The need to survive is ingrained, our desire to live supersedes status and comportment. The instinct to live closes in when our life is threatened and we fight and flail about, struggling to live. Struggling for our next breath, struggling not to be swept away. We try every trick, known and unknown to keep existing on the face of the earth. Biology has a term for it – adaptation for survival. I understood his plight. The water was closing over him and he could not go without a struggle.
He was fighting to live. Poor Elder Godsday Orubebe was drowning. The Minister in the Jonathan government was in over his head and was steadily swallowing water which was getting into his eyes and nose too. He could feel his strength draining away. He saw power slipping from him. Failure stared him in the face and his failure would mean death. I defy any man not to make a last ditch attempt to hold on to life. I defy any man not to lose face trying to keep from sinking. “Oso ndu o na-agwu ike?”, my people ask.
He disgraced his children? No, his children understood. They knew his life and by extension their lives was at stake. They knew their abundant supply of oxygen was about to run out and they realized that the fishes they once caught for sport were about to nibble on the softest parts of their flesh – balls and eyeballs! Heaven forbid Daddy would not try to save them. As a good father he could not let them die so painfully and in death be abused in flesh. Ashamed, they were not.
His party was embarrassed? Of course not! They stayed up with him far into the night planning his survival – their survival. From a region known for radicalism, he was chosen to lead the war to reclaim their lives. It was a matter of power, resources, adoring fans and comfort for generations; it was a matter of life. Embarrassed? By what pray tell? Their carefully orchestrated strategy for survival? No way!
He cared what the international community thought? He didn’t! What did that “exalted” community care about a pawn in the massive chessboard of Nigerian politics? What was their quarrel with him? What was his with them? They would not wake him up from the dead if he died. They were also playing no role to save him from his certain fate. He was solely in control of his destiny, international community be damned!
He apologised? Hell no! Nobody deserved his apology. His family understood. His party supported. Even the opposition understood that he was fighting to remain alive. Nobody deserved his apology, definitely not Jega, who callously refused to throw him a lifeline by reacting to his desperation and who wore a wickedly poker face while he was in the very last throes of death. The security operatives didn’t deserve an apology either, sitting on the face would save their own necks whichever way the tide went (Buhari or Jonathan) so they let him struggle inelegantly to save his neck and the necks of so many others (theirs too, considering their bias for the incumbent).
He died. A slow, painful disgraceful death with his lovers and detractors cheering him on. His lovers cheering him on, hopeful that he “could” get out alive; his detractors cheering him on in mockery and praying he would sink faster with his every attempt. Loud noises followed him all the way to the grave, unrepentant mockery was served at his funeral.
I understood his plight, his desperation and his undignified attempt to live. Overturning a largely fair electoral process was a small price to pay.
He paid the price and then he drowned.
N.B – All images in this post are from google o!