In the past two weeks, the Coronavirus pandemic has produced many paradoxes to give Nigerians a life time of anxiety about the future of their country. COVID-19
A virus that arrived in Nigeria with an evil reputation is now cautiously embraced by ordinary citizens as the “messiah virus” that may help resolve the country’s intractable political logjam.
In New York and Berlin, the COVID-19 is seen as a nimble and vicious enemy that continues to ravage their economies.
But in Nigeria, the virus seems to have chosen a surprising trajectory.
COVID-19 has infiltrated Nigeria’s political calculus by striking what some say are the “right people”, in the highest echelons of power.
On social media, there are animated mentions of “Osinbajo” “Abba Kyari” and ” Buhari” as characters to watch in an unfolding COVID-19 coup d’etat in Nigeria.
In an act of national mimesis reminiscent of the era of military coups in the country, Nigerians are openly asking COVID-19 to “finish the work” in Aso Rock, and set the country free from the grip of a so-called cabal.
Nigeria may well be the only country in history to outsource the task of political reforms to a virus.
Meanwhile, all around the country, COVID-19 has beamed a harsh flashlight on the ugly contours of our national life.
In Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike has approached the pandemic with dramatic announcements that have little to do with the viral disease itself,
The Governor seems to see the COVID-19 crisis as yet another arena for political dissembling and media theater.
So far, his statements are long in bombast, but acutely short in substance.