proved to be the answer to the problem menacing to destroy her kingdom. Like a cheetah, she affronted the invaders with her army, entering alliance even with her enemies to stop the deadly trade of the enslavers. So young, she learned the art of ruling from her father. So, equipped with years of listening to failed negotiations, she became hardened, affronting the enemy, sometimes with bargaining and conceding to their conditions at other moments. And when negotiation proves useless, she fights or retreats to fight another moment.

In this Netflix docuseries, the producer, Jada Pinkett, offers the audience a unique insight into the history of the Ndongo and Matamba kingdoms. The merit of this beautifully filmed series is its combination of actions with interviews. In between different moments of the series, experts, historians, archivists, a woman Queen, etc., lend their voices to either analyze an action or supply spaces that the series couldn’t cover. The interviews are among what makes this series unique among its equals.

The series contains intrigues, betrayals, love, lust, wars, slavery, and heroic adventures. In this African Queens, the story of Queen Njinga is told from the point of view of the Ndongo and Matamba kingdoms. This is a breath of fresh air, as all that is known about the kingdom is from the records of the Portuguese and the allies. And though there are instances of her failure, weaknesses, and even crime, the African Queens is like the lions telling the story of the hunt.

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  • Writer's pictureNnaemeka Ali, O.M.I

As Nigerians vote in a few days, the political idiom “Nero fiddled while Rome burned” comes to mind. Though it might not be literally accurate, it’s certain that Nero, figuratively, fiddled while Rome burned. This is because Nero was known for taking advantage of crises to advance his political programs, and the destruction of Rome by fire was one of those occasions.

In July AD 64, a great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half its population homeless. And though Nero was not in Rome when the fire started, he later took advantage of it to confiscate the areas razed down during the fire outbreak. And what is more, Nero took the opportunity to accuse the Christians of burning the city, resulting in massive arrests and executions.

Looking at what is happening in Nigeria today, history is repeating itself again. Nero is again fiddling while Rome burns. The monster we created is on the prowl, and those who made them are now taking advantage of the chaos they created. They are taking advantage of the mess we are collectively into to execute their disastrous plan.

For example, the political instability and insecurity plaguing us today are, on the one hand, the fruits of disasters orchestrated by close to two decades of rule by the People’s Democratic Party. And in the other hand, it’s the outcome of a poisonous time bomb planted by the APC-led government of Muhammad Buhari.

Unfortunately, those behind this well-known recipe for disaster are again sitting on the steering, blindfolded, ready to carry the entire nation on a deadly road tour. The truth is that we all know that these guys are out to commit a massive suicide. They also know we are aware of it. But, having rendered us powerless, they believe undoubtedly that we will again head to their snares. Their traps have been garnished with poisonous baits, and like vampires hungry for blood, we are ready to die if we can taste that red body fluid.

Regrettably, we are all bewitched to enjoy the fatal fiddle in the hands of our killers. And like a fly without an adviser, we advance with these corps to the grave, blindly dancing to their Surugede, although we know that Surugede is the dance of the spirits.

Today, any Nigeria who does not see the urgency of salvaging this nation already on its knees is like Nero. Besides, worse than Nero is anyone who takes advantage of the situation to create an ethnic or religious narrative that will jeopardize our unborn children’s future.

Luckily, many young Nigerians have decided to break the jinx of our ethnic and religious wars. They have understood that no one is supposed to sit on the fence in this crucial moment of our history. But sadly, the situation is so complicated that it will still take more hands-on deck to undo the knots around our collective necks. We must wake up before forcing our people to suicide.

We also know these leaders who are vying for the Aso Rock villa. In the past eight years, impunity has reigned, with the president ignoring both the judiciary and the legislative arms of the government. Muhammad Buhari, on several occasions, has manifested his “I don’t care” attitude to all the situations of our nation. Insecurity has never known this height in our history as a nation. For weeks, no one has had access to their money. The country is at the point of a war outbreak, with youth out on the road causing havoc and mayhem.

And even though we are tired of this craziness, we know, deep in our conscience, that his mandate is nothing to what awaits us if some of these candidates win this election. The massacre during the EndSARS protest will be child’s play.

My fellow Nigerians, it’s true that no individual can salvage this nation even with a magical wand, but the wrong leader, and we know who they are, will destroy our remaining sanity.

We agree that Nigerians are resilient people, but at the stage we are, it’s no longer resiliency but madness. This is no time to joke if we would instead not allow future generations to be ashamed of our generation. So, as you vote, don’t vote for yourself. Vote for your children and children’s children. Do not vote for “gari and eba”; vote for a better Nigeria. Vote for peace and prosperity; vote for anyone you can entrust into his hand, anything precious to you. Vote for hope. Remember, Nigeria is burning, do not fiddle, please.

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