By Busuyi Mekusi
Experience has shown that human, animal and vegetable wastes are valuable in the cyclical regenerations found in agrarian engineering, as artificiality keeps precipitating superficiality, that is devoid of indemnity. Homo sapiens are, nonetheless, privileged in the carnivorous consumptive negotiations between the three elements, but at the same time disadvantaged at the point of demise, when consumption is not ordinarily contemplated, except if the society approves of cannibalism, as Nigeria societies are now regrettably but patently turning to.
The foregoing reminds one of the myths of Màgúdú, which recorded a mention in one of the oldies of the Juju musician, Ebenezer Obe, who managed vulgarism well before his evangelical annotation. Màgúdú, as confirmed by a colleague, Olugbenga Alabi, of the department of Linguistics and African Languages, AAU, Akungba, is a proverbial earthen pot used to cook lions and elephants, as gaming victims, which could not be eaten at its expiring end. The earthen pot may be liable to the accusation of crudity but its insulation from corrosive contaminating liability sets it apart to be better than modern ones birthed by chemical viability.
The idea and colouration of waste appear to have collocated with realities in most African countries, where we now have various nomenclatures to reference people that are redundantly but incisively categorised as the ‘wasted generation’. Without having to go to some of the contentious responses about this in literary engagements, I have called these individuals, among other contemporary referential notations, the ‘kidnapped generation’. Marooned in social contraptions, where they are defenceless, vulnerable, disillusioned, estranged and self-effacing, these individuals have been captured by western civilisation, inappropriate leadership, religious buffoonery, untamed corruption, unbridled violence, endemic poverty, unmitigated consumerism and outright eclectic gluttony.
Nigeria is rich in human and material resources, but ironically bearing the verisimilitudes of wasteland. The wasteland is literally seen as a place without resources, a barren or an uninteresting place, or better still a place that has been devastated, and thereby uninhabitable. The above partly agrees with the damning reports of some of the assessments made of Nigeria, particularly in relation to health care, poverty, security, life expectancy, etc. However, at another level of literary allusions, one of the 20th century poems by T. S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”, inspired by the work of Madison Cawein of the same title, but devoid of the definite article ‘the’, presages the experiential conditions presently found in Nigeria, as they relate to; death, the burial of the dead, disillusionment and despair. Looking at the composition history of Eliot’s “The Waste Land”, it is clear that his resting isolation for the treatment of nervous disorder during which he discussed Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” with Richard Aldington, walking through a graveyard, is central.
Most Nigerians are not ready to conform with the lot of Màgúdú, as the present generation is particularly notorious for exaggerated selfhood, reckless and primitive accumulation of wealth, perversion for western correctness, escapades with sex and drugs, in order to recede to animalistic level, amidst the guilty larger society that is engrossed in one form of cannibalism or the other. With past cannibalism perpetrated by the political and elite classes, through the misappropriation of commonwealth, the others in the polar divide are busy eating the intestines of one another, in total disregard to the notion that dogs do not eat each other’s intestines. The recent increased pilfering of human organs and body parts validates the old opinion of booming business of organs and body parts merchants across the country, continent, and globally, to obnoxiously service both medical and ritual needs.
Nigeria is challenged by sectoral and sectional peculiar bouts of violence; banditry up north, unknown gun men in the southeast, kidnapping on the national radar, drug peddling, internet frauds, ritual killings and cultism across the southern hemisphere. Even though federal and state governments are making frantic efforts to unmask killers that are turning Nigeria to a gaming field, the killings go on unabated, with the possibility that the perpetrators may be too powerful to be brought to book, than being ghostly evasive. Without any attempt to be too touchy in matters of profiling, it remains a fashionable option to subject people to lifestyle auditing, as one of the many ways to unravel criminality in the country. Some criminals are also in power.
The nefarious exterminating propensities of cultism have been recently reinforced by the senseless cult-related killings in Sagamu, Ogun State, with cultic practices permeating every sphere of engagements; schools, offices, Nollywood, churches, music industry, with the probability that Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly called Mohbad, would have been caught in the web of the silent killers. It is dangerous also that Nigeria youths are desperately scrambling for means to the un-enviable heights of bogus wealth and unsustainable achievements, with some of them embracing warped orientations, as evidenced in the unceremonious gay wedding involving 67 suspected guests, allegedly held in Ekpan, Delta State. The nation is going low, as everybody keeps playing the ostrich, and revelling like Chichidodo, who hates excreta but feeds on maggots! It is noteworthy, however, that PBAT is trying hard to reverse the old order of the commoditisation of youths as thugs, through his appointments of a sizeable number, thus far. Curiously, ‘wasteland’ got mentioned in Tinubu’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The case of the 12-year-old boy, Adebola Akin-Bright, that reportedly lost his intestines in Lagos, and the discovery of the criminal impersonation and quackery as a medical doctor by Noah Kekere, who harvested the kidneys of unwary victims in Jos, are as condemnable as the blatant violation of the space of the Federal University, Oye, in Ekiti State, where a nursing student, Modupe Atanda, was reportedly killed, got her eyes removed, and buried in a shallow grave in the precinct of the Oye campus of the Ivory Tower. Atanda’s killing and ignoble burial reinvents Nigeria schools as sites of violence, seized by criminals desperate to drive in tainted vehicles, teachers with untamed libido terrorising other sexes, and leaders with overbearing corruptive tendencies that would cover bad deeds. No doubt, the sanctity of the sacred learning environments has been variously violently violated.
We would now understand better the implications of the ritualisation of the space of Obafemi Awolowo University during the race for the vice-chancellor’s seat, with the degeneration also pointing out the abandonment of the onerous mandate of universities, in terms of national development, which is now supplanted with the actualisation of constituency projects in Nigeria. Higher institutions are founded, and enmeshed in controversies at times, with little or no funds for take-off and development. As a result, the residential notion for building a community out of such aggregation is burgled, leaving students to live among residents of host communities with whom they have brushes consistently. It is on record that FUOYE was riddled with such controversies, and scattered multiple locating became an option to assuage political apprehensions.
The latitude the criminals that killed, removed the eyes, and buried Atanda in a makeshift grave had suggested the porosity of our institutions, which are invariably breeding criminals, masquerading as students. As encased in Yoruba socio-cultural philosophy, they are neither washmen nor Laundromats but coming home with plenty clothes. The Ivory Tower has melted into the society, in apparent unfortunate instance of gown/town relationship. We should not also forget, in a hurry, the case of self-professed pastors who colluded with the father of a boy, Lucky, to remove the ‘mercury’ in his hunchback. It was revealed that the pricing of N5million in south-south Rivers State appreciated to N10million in southwest Ogun State. What a merchandise!
It is expected that the gown should be able, at least, to solve its problems, if it cannot mend the awkwardness of the town. There is the need to fertilise the wasteland through an intelligent deployment of our wastes. We need good heads across all spheres that would be accountable. Institutions should own their spaces, through; improved security, digital deployment, profiling of students and staff, accountability from staff and students through lifestyle auditing, transparency in conducts, with appropriate sanctions applied for infractions, etc.
Before Nigeria ‘buries’ a greater part of her future, we all must rise against ritual killings, internet fraud, kidnapping, cultism and all forms of corruption, as unsecured spaces will breed and exacerbate victimhood. No doubt, the ‘stand up’; ‘sit down’ drilling of Oyo monarchs by Obasanjo could be disloyalty to royalty, but towers high as a template in guiding on how to use the traditional past to engage modernity. Our deceptive religious and indulging attitudes are negatively nurturing our ‘kidnapped generation’, that are feasting on one another, just because we decided to allow our greed took hold of the better part of our existence. How come we have these rots, right before our very eyes!
I congratulate my Olorì, Ibiyemi Mekusi, as she added a new age on September 20, thanking God for our wedding anniversary on September 21, culminating in my birthday anniversary today, September 22. Happy Birthday, Busuyi Mekusi!