A consideration of the ongoing mess at the National Assembly where the grilling of ministers and NDDC officials is throwing up gargantuan instances of official malfeasance and corruption has left many Nigerians reeling.
I woke up on Thirsday morning to a trending video of musician and songwriter Harrysongs berating Nigerians for making light of a seriously endemic issue and I was hard pressed to empathise with him.
He was stumped that Nigerians are making comedy skits and jest of the situation despite the huge amounts involved. But what he doesnt seem to understand is that sometimes we laugh not because the issue is funny but because as Fela sang – man no fit cry!
The sad truth is we all know that corruprion is more viral and cataclysmic than the Covid-19 pandemic but you see with Nigeria corruption is like a man or woman who is married to a quarrellsome spouse.
You know he or she is toxic but what to do? You cannot slice off a spouse who is already a part of you because 1) you have kids. 2) who knows what the next one will do.
So, you grin and bear it.
By making light of a grave sitiation Nigerians are like that spouse you cannot live with and whom you cannot live without.
This is the moral and ethical conundrum that confronts us as spectators at this spectacle of national shame.
This is where we find ourselves and the mirth on display is not because we find the situation funny in any particular, it is because as we is say in pidgin – how man go do?
As a young boy growing up in this same country, I lived at a time when military coups happened regularly. Every susccessful and successful coup plotter, including Abacha who stole the country blind, came in professing to tackle corruption yet corruption remains.
So, the comedy skits and memes from Nigerians including that brilliant one from the actor xxxxx.is a psychological means of reaponding to and handling a dire situation.
The subtext is – why kill yourself over an issue that has defied generational interventions?
Corruption has become a part of the moral fabric of Nigeria and “it’s ok, off your mic” will become an unforgettable reminder of the fact that you do not send a thief to catch a thief.
Fela was spot on when he sang – “Man no fit cry” in Teacher Dont Teach Me Nonsense.