In the wee of hours of the morning of February 24, 2010, Nigeria’s President Umar Yaradua was smuggled into the country Nicodemously in a manner not befitting for even a dangerous felon under hospital admission upon the orders of a Judge.
And since his return, Mr Yaradua has assumed the status of an apparition making appearances to only the “righteous”. His brother-in-law reportedly sighted him and drank tea with him – though we are yet to confirm as at press time, if this isn’t an evident manifestation of an advance stage of psychotic disorder as Yaradua, judging from his released/contrived (pick one) medical report is not in a state to drink tea much less share banters.
While the clan of presidential “sighters” continue to advertise their ineptitude and the coterie of thieving politicians continue to loot the nation dry under the watch of a spineless “Acting” President who thinks the “acting” is meant to be taken literally, like Jim Iyke can sometimes “act” like a buffoon in a Nollywood film, what I find quite puzzling is that everyone keeps comparing the drama of the eve of February 23 when soldiers seized the airport and hurled in Yaradua from a hospital in Saudi to an ambulance in Nigeria to a Nollywood script.
I write Nollywood script so I know how one looks like. The drama of February 23 to say the least is too demeaning to be described as a Nollywood script no matter how low our standards have sunk. It is the script by vampires. The still photo of the president already looks like a poor photoshop job pericadities or not; its Avatar version in his present state is guaranteed to cause nightmares. And in Nollywood, we don’t have the kind of 3D technology that created Avatar no matter how weird.
Here’s a piece of puzzle; which country in the world has two Presidents and both of them does not equal one? Again this cannot happen in Nollywood. Imagine a movie marketer absconds from his stall at Alaba just a few weeks to the release date of the movie he financed leaving everything in the hands of the movie producer. Well, power will change hands at least. Not in Aso Rock, with the pay day fast approaching in the form of oil licenses/blocks due soon, after three years we are still asking “Umoru are you dead?”
A lot of people criticize Nollywood for the absence of clear structures and well articulated platform to harness its potential. And to a large extent they are right. Take AGN as a case study, we often have more AGN Presidents than actors. But this situation does not compare with the Nigerian case with a constitution that is obeyed only when its provision satisfies your ego and/or belly.
When the governors were running out of spoils, what did they do? They simply conspired to dump the constitution into the dustbin and in connivance with a conniving National Assembly made Jonathan Acting President so that he can sign off $2.5 Billion windfall. Jonathan, we hear now, even his dog does not obey him. You see, that is the difference between Nigeria and Nollywood. A Pete Edochie would have been vibrating and shooting from all cylinders and will even tell the Director to go to blazes after all before the advent of groundnut, he was not eating cattle dung (or something to that effect).
Also in Nollywood, we don’t recognize the movie marketer’s wife, no matter how springy her walk. Yes, he brought the money but that doesn’t mean his wife should come to location and demand to share in the “welfare” meant for the actors and crew. We don’t give a rat ass about how many Alaba boys she has in her employ; she cannot kidnap the marketer and keep us in a state of suspended animation. Yes, we act but we do realize when to stop acting and get real. We’d beat the daylight out of her and see our marketer.
Not in Aso rock, they operate in the manner of the Oracle of Delphi. Directives have now become “he said, she said, that she told him, that he said and she said the said, said”. The president has been “kidnapped” by his wife in consort with a ragtag army of mostly degenerate men who have been casted as the “Cabal” in this surreal melodrama and they have succeeded in flogging the Presidency into hysteria.
And these are the same morons shouting at the top of their lungs about how kidnapping in the Niger Delta was hurting the nation. Now, they’ve done worse. Kidnappers mercifully release photos or let the victim speak so that the family can know he’s alive. Not these guys, they have even barred the family from asking after him. Just what manner of lunacy are we dealing with? And where an ailing man would have gotten the sympathy and the prayer of 140 million people they have reduced him to the butt of jokes
Nollywood, with all its failings has not sunk this low.
Isaac Anyaogu writes film scripts.