Friday, March 8, 2019

My (Temporary) Emotional Break from Nigeria

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
I have decided to take an emotional break from Nigeria for a while. I’ve not read Nigerian news and have had no social media engagement for nearly two weeks now. It's been unbelievably blissful and tranquil. I am completing research projects that had been hibernating for a while, have been spending more time with my family, and feeling happier and more fulfilled than I've ever been in a long while.
I didn't realize just how toxic and time-consuming dealing with Nigeria has been until this moment. Many people have wondered what I stood to gain from my passionate interventions in Nigerian affairs when I am not a direct victim of the dysfunction of the country and won't be a direct beneficiary of the systemic overhaul I desire for the country. I used to think people who asked me these questions were shortsighted.

Your home is where your heart is. Although I am a permanent resident of the US and can choose to never visit Nigeria for the rest of my life, Nigeria is where my fondest memories are located, where my heart is. But I am just realizing that it doesn't have to be that way.
It's now obvious to me that the country is an impending train wreck, which is being hastened by the rise of Buhari to the presidency. Suddenly, mass stupidity has taken over the country. Adults reason like retarded kids. Dissent is criminalized and punished. The critical press is dead. With a few exceptions, human rights and pro-democracy groups have become active accomplices in the emerging fascism in the country.
From my perspective, this is no longer a country worth wasting one's emotions on. But I've given up many times in the past and returned after a while, so I don't trust that I can sustain my emotional divestment for as long as I think I can. Nevertheless, ultimately, it is up to the people who live in Nigeria to either change their situation or live with it.
So, please don't tag me to posts and mention me in comments. As it should be obvious to people by now, I don't respond to personal attacks against me from my intellectual inferiors. I don't even read them because I don't want to read things I won't respond to. I don't kill ants with a sledgehammer. That's unusual cruelty. 
A few people have tagged me to an article written in the Daily Trust today with my name in the title. Even from the title of the article, it's obvious the writer would benefit from a good secondary school education. Why would I read an article whose headline screams pitiful illiteracy? I have better use for my time than that.