• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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BusinessDay

I am hungry, please re-brand me (II)

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Salisu Suleiman

My people are cancerous from the greed of their friends who bleach palm oil with chemicals; my children died because they drank ‘My Pikin’ with NAFDAC numbers; my poor die because kerosene explodes in their faces; my land is dead because all the trees have been cut down; flood kills my people yearly because the drainages are clogged; my fishes are dead because the oil companies dump waste in my rivers; my communities are vanishing into the huge yawns of gully erosion, and nothing is being done. My livelihood is in jeopardy, and I am in the uttermost depths of despondence, please re-brand me.
I have genuine leather but choose to eat it. So I spend a billion dollars to import fake leather. I have four refineries, but prefer to import fuel, so I waste more billions to import petrol. I have no security in my country, but would rather send troops to keep the peace in another man’s land. I have 160 dams, but can not get water to drink, so I buy ‘pure’ water that roils my innards. I have a million children waiting to enter universities, but my ivory dungeons can only take a tenth. I have no power, but choose to flare gas, so my people have learnt to see in the dark and stare at the glare of naked flares. I have no direction, please re-brand me.

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My people pray to God every morning and every night, but commit every crime known to man because re-branded identities will never alter the tunes of inbred rhythms. Just as the drums of heritage heralds the frenzied jingles, remember – the Nigerian soul can only be Nigerian – fighting free from the cold embrace of a government that has no spring, no sense, no shame
So we watch the possessed, frenzied dance, drenched in silent tears as freedom is locked up in democracy’s empty cellars. I need guidance, please re-brand me.

But then, why can I not simply be me, without being re-branded? Or does my complexion cloud the color of my character? Does my location limit the lengths my liberty? Does the spirit of my conviction shackle my soul? Does my mien maim the mine of my mind? And is this life worth re-branding? I am not yet born, please re-brand me.
Concluded