I voted mainly against watching the just-concluded controversy-filled reality show, BBNaija, because i didn’t want to see gobe. The organisers were sensitive enough to warn ahead of the show, with the adoption of the expressive, conjective and predictive street lingo. Why now the complaints about South-looking stuff, groping and open sex, from those moralising after choosing to see gobe. Yoruba will say “eni wa iwakuwa, ari irikuri (prying is implicative). It wasn’t an open show. If you went searching where it was hidden, don’t come back pontificating. It is called hypocrisy. I also chose not to read the over-salacious sex gists even in the media. Many who chose to lap all up with relish in their closet, smacking their lips in erotic mischief while their imaginations ran amok about Bisola, Tboss et al, are now in public space, calling Holy Ghost fire on the perceived immorality and filth that pervaded the entire show. Even for Rueben Abati, it was a minus one, trying to sound like Tboss’s pastor. Tboss didn’t display her boobs on NTA. Where did Abati see them looking South? Both Abati and Tboss need deliverance and salvation.
But the reported voting craze, especially in the final week, driven mostly by entertainers in support of Efe, the eventual winner, on social media platforms and mainly targeting the youth, was my take-away. The implication is huge for our future, though it is certain that not all the votes were from Nigeria. But with the coming diaspora voting, all the millions of votes, could be counted in favour of Nigeria and the youth.
Efe got over 57 percent of the votes. If calculated in numbers, he would have easily defeated both President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential poll, propelled mainly by the Nigerian youth and media-influencer entertainers, using the social media platforms. Is Efe’s victory saying anything to the Nigerian youth and the galvanising power at his disposal to effect desired change going forward?
Many would argue that election voters are different from reality show voters. Absolutely correct. Drawing a line between the two groups is also likely to type-cast the Nigerian youth as lazy and not given to serious issues of nation-building. Likely correct. Stretching it further, elections could be cast as serious while shows whether reality or surreal, could be tagged irresponsible, meant only for its kind. Maybe.
But all these “brilliant” arguments would not detract from the essence of the “feat” just achieved by the Generation X of voters. Yes, it was achieved with minimal discomfort of just having to type a favourite housemate’s name in cozy rooms, bars, offices or even night-clubs, unlike a typical election day in Nigeria when even the cosmos would be in mourning mood to reflect the war-like scenario in the land. Yes, the youth may not be able to shake the established politicians out of the game in 2019 because Nigeria isn’t America where you can write-in to cast your votes even before the election day, or get to vote on the D-Day with minimal discomfort, in the make of voting in a reality show.
But even if the manifestation is futuristic, it would not be wrong serenading the achievers and indulging them luxuriate in the further realisation of the power the oppressed possess to bring about “genuine” change, not the one they were corralled into, using the instrumentality of co-opted media.
It may look impossible now, considering the strangulating hold of the political class on the electoral space, but it won’t forever be the “show” of a class, classically tagged by a friend-in-government as bandits. One day, Nigerians would be voting with much comfort, won’t have to wear bullet-proof to voting centre, would be writing-in and even electing from their bedroom via technology. It will happen and sniggers would take back their skepticism of today.
Even 2015 shows the desired and desirable future isn’t far away. APC had defeated PDP and Goodluck Jonathan in public space using the social media before the election proper. The same social media the party in power is now allegedly compromising to manage citizens’ discontent. The tragedy of the kind of see gobe victory is lack of direction, focus and organisational ability. The mission is always narrow. In this case, it was to get a fellow entertainer with a street tongue they could identify with, win. After Efe, the project collapses. This is where a PR prince with an eye for the-void, would be king. The result may, won’t and is never likely to be immediate. But the impact could be. Just like 2015 and this time, bigger. Well, with everything based on logistics a-la Efe of If-no-be-God fame.
Ibrahim Idris and his dark-clothed men conferred with reason and freed 15 of the Ife 21, holding on to a traditional ruler and five others who are likely to be the guinea-pig of the crisis. The 15 who Idris said intelligence report indicted thereby having case to answer, were freed unconditionally. What does that say about police capacity, ability, objectivity and capability for reliable intelligence gathering? It looks more like Lawan Daura’s intelligence reports indicting Ibrahim Magu which Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo tactically dubbed worthless, while confirming the decision of the Presidency not to employ Daura’s conclusion for any magomago (shenanigans) on Magu. Is there any credibility left for Daura and his suited men? Those involved in alleged killing, arson and public disturbance in Ife crisis must be punished and it is immaterial if it is a beaded head or bejeweled neck. But the justice must be 360 degrees, capturing everyone in the orgy of violence. Now that Idris had confirmed police initial intelligence report on the crisis was professionally and ethically challenged, why not release the remaining six suspects and begin investigation afresh. The report that indicted and got innocent 15 Ife natives paraded like common criminals, won’t stand judicial, moral and even genuinely-professional scrutiny and since the remaining six were also captured in this flawed intelligence, common-sense should dictate blanket unconditional release. Afenifere should press the Yoruba charge against the unmitigated disaster of investigation until all are released. Then the 21 natives should sue police and the Nigerian state for wearing criminal toga for them, deliberately so. I had once admonished a former IGP at a private dinner to go for hoods if suspects must be paraded. He jokingly dismissed it with “my entire budget won’t cover it”. Maybe, police budget would now cover the coming exemplary damages. The Ife crisis must be investigated. But by who? Police, DSS, Danbazzau?