Nigeria as “Gangsta’s Paradise”

Many in my generation will never forget this great rap from Coolio which became the ‘national anthem’ for people in my age group at most parties from the year it was released in ’95 onwards.

I found out that many people do not like rap music simply because they can strain their ears to capture the lyrics. But if there is any one song that captures in great extent the rot that has enveloped much of this nation of ours, it is Coolio’s Gansta’s Paradise.

Last night, a dear friend called me from Abuja on how heartless a group of people purported to be human beings can be in slaughtering over 43 children in the most gruesome of manner. He just broke down crying over the phone and I was touched to the extent I had to pack by the roadside. Simply because Nigerians have;

“Been spending most their lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise”

Nothing captures the very state we are in, in this country than the opening of that song which goes thus;

“As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I take a look at my life and realize there’s nothin’ left”

Its not only the North East of Nigeria that could be described as “there’s nothing left” but most of Nigeria could be so described. Yet we play fiddle while the nation burns. While some krank heads are seeing this from the prism of PDP/APC.

Yobe-VictimWhen I remember the thousands of young people up north whose conscience has been charred that they don’t see anything wrong with what happened in Yobe because to them they are doing God a favour, and are busy recruiting as many young men as they can confuse,what readily comes to mind is another line from Coolio that says;

“As they croak, I see myself in the pistol smoke, fool
I’m the kinda G the little homies wanna be like”

Is it not outright stupidity that someone will go into a school and slaughter children thinking he is hurting the government, but granted that we are dealing with a bunch of people whom the word stupidity cannot even qualify, it shows how dangerous the situation we are dealing with is. And many especially youngsters in the North East zone of the country have nothing to hold on to because nothing describes the hopelessness of the situation more that the following lines from Coolio;

“Death ain’t nothing but a heartbeat away,
I’m living life, do or die, what can I say
I’m 23 now, but will I live to see 24
The way things are going I don’t know”

Watching some of the photographs coming out of Bunu Yadi,Yobe State, my heart bleeds for Nigeria, my heart bleeds for the innocent kids whose lives have been cut so short by a criminal group driven by a worthless ideology. A group whose acclaimed principles are in contra-distinction to all they have been doing, stealing, raping, plundering as they go and in the final analysis it is all about money and power, did Coolio not expose their hypocrisy in the following lines;

“Power and the money, money and the power
Minute after minute, hour after hour
Everybody’s running, but half of them ain’t looking”

While the country burns most of us are shamelessly busy pointing fingers, turning this into an ethno-religious and political affair. But the question is;

“Tell me why are we so blind to see
That the ones we hurt are you and me”

Yes, the ones we hurt are you and me, it does not matter that the theatre of the carnage is far from many of us. But in the long run, the ones we hurt are you and me. The North East will never be the same again. Its such a pity.




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