Many people will wonder at this title, and for many more, it will strike a cord somewhere in the recess of their minds.
Hope 93, was the campaign jingle of the defunct SDP presidential campaign that fronted the late Bashorun MKO Abiola, who is regarded as the catalyst for the current democratic dispensation we now enjoy.
I was in JSS 2 when i first heard this jingle, and I vividly recollect my Father seated in the sitting room, asking me about my school fees and the list of books I was to buy. Fast forward,23 years later, my father is now late, and I am now a family man. The issues raised in that jingle, are still very real in country.
Unemployment, lack of basic infrastructure, moribund health facilities, poor education standards, low standard of living, high cost of living just to name a few. These are still the reality in my country Nigeria, now and they compounded by poor governance and hydra headed monster called corruption!
After watching that video this morning, I sat back and did a flash back, what would have happened had MKO been duly elected and sworn in has President? I thought further and had to ask myself, has Nigeria really been on a standstill and become entrenched on the spot, that birds of corruption, militancy, terrorism now nest in her branches and the deadly snake of inept leadership lurks in her boughs waiting to strike at every opportunity to trim down and cut off the twines of poverty that holds her bound.
Am quite sure that parents who were in active service then, would have been retired now, and sadly most of them dead, and even those who were kids then, but now old and are parents and some quite unfortunately, dead without seeing that hope 93 actualized.
Currently, Nigeria is unofficially in a recession, and the situation is getting really bad for people. A colleague shared a story with me this morning of his cousin’s experience with a stranger. He sat down under a shade drinking when the elderly man approached him, and sat with him, and engaged him in this conversation,” Two days ago, I took pap in the morning till I went to bed, and you are seated here drinking Goldberg. Yesterday, I took oats all day and went to bed, and you are seated here drinking Goldberg. This morning, I have not taken anything, and you are seated here drinking Goldberg.” The stranger got up, with misty eyes, sadness in his voice and his spirit broken, walked away repeating, “And you are here drinking Goldberg”. The man was perplexed and confused and he dare not make a comment not knowing which way it could end. Here he was sitting down thinking about his own issues and he just managed to pay half of his house rent to his Landlady, who was overjoyed that he could pay atleast half of it and was not in a eager to collect the balance because, according to her, she understands and knows what is going on currently in the economy!
Hilarious and funny as it is, but it’s the sad reality of our lives in the year 2016. 23 years after Hope 93. It seems to me, that we lost hope in 93 after the annulment of the election and never really made any effort to get her back. Our country paused on that threshold of history and never remained the same. Things had seem to improve in paper, but in reality, did it improve? We are more fractioned than before, divided along ethnic lines, with deep mistrust for each other. Religion has also become a benchmark of us moving ahead, a needless mindless criteria. If that was all, we are been raped in broad day light by so called “men of god(s)” so have become so entrenched into the fiber of our being. Homes are been shattered when the breadwinner becomes the bread-loser, fired from his job, school fees unable to pay, rent unable to pay, food unable to eat.
Am reminded of late Sonny Okosun’s song, “which way Nigeria, which way to go..” and we all seat down and ask the question, which way Nigeria? The lyrics of the SDP campaign jingle brings tears to my eyes when I remember it, “ MKO! Kingibe! SDP! Action! MKO! Kingibe! SDP! Progress! Abiola! Abiola! Abiola! Progress! Na him be the hope o of better tomorrow ooo!!” The better tomorrow that now looks like an Holy Grail.
Nigeria still waits for a Abiola to give them the hope of a better tomorrow. Hope 93, a hope that withers the heart, a hope awaiting fulfillment in 2016.