In Nigeria there is a gulf between the mindset of the average politician and that of the man on the streets. The average Nigerian is hardworking, enduring, resilient and honest in his endeavors. He is ready to assist other Nigerians in times of emergency, accidents, robbery, kidnappings, sickness and helplessness. The average Nigerian is optimistic that somehow something good will come out of the troubled polity. Like Abraham in the Bible, he believes that one day the promised child will arrive. However, since the promised emancipation of Nigeria has delayed, the Nigerian masses have taken to football as means of vitiating the negative socio-economic pressures plaguing the land. In every slum, shack or village where Nigerians exist people gather to watch Champions League, Premier League, La-Liga, French league, Italian and German leagues. Manchester City fans will howl at Manchester United fans and Real Madrid fans will abuse Barcelona fans and the uninformed will think that Nigeria has just won the Africa Nations Cup. In Remote villages like Kamba in Kebbi State, Salka in Niger State, Umumbo in Anambra State, Bakassi in Cameroun State and Malumfashi in Katsina State, I have seen people watch European League. They watch all manners of football and offload lots of pressures from it. I travelled to Asaba recently and discovered that at a particular roundabout a giant electronic billboard was provided where people gather every evening to watch one football match or the other.At the end of the matches prior frustrated faces go home smiling and prepare for another hard day. Their political counterparts have little time for such indulgence. Where the interest exists, it is not the same passion. They are so busy plotting the next looting strategy in the comfort of expensive wines and females that they do not have the time to notice terminally frustrated fellow countrymen. Once it comes to sharing of the national cake, factors like ethnicity, religion, tribe and educational status disappears. They unite into a brotherhood with intent of ripping off whatever remains of Nigeria. They seek advice from each other on the most recent money laundering technique, the best offshore investment destinations and the best property buy in Europe, America and the Middle East. They unite to sabotage the implementation of the budget so that there will be enough funds to distribute. They equally unite to rig elections so as to continue to lord over the socio-political space of the nation. They unite to crush mass protests and oppositions to obnoxious policies. During the fuel subsidy removal tensions, the Nigerian politicians represented by some State Governors united with the ruling party to defend the removal irrespective of party affiliations. During the recent presidential elections, southern politicians mobilized petroleum funds through subsidy sleaze and handed over to their northern counterparts to execute some agenda. When the nation got broke as a result they closed ranks again to shift the brunt to the helpless masses. They are so filled up with contempt for the rest of Nigerians that they couldn’t understand how these godforsaken rats would be disturbing their opulential serenity with solidarity noise. They could not understand how these Nigerian masses cursed from their ancestral heritage find it difficult to appreciate their efforts to lift them from the bottomless pit. Whenever the Nigerian politician losses out in any national cake sharing contest they play the ethnic and religious card and suddenly remembers that their tribe and religion is marginalized. They then manipulate the impoverished masses to fight senseless political and ethnic wars. Immediately they are readmitted into the national cake sharing fiesta with a ministry, parastatal or agency to supervise, they suddenly become ever ready to die for the indivisibility of the nation. Nigerian politicians should be grateful that the churches, mosques and faith based bodies are soaking a substantial part of the pressures that would have been channeled towards them. Equally, the football Industry in Nigeria in soaking another pressure. The Nigerian politician should urgently change his deficient mindset or else a time will come, and that time is not too distant, when the twin institutions of religion and football will not be able to soak the pressure and something worse than Occupy Nigeria will ensue.
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