Fidelity bank banner UBA banner
The Theatre of Absurdity in Abuja, By Tola Adeniyi

By News Express on 12/04/2014

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 2,669

Much as I welcomed the idea of holding a National Sovereign Conference which all patriotic citizens of this country had canvassed since the past 54 years to resolve the National Question, I never for once thought that what would eventually present itself as a National Conference would be glorified clowning at the country’s centre.

For starters, the organisers of the Conference chose their disused wardrobes to pick out the oldest and in some cases the most soiled of their apparels. True, old wine tastes better, and in some cases, old wines are more enriching and invigorating. But some old wines packaged in new bottles may demean the brightness of the new bottles and offend both the eyes and the taste of the patrons in the market place.

It turned out that the worn out apparels assembled in the dead woods that were paraded were as placid as their ages and disuse could make them. The only evidence of the deadness of the participants was the cacophony of the snoring noises oozing out of their nostrils. While their bodies registered for the Conference and were indeed physically present, their aged minds were settled on the gateway to heaven!

Technology, that modern-day thief that can pry into the innermost recesses of happenings, has been exposing the tomfoolery going on at Abuja.

At first, the participants did not know that in all issues of taking a vote, it is generally two thirds of voters that are considered a comfortable majority. In the Nigerian experience, it had to take days to settle a simple issue of what constituted a majority. In the end, after several days of bickering and horse trading, a magic formula of 70% was agreed to.

Thereafter came the address of Mr President to the gathering. And true to type, the President dusted up the cupboards of generations of past rulers of the land and regurgitated what and what were said and retold since 1804! A most uninspiring speech, but nonetheless gleefully applauded by the largeness of government contractors and wheeler-dealers in the Conference Hall.

The President announced to the gathering that he was going to give out his daughter in marriage in the backwoods of Otueke, the village where the President claimed he was denied shoes while growing up. Pronto, the Conference Hall was emptied and nearly all the contractor-participants and favour seekers scurried to Otueke. Meanwhile, they would collect their pay taken from the impoverished tax payers for their truancy!

Three weeks into the so-called Conference, there has not been any statement of substance made. Of course, all sorts of funny costumes have been on display. Some members have been showing off their masquerade attires in a way to convince onlookers that the delegates to the Abuja Confab were actually the newly recruited members to the National Cultural Troope!

It has been all theatre and theatricalities. When points of order were raised, those affected routinely ignored such orders. Some of the delegates have been behaving as if the country was their fiefdom while other participants were props men in their theatre of the absurd.

Last week, the dramatis personae were consumed by debates on how much food they should consume per day and how much a plate of eba, or tuwo, or edikaikon, or pounded yam or rice should cost. People almost went physical over such a pedestrian matter like how much should be deducted for a plate of food from their N4 million per quarter largesse.

The real reasons why Nigerians have been clamouring for Conference for decades had been overshadowed by melodrama of the worst order. The Conference had been taken over by slap-stick comedy, and the actors and actresses were displaying wobbled interpretations of improvised plots and themes. The only thing they got right was the funny costumes appropriate for zanies.

Nigerians wanted and still demand the immediate reversal of the constitutional disasters heaped on them by the military. Presidential system with all its pathological corruption imposed by the military must go. Nigeria must be returned to the well practised, less expensive and most inclusive parliamentary system. Nigerians want real fiscal democracy and resource control. Nigerians want real devolution of powers and elimination of the corruption-laden arrogance of the power at the centre. Nigerians want regionalism and less dependence on the centre.

Nigerians want a federation or confederation of six or eight geopolitical zones entrenched in the Constitution and the near-sovereignty of federating regional or zonal units.

Nigerians want a permanent RESTRUCTING of the polity. Human population census figures should no longer be manipulated for political gains.

Gross injustice, inequities in the sharing of the commonwealth and arrant mismanagement of national assets must stop.

Most of the items on the exclusive list must be removed and Nigeria must practice true federal system. As of a fact, most Nigerians want a loose federation as obtained in the United States of America, Canada, Britain, and other multi-national, multi-ethnic and multi-lingua communities.

These are some of the salient issues that had been in the forefront of national agitations before Mr President woke up one morning and announced to a very forgiving citizenry that he was organising a National Confab. What he did not tell the eager compatriots at that time was that he was setting up a theatre company that would receive their tutelage from Baba Sala, the doyen of comedy in Nigeria.

As things stand, it is almost certain that Nigerians would merely have wasted billions of Naira to watch a very uninspiring melodrama.

Perhaps I should show some charity and admit that there are some lone stars in the assemblage of sleepy old men, and those stars, though negligible may turn out to be the saving grace for the Play Producer/Directors at the Circus show.

If care is not taken and tired men and women in Abuja do not quickly wake up from their slumber and appreciate why they were sent to Abuja, we might resign ourselves to the dreadful option of having the creators of the woes in our formless structure to step in and clear the mess. And that, with their boots!

•Chief Tola Adeniyi (shown in photo) is a former Managing Director of Daily Times of Nigeria. He can be reached via

Source News Express

Posted 12/04/2014 6:47:24 PM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+




You may also like...
“Supreme Court order for Uwazuruike’s trial a declaration...

South African parents protest against black school principal...

FG saves $5 billion from scrapping of oil...

You can’t stop Biafra ideology, IPOB tells South...

Niger increases salary of health workers, recruits 400...

EFCC set to auction seized properties

Amaechi to be jailed after leaving office as...

Buhari pledges to get back all Nigerians abducted...

Buhari welcomes IAEA support for Nigeria’s nuclear power...

Disturbing confessions of weakness

We don’t have confidence in INEC, says PDP...

Senate suspends Security Summit in honour of Ekwueme...


Latest News World Igbo Congress endorses Atiku/Peter Obi ticket •Says Obi a miracle worker Boko Haram may soon kill Leah Sharibu, health workers — Red Cross EFCC operatives trail Fayose Travel ban: We have not released any list — Presidency Forget 2019 Presidency, Save Lagos Group tells Buhari Wike declares support for Atiku 2019: PDP South East caucus, MASSOB okay Atiku/Obi ticket Falana to Buhari: Withdraw travel ban on 50 Nigerians ‘without any delay’ INEC under pressure to return Zakari to operations Amnesty office dismisses reports, says not owing graduands under scholarship at Benson Idahosa University Over 15 cultists denounce membership in Enugu Aba fuel explosion: Tension over fresh pipeline leakage


Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (406,301 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (382,038 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (314,396 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (256,196 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (237,117 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (224,141 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (203,868 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (185,358 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (169,869 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (165,747 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (161,305 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (149,148 views)


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (67) Business & Economy (3,679) Business Verdict (52) Columnists (945) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (558) Features (658) Global Business Monitor (304) International (2,529) Interview (165) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (145) News (39,613) Opinion (1,122) Pidgin (13) Politics (7,210) Religion (880) Sports (1,730) Stock Watch (35) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update


Zenith Zero Balance

NLNG Expression of Interest banner

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner




Fulham vs Arsenal 1-5 All Goals & Extended Highlights


APO Group Partner




GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera