Omotosho: We Are All IDPs, Trouble Declares

AND before Alaba decides whether or not to oppose this declaration Trouble hastened to make himself clearer. Internally displeased persons, eternally displeased persons, internally disillusioned persons, eternally disillusioned persons, internally disgusted persons, eternally disgusted persons: there are IDPs and there are IDPs, enough for every Nigerian to choose from without bothering that they would exhaust the choices before they went round.

  Trouble’s declaration was made possible by the fact of a second special conference in the last six months to think through how the IDPs specifically in the North East domain of Boko Harm – Yobe, Borno and Adamawa would be helped to vote in the next elections of a one month or so away. The immediate case of the internally (eternally? think of the Chibok Girls) displaced persons rightly occupies the attention of those who should know how to do it. These are people who had only a few minutes to leave the houses they have lived in all their lives – what could they possibly think of taking with them at such a critical time? Perhaps only their lives. No matter how patriotic they might be, it would be ridiculous to imagine that they would be busy looking for their PVCs in order to ensure that they would be able to vote where ever they might end in the next so many weeks. At such times as these, and from worldwide experience of displacement around the world, the most useful item that refugees take with them is a simple plastic bowl. One looks forward to the solutions that our people find for this challenge.

  Once the challenge of the displaced has been resolved, Trouble suggests that there are three other conferences that must be scheduled immediately: the conference of internally displeased persons, the conference of the internally disillusioned persons and the conference of the internally disgusted persons.

   The internally displeased persons come in all ages — young, middle aged and grandparents. Why are they displeased? These people were very pleased with themselves, at first. They had through the struggles of their pioneers and the sacrifices of their patriots, they had one way or another persuaded the colonisers to let them go and do their own thing. They had designed their flags and composed their national anthems and named their national football teams and everything was going fine. They were pleased at first because the places, which were left by the departing colonisers, were rapidly filled by our own people. In no time at all, our people were also going on home leaves in London and doing their laundry in Dubai and buying private jets like all civilized countries. Then things did not go well any more. Educated people found no places to occupy since our people who occupy those places were not going away for others to take their places. And new places were not being created for the newly educated to occupy, Hence internally displeased persons came about. The young people who had been flattered while at school with the appellation of leaders of tomorrow also found that tomorrow never came. They were ready to lead but there was nothing or nobody to lead. And the middle aged ones were growing out of range of anything that would make their lives better and make it possible for them to leave something special for their children. As for the grandfathers, they watch their children and their children’s children abandon the words and phrases, which had had meaning for them in pursuit of new words and phrases which did not speak to these grand parents. What shall we do for these internally displeased persons?

  Where did the next group the internally disgusted persons come from? This group of IDPs came from those who could not believe their eyes what they were seeing, and could not be sure of their ears what they were hearing around them. Those who for whom no places and spaces were prepared for began to rid themselves of those who occupied places and spaces. They took up arms of different material to destroy those who would not make space and place for new people. People refused to queue because their turn never came. They refused to go through processes because at the end of the processes what was supposed to happen did not happen and so they would have nothing to do with processes. Those who needed certificates printed their own and those who needed money stole from those who had or else also printed their own. In no time there was no longer any system in operation. This is the origin of the internally disgusted persons. A subgroup of these IDPs is the actively internally disgusted persons. This subgroup was certain that something could be done. They were the young educated journalists, academics and artists who knew in their bones that something could be done to correct the situation and restore order and decorum and wish away disgust.  But rather than redeem, the situation regressed. And it was out this regression that the internally disillusioned people came about. 

  Disillusionment is a soul-destroying preoccupation. It involves loss of faith in oneself and in ones country’s possibility. Internally it leads to brooding and moodiness. Silences and angry ikunsinu – the ingested sigh that builds up to a fury inside and explodes when unexpected – that is what disillusionment is about. 

  Alaba, I do not fear when the insane take over the asylum. In fact, unless the insane take over the running of the asylum, nothing will change for the better in the asylum. Transformation, change, take-over, whatever, something must be done for the displeased, the disgusted and the disillusioned persons of this country.

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