Professor Gbemisola Adeoti, a celebrated poet and a literary critic, who lectures at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), described Nigeria metaphorically in one of his poems titled “Ambush” as an ambusher of the dreams and aspirations of not only her citizens but Africa in general. He, in his work, testified that Nigeria is a destroyer of the futures and lives of her citizens and at same time, holding down, impoverishing and keeping Africa in the dark. To him, Nigeria is a predatory country in Africa, that is forever awake and at alert to abort any dream of a better future for her citizens and Africa in general.
Nigeria lies in ambush against a better life for her citizens. This I see as an amplified message from Adeoti to the Nigerian citizens regarding the upcoming elections in which every just citizen is looking forward to boycott for the benefit of all even for the children unborn. Nigeria lies patiently ahead, awaiting in ambush against anyone with the foolhardiness to confront the demonic status quo laid down by her founding fathers.
In Nigeria today, a lot of ugly realities confronting the citizens are frightening. From the issue of minorities, marginalization, lack of basic amenities and employment opportunities to that of terrorism, inappropriateness and misconduct of the security agencies, especially the military. Apart from the economic meltdown that has gripped the country, the above realities facing Nigeria has contributed to the gargantuan panic felt by the citizens to the extent that they now live on the fringe of life while those oppressing and depressing elements continue to hold sway. That is why the infants shudder home and the grizzled ones snatch their gut at the hearing of the footsteps of the military because their pitiful anger cannot be quenched by the means of force but by sitting at their homes during voting as a form of exercising political apathy.
The name “Zoo” no doubt, has become a household terminology often used when referring to Nigeria as a country. Thanks to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who coined and gave that name to Nigeria when he was searching for an appropriate name to qualify Nigeria with. Immediately the name “Zoo” surfaced, many demanded for his head while the ambushers (the rulers in the political sector) wished for his head to be delivered to them on a platter of sauce for meal.
But remarkably so, it is only in a Zoo that such a gargantuan panic caused by the ambushers could be felt. It is only in a Zoo that laws doesn’t exist, people live a life of survival of the fittest. This is why many had suggested honouring Nigeria with the name “Evil Forest”. What about you? Before you fashion out your own suitable name, let us take a swift view of the names the great Gbemisola Adeoti, a man from Oduduwa Republic in the present Nigeria used in qualifying Nigeria.
In relation to the one big mighty “Giant Zoo” the scholar, Kanu used in modifying Nigeria, Adeoti made use of three different animals to refer Nigeria, which all the three animals bear witness to the “Giant Zoo” the IPOB leader used. He made use of the air, land and sea animals. First, he said that Nigeria is a “Giant Whale”. Whale is a sea animal that ambushes other fishes in the ocean. Whale swallows other water creatures alive to quench its hunger and greed. By predating on these preys, the “Giant Whale” is aborting many good dreams and futures of other fishes.
Secondly, he metaphorically referred Nigeria as a “Sabre-toothed Tiger” whose cries and roar send other creatures of the wild, mainly the vulnerable and weak ones into a run for their dear lives. Tiger is a land animal which doesn’t obey rules at all. Thirdly, he called Nigeria a “Giant Hawk” which is a dangerous predatory bird that attacks other birds both flying and non-flying ones. This air predator can also attack rodents and reptiles.
The reason the poet used the air, land and sea animals to qualify how zoological and predatory Nigeria is, is to let her citizens and Africa in general have it at the back of their minds that no one can escape from this “Ambush” no matter whichever route you choose to follow. Yes, today we see many citizens of the country trying to fly out of Nigeria, the truth remains that they will still return to the country because no matter how long a mangrove tree stays in the river, it does not belong to the crocodile’s kingdom. Many have died in the ocean while trying to leave the shores of this country. Coming to land, many have died in the desert in the name of running away from the ambushers.
Nigeria prides herself as the giant of Africa and that’s why these two scholars kept on using the word “Giant”. Nothing works in Nigeria, her youths are languishing in the street because of bad governance and there is no hope for a better tomorrow. In Nigeria, their yesterday is better than today. Until Nigeria is destroyed by whatever means possible, her citizens and Africa can never heave a good sight of relief in their lives, because Gbemisola knew very well that in Biafra, Africa died a natural death.