Attitude change, not anthem change– Femi Adeoti Column




Yesterday came the way it came. And it went the manner it went. One certainty is certain: It’s gone forever. Never to be seen again.

It was another year added to our ugly history. That past will continue to trail us. We fervently pray. It will not hunt and/or hurt us.

Yesterday, flatterers took the centre stage. They occupied every space. They did what they know how to do the best. All in the name of one year in office.


Everywhere was awash. We just took time off. And we did enjoy the hero-worship. And its accompanied self-adorations. We were marvelled. Who would not?

What would they not flaunt as “laudable achievements?” Everything that crossed their crude imaginations came handy. All that in just one odd year! Wonderful wonders shall never end.

We were forced to ask aloud, but not amiss: Do our rulers really know our needs? Great doubt. They are out of tune with our aspirations. The stark reality that stares us in the face does not bother them. We are at a huge loss. What manner of leaders! What goes on in their minds? We can’t comprehend.

From our pool of life threatening challenges. The National Assembly (NASS) searched all night long. Its species of members dug real deep. And they opted for the ridiculous.

What they found was amazing and amusing. They pretended to be courageous. And ended up displaying negative patriotism. What would anthem change put on our table? And in these perilous times. How did they settle for the frivolous? When we’re neck-deep in legion of predicaments.

Aren’t these characters sensitive enough? Our plight is attitudinal. It’s not anthem change, but attitude change. It’s as simple as that. We don’t need a prophet or a soothsayer to tell us this undecorated truth. It’s bare, plain to us all.

That national anthem change is a naked deceit. We’re pained to the marrows. Our distinguished senators and honourable members did us in this way!

Imagine, the federal lawmakers just came from the blues. Unannounced, they rudely jumped on us. Our fragile peace was disturbed and distorted. They insisted we must sing a new song. Not in a strange land, but in our own land.

What’s wrong with the song we sing presently? The song we sang for 46 years. Suddenly became obsolete, horrible to their listening. It no longer had substance. It lost its vital vibes. Not pleasing to their ears anymore.

It’s characteristic of them. They ignore policies that will be beneficial to us all. And expend energy on what is strictly selfish to them. And they start running after nothingness, emptiness. Chasing their ugly shadows.

They are never realistic in their actions and inactions. Their attitude is awkward, absurd. Old or new, what does it matter? We will gladly sing any of the anthems. Attitudinal change is it!

It was a callous. The manner the National Assembly made utter display of its own brand of patriotism. They were propelled to return to old anthem. Its reason: The current one was forced down our throats by the military.

Let’s salute their feigned courage and bravery.  Let us urge them on. They shouldn’t stop at that. That would be cowardice. They should roll further back into our beautiful past. And bring those old, good days alive again. Our golden era so to say.

They can do it if they want it done. They should have the audacity to dismantle all the states created. That will start from May 27, 1967. That was the day General Yakubu Gowon broke the four old regions of West, East, Mid-West and North. And he pronounced them 12 states.

Yes, by military fiat. They were: Lagos, Lagos; West, Ibadan; Mid-West, Benin; East Central, Enugu; South East, Calabar; Rivers, Port Harcourt; Kwara, Ilorin; Benue Plateau, Jos; North Central, Kaduna; Kano, Kano; North East, Maiduguri and North West, Sokoto.

The authentic local governments were equally military adoptions. They need to be erased from our blurred memories. Then throw away this Constitution completely.

All these would naturally drop on our laps parliamentary system of government. Our restructuring prayers would have been effortlessly answered. On gold platter!

All these would naturally drop on our laps parliamentary system of government. Our restructuring prayers would have been effortlessly answered. On gold platter! But they won’t do that. Instead, they keep on reviewing the constitution over and over again.

Each NASS that come would vote enormous resources. None of the reviews has seen the light of the day. They are at it again. Shame. Constitution review is now a veritable cash cow. What a lucrative sub-sector of the National Assembly.

See the speed they applied on the old national anthem. In a jiffy, it passed through the first, second readings. Just in a sitting, it landed in the third reading. Without strains or stress. No robust debate. The public hearing was not eventful. More or less a make believe. It was signed, sealed and delivered as Law yesterday.

And the same NASS will swear, it’s not a rubber stamp. Then, what is it? Whatever they have vested interest in, they treat with the speed of light. But if it’s for the good of us all, they foot drag.

You will quake at the speed which they impeach governors, deputies. You are there today, out tomorrow. They won’t spare their own either. They throw speakers, deputies away at will. They follow the dirty dictates of their whims and caprices.

You would weep for this country. Less than a day’s sitting, they passed the 2024 budget. They didn’t estimate anything. Neither did they interrogate. It was a matter of raising hands. And the deed is done. It was appalling.

The United States would marvel at our weird frame of mind. That’s where we pretended to copy our constitution. But we won’t do what they do there. We choose what to obey. And ignore what not to obey.

These lawmakers are deeply in love with colonialism. They refuse to let it go, 63 years after independence. They won’t break away from their subjugators. They feel comfortable with the umbilical cord of their colonial masters. With that, they remain perpetually under conquest.

If NASS maintains the same zeal it restored the old anthem. Imbibe attitudinal change. And apply the same jet speed to whatever they do. Then, we’re good to go.

Old or new anthem. Let’s the singers have a genuine change of attitude. It’s as simple as that. That involves the leaders and the led. The rulers and the ruled. The governors and the governed.

Let us be clear and honest to ourselves. The leaders must lead this new crusade. It must be by example. Not by mere words of mouth. We have to see them do it, and genuinely too. We can believe them. Then, we naturally fall in line with them.

Where to start? Just let there be punishment for offence committed. Offenders must be adequately punished for their offences. Including the wealthy, the influential and the powerful.

None should be spared for whatever reason. They must not go scot-free. It is doable. That’s what keeps saner societies going. Heavy infraction should go with heavy penalty. It’s all what we need. That will put an end to our and unending quandary.

It’s self-inflicted. We don’t see offenders adequately punished. So, we join them. And that has become our way of life. It’s getting more chaotic at every passing second.

It has eaten deep into the fabrics of our society. No sector is spared. Everyone is practically enmeshed in the mess. The reason we’re all messed up.

Let us take ourselves to the cleaners by ourselves. It’s the wisest thing to do. We don’t have a viable choice. Not even now.

The Kano debacle

The judiciary is adamant one more time. It chooses not to learn good lessons from its controversial past. Sordid and pathetic.

It has voluntarily made itself available again for bashing. And Kano retains its epicentre status. The emirship is the subject of focus. It is fast running into the unthinkable.

The manipulators remain the enfant terrible politicians. They are the prowling and devouring. Pity. The traditional institution fell flat to its deadly machinations.

Revered throne is being torn apart recklessly. And the centre cannot hold. The ancient stool is roughened, bastardised. And dragged along in the muddy muds. All by the politicians who never meant well!

Who will rescue these embattled emirs? It is a house divided against itself. One family too many crises. The shenanigan is getting more complex and complicated. An interesting but clearly ridiculous climax.

It is imminent. Something, somehow will cave in. But who knows? Perhaps, reason may prevail. Even at the last minute. The great fear: None of the characters involved is ready to concede. Not even an inch of his territory.

Obviously, the deadly politicians are enjoying the power show. Plots, intrigues, playing out violently. From Abuja to Kano; Kano to Abuja. Deadly missiles are flying.

The politicians are united in their eerie motto: The means justifies the end. The end justifies the means. Whatever first suitably applies.

It’s a crossroads of horrifying cobwebs.

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