Opening the Pandora’s Box in theatre of absurdity- By Ebue Chiebonam


    President Muhammadu Buhari

    Nigeria is fast becoming an absurdist’s theatre among the comity of nations. What ordinarily is an abomination, absurd, contrary to reason or propriety, logically contradictory, ridiculous, inconsistent with plain dictates of common sense in other climes, are accepted in Nigeria as normal and a way of life. 

    Perpetrators of crimes and constitutional infractions in some countries, will face firing squad or stiff jail terms, but here in Nigeria, such people are awarded national honours.

    The old phrase ” clothed in his right mind,” is anathema to Nigeria’s present situation. It must be understood that man is not in his right mind when he is not clothed in the symbol of his social dignity, ethos and pathos that harmonised his society; he is naked. When he is naked, he has lost his humanity because humanity is not even human whenever it is naked.

    Today, evidence abound to show that those who hold the reins of power in all strata of governance in Nigeria have all lost their humanity.

    Few of such evidence include the opening of the PANDORA’S BOX in the ongoing NDDC Forensic Investigation; the revelations before the panel probing the former Ag. Chairman of   the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, events leading to the call for the removal of the Service Chiefs, especially the breakdown of law and order in most parts of the federation particularly in Kaduna state where the sanctity of human lives have become a mere superstition. 

    Furthermore, the 600 billion Naira expended on palliatives by the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry during the lockdown to cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, is an indication that some of the people at the corridors of power have lost their humanity.

    The avidity and kleptomania of those who are entrusted with our commonwealth will perhaps outrage the devil himself. When there is a breakdown of law and order, profiteers, swindlers and crooks take advantage of the anarchy to reign supreme. 

    Unfortunately, this is the state where Nigeria is headed today; and unfortunately again, the present administration seems to have no clue on what to do to stem the tide of these malaise and navigate our state ship away from impending collision with an iceberg in the middle of an ocean.

     This is because they have lost their humanity; they are no longer clothed in their right minds. Naked they came, amoral they are, hedonism their credo and religion, the men and women in the rooms and corridors of power in the high places in Nigeria. 

    Where and how would they get the moral authority and political will to fight the monster they created ab initio? Already, their fecundity in the art of governance had been whittled down, eroded and obviated by parochialism, crass nepotism and unbridled arrogance and false sense of invincibility.

    Where else could you imagine that this would happen if not in Naija Banana Republic? A group of people sat down in a room and wrote-off more than 81 billion Naira within four months on inconsequential trivialities without embarking on any project which is their core mandate in Niger Delta. 

    What happened to them? Of course they are in their comfortable cozy palaces enjoying the looted funds while the gossip is going on at the National Assembly.

     Meanwhile, abject poverty and environmental degradation continue to be the daily companions of their people back home.

    What about the “game of death” battle for supremacy and control of looted funds and properties between the former Ag. Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, and the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami, which is best described as dancing naked in the market place. 

    How do they say it, that it takes a thief to catch a thief, but here in Naija, it takes a bigger thief to catch small thief.

    Finally, let me pause for now as we watch the unfolding macabre dance of the people we entrusted with our destiny. I was wondering whether the Poet Hesiod who captured the story of the Pandora’s Box in the Greek mythology had Nigeria in mind.

     According to him, Pandora was the first mortal woman created by Zeus and sent to earth as a punishment for the theft of fire by Prometheus.

     She brought with her a box containing all human ills as a special gift from the gods, but warned never to open it. Out of curiosity, she opened the lid and all the ills the gods had hidden in the box started coming out.

     Pandora was scared and tried to close the lid of the box as fast as possible, but it was too late, they all flew out except hope that was at the bottom of the box.

    Hope, that belief or great expectations that it will be well, that things will change; that desire by majority of ordinary Nigerians who had been abused and neglected by their leaders over the years that it will be better, yet things are getting worse day by day. 

    Hope! It seems it has become a contradiction for Nigerians. How long do we wait further before we descend into anarchy?

     From all these revelations about corruption and malfeasance in government, especially under the nose of a man whose cardinal philosophy is to wage war against corruption, I do not see a gleam of hope in this darkness of despair.

    Mr. Ebue Chiebonam,  former Secretary, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Enugu state Council, wrote from Enugu.


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