Tuesday, 12 July 2011

How the West could take over Nigeria (1/2)

In late 2009, I was jollifying in one of my usual Lagos spots, when, as it often is in these gatherings, the subject gradually veered from the trivialities of whether Agbani Darego is as pretty as Helen Prest; which tastes better; Star or Gulder. To the considerably chunkier issues of the day like - is Lamido Sanusi the real deal, or a Mujahideen in disguise?
Is GEJ capable of the guile required to manoeuvre his way to the Presidency or will his good luck finally run out?  You can imagine the variety of emotions you are bound to witness in such an assembly.
But as convention entails in these types of situations, there will always be the awkward period when necks become decorated with veins and handkerchiefs make several appearances, despite the efficient air-conditioning units happily blasting away in the background.  
I guess my stating that suicide bombing would soon become the staple trademark of the politically disenfranchised in Nigeria was not exactly subtle or demanding of a gentle reaction. As with most topics I raise when I am in the company of my cerebral ‘Naija Posse,’ it was designed to provoke, irritate and eventually inspire discourse. 
And boy did it just do exactly what I desired....
The first person to go for my proverbial jugular was an old school mate of mine (for this article, we will call him Nnamdi). An accountant by trade, Nnamdi was never lacking when ‘coming forward’ was the requisite character trait. 
Blessed with a special brand of unwavering confidence, fuelled by a successful career to date and an unhealthy self-belief, he never knew when he lost arguments.
“All you London boys are full of imaginative theories. So you believe Nigerians will kill themselves because of this country? You have seriously disappointed me with your position on this one. I guess the years outside this country have started to affect you.”
The slap-down was quite emphatic and aside from one other person within the gathered group of ten, the derision for my take on the issue was overwhelming and consistently acerbic.
After one hour of such a one-sided verbal pummelling, I must admit I began to experience moments of doubt as to the efficacy of my position. But I was driven on by my belief of what I had garnered from some determined eavesdropping from a few years before:

Al-Qaeda and its affiliate terror groups were putting together plans for using Nigeria as their international communications hub!
In theory, of course I lost the argument that night, but two years later and a few suicide bombings to boot, all of a sudden; I have been transformed from crazy alarmist to someone who might actually have a pulse on the political direction of Nigeria. 
A conciliatory text, from one of the baying crowd of that fateful episode, did arrive, but yes, you've guessed it.....nothing from Nnamdi.

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