Words For The Next Dispensation

By Olukorede Yishau

When Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu takes the oath of office on May 29, he will be inheriting a country where cows no longer moo, cats have stopped meowing, sheep find it hard to bleat, bulls see bellowing as herculean, ducks quack no more, donkeys have long abandoned braying, horses no longer neigh, geese have forgotten how to cackle, chickens can’t cluck again and peacocks no longer fancy screaming.

When he is sworn-in on May 29, he is taking over a country where leaders aren’t ashamed we are renowned for businesses shutting down, for brain drain, for power cuts, for miserable public schools, for roads decorated with potholes, for public libraries with ancient books, for government hospitals forsaken by government, for high level insecurity, for rise in inflation, for absence of jobs, for ritual killings, for yahoo-yahoo boys, for authorities stealing more than armed robbers, for mediocrity and for the dearth of forward-looking leaders.

The ex-Lagos governor has been chosen to lead a nation also renowned for having the most educated set of people in the United States, for neglecting and underfunding our universities but still regularly establishing new ones, and for having hundreds of doctors plying their trades in the UK, Canada, America, Australia and even Saudi Arabia whose rulers were said to have, in our golden era, received medical treatment here.

Tinubu is to lead a land where its leaders are so ashamed of its miserable universities that they take their children abroad for education and flaunt pictures of their graduation ceremonies on social media. The people who have been in charge of our land display obscene wealth, filthy lucre everywhere and anywhere, when millions live below poverty level. We have no business being poor. We have gold, we have crude oil, we have bitumen, we have arable land, we have gum Arabic, we have limestone, we have gemstones, and we have everything, except leaders with the milk of human kindness. Only few of them care and their impact is far and in between.

The next dispensation should be when we rewrite our sad stories and give happy endings. Tinubu needs to be a storyteller in authority.

In the next dispensation, especially with our precarious situation, our leaders, including Tinubu, need to pause, take a proper look around us and ask where are those who, just some years back, seemingly had it all but are now in graves covered by kilos of sand to prevent their remains from fouling the environment. The depth of their graves and the kilogramme of sand covering them should be enough reason why we should never harm our brothers and sisters, and not be strongmen whose past time is killing, destroying and maiming to show us their might.

In the next dispensation, we will be a lot sensitive and sensible if only we have imbibed the fact that we would one day, no matter how long we live, be buried in graves with depth, and our remains will be at the bottom of kilos of sand, our flesh will rot, our bones will brittle and cackle, and our places will become history. In the next dispensation, if only we always remember that no one owns eternity, we will think of the darkness that pervades the tomb after it is closed, and hurting fellow humans will be the last thing on our warped minds. Whether we like it or not, our final resting places will not be air-conditioned, heat will be the order of the day and rains will seep into our remains. These should be enough reasons not to make our neighbours suffer.

In the next dispensation, we should be guided by the fact that whether we like it or not, we will one day be abandoned and doors will be shut on us, and no one will care that we are under, buried under kilos of sand and drenched by rains, and attacked by termites, and feasted on by worms. This should be enough reason to enjoy the company of our neighbours, friends and others when we still have the opportunity to.

He who has ears let him hear: have all the money in the world, it does not stop death, build all the mansions on planet earth, it doesn’t stop age from catching up with you, enjoy the best of medical treatment, time cannot be arrested, change and recharge your body fluids, end must come, and do and undo, your end is inevitable, yes with time.

Our past should not have total control of our future. When our past becomes a stumbling block, we need to find ways to straighten our tomorrow and, in doing this, being our brother’s keeper plays a central role or should play a key role. Many crave the opportunity of being born a second time so they can avoid the pitfalls of the past. But, since being born a second time is a luxury we are not sure of, let’s make the best out of this gift that life is.

Vanity is what many of us spend precious time pursuing. This is a time to have a rethink. Spend more time to be humble and civil to people around you. You don’t have to be mean for your subordinates to know you are the boss. Being bossy is not the hallmark of being a boss. It is not.

My final take: In the next dispensation, cows must moo, cats must meow, sheep must bleat, bulls must bellow, ducks must quack, donkeys should bray, horses should neigh, geese must cackle, chickens should cluck again and peacocks must fancy screaming.

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