Nigerian Elite Actors: An unfolding drama in naked depravity, By Victor Ikhatalor

Posted by News Express | 23 July 2020 | 1,355 times

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•Victor Ikhatalor


As pundits ponder, as analysts analyse and as commentators comment, once again, we are dragged into the elitist theatre to have a peek at their unending macabre Game of Thrones series, where often than not, in the watching, we fail to notice that this is a decadent cast of actors, naked in their debauchery for all to see. To unravel the actors and gain true perspective - on “the trials of Brother Magu” and the “NDDC secrets from the guest house” - we must first go back and look at the making of the series!

To become an elitist actor in Nigeria, one must have in auditioning, and passed fit to grandstand and be absolutely shameless. To gain understanding of the desirability of these traits in elitist actors is to see through the institutionalisation of corruption. With the deliberate removal of the penalty of ‘shame,” dreaded by the African personality, the Nigerian ruling class has over time successfully entrenched corruptive deviant values in the society. By deliberately subjugating and negating our laudable African value systems to maintain their nefarious power and accruable gains thereof, the Nigerian elite has, unfortunately, inexorably nurtured the hydra-headed corruption monster that cannot and will not be tamed.

Thus, while the latest installments of this series unfolds, let us be mindful that we do not strain our vocal cords, run our inks dry or our data down in picking good or bad actors. Surely, we have seen enough of past seasonal flicks from our elitist actors to know that in time these episodes will be consigned to the dustbin of history, as though there was never a performance. Never mind that in their performances actors, in these latest installments, have spewed out lines that any rational person will be tempted to call out as outlandish and in the realms of dreams. It is the way they fight. Taking a cue from historical precedents, it is not rocket science to reckon that in the cold light of day, a lot of these fantastic allegations and vituperations will turn out to be hogwash. The object of their performances is to gain an advantage, period.

We must not be lured into the illusion that their performances have anything to do with the welfare of the Nigerian people. We must resolutely untangle ourselves from the powers of the binding spell as expounded by the American author and scientist, Carl Sagan, when he said: “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

That they have the gall to continually act out these scripts, in naked splendour, is an affirmation of the absoluteness of their belief and security in the Nigerian feudal system. Our elitist actors are emboldened in their debauchery and display of conspicuous consumption, reinforced by surreptitious knowledge that they possess a full deck of cards, and will always have a hand to play. They know that in an amoral society where their kind holds sway, the sustenance of the status quo will inadvertently also guarantee the protection of their kind.

They swagger with the knowledge that they are not fated to be sentenced to death by hanging for stealing fowls in desperado style. They know they are not fated to mind boggling prison sentences as first time offenders for petty crimes or stealing big man's few thousands of naira. They know that theirs is not the fate to spend countless number of years awaiting trial under dehumanising conditions in our prisons, after being caught in the dragnet of wandering law enforcement officers during profiling outings.

They grandstand, secure in their ability as ultimate manipulators, to pervert the system.

They are smug, knowing that if it gets bad, they will drag out cases in court for years and years, until everyone involved is tired, dead or moves on. They are content that if worse comes to worse they will only get a slap on the wrist, and can serve out jail time in hotels, hospitals or in specially arranged prison custody, buoyed by the eventuality of a soon-to-be joyful reunion with their loot.

They can count on pardons, technical loopholes, party affiliations, plea bargains, etc. They plunder on, fortified in their bastions; immune from the bleating of the public, nerved and bloody-mindedly set on their course with the knowledge that ultimately, elitist power will preserve their way of life. Take the words of the French economist and writer, Frederic Bastiat – “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time, they create for themselves a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

“Elitist corruption”, is the motivation for all that ails the society: militancy, insurgencies, banditry, kidnappings, armed robbery and cultism. These violent endeavours and other more subtle criminal enterprises thrive with an eye on the accepted societal success template - get rich at all cost, no matter the means. Walking in the footsteps of societal bigwigs and straightened in faith by the benedictions of grasping religious functionaries, those who boldly walk the crooked path know it is well-trodden and signposted with magically conjured twinkle of an eye “it is God” stories of societal luminaries.

They walk this path, not burdened by age-long cultural, societal checks. Their lot will not be the opprobrium of ostracism and disownment by kinsmen with the tag of ill-gotten wealth. They march on, armed with the knowledge that with riches all else is forgotten and everything is made new. In success, theirs will be the enviable lot of having a choice of traditional chieftaincy titles, while at the same time being fortified by religious czars falling over themselves to offer blessings. The spectre of being fawned over by all manner of persons and literally getting away with murder is their lure.

Your guess will be as good as mine when the credits start rolling in at the end of “the trials of Brother Magu” and the “NDDC secrets of the guest house” episodes. Whatever the outcome, the Nigerian people are ultimately and forever the poor victims of these actors. The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has forever been tagged as a cesspit of corruption and malfeasance since it first opened its doors two decades ago. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has rolled on, dogged from inception by the warped sobriquet of Aluta Continua, unpleasantly, loosely translating into where they re-loot the loot. Unfortunately, the tarnish of corrupt practices is not unique to these two agencies. Corruption is an open sore, smelly and festering, that pervades every part of the Nigerian estate.

We must not be guilty of the maxim of law: Qui tacet consentit – Silence gives consent. Our side must be the side of the Nigerian people and our advocacies must seek a paradigm shift. Our stand must be against sleaze, debauchery and the display of conspicuous consumption expounded into an art form by public office holders. The words of the Noble Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel are words of truth: “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

The Nigerian people are the victims. They are the oppressed and tormented. They are the terrorised and displaced. The people are continually impoverished by the actions of our elitist actors whose generic scripts and performances produce terrible and depraved films that the Nigerian people would rather do without. We must have an end to these remarkably bad actors.

  • Victor Ikhatalor, Ambassador of Nigerian Industry and Business, tweets @MyTribeNigeria.

Source: News Express

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