If you are in your 50s, 40s, 30s, and 20s:

Work now for a Nigeria that will give you rest in the evening of your life.

Work now for a Nigeria that will give you peace in the evening of your life.

Work now for a Nigeria that will give you joy in the evening of your life.

Work now for a Nigeria that will let you live your evening in your country home consulted for advice and guidance and solicited by your kinsmen.

Work now for a Nigeria that will let you live your evening in your village surrounded by the patter of the little feet of your grandchildren and great grandchildren

Work now for a Nigeria that will let you live your evening in the poetic and bucolic universe of your village, where you wake up every day and the husbands and wives of your children and grandchildren compete to determine who will take care of papa today.

I pray to you my maker, use the lives of today's political octogenarians to teach me a humbling lesson.

If it pleases you to grant me life beyond 80, let that evening of my life be spent in the bucolic paradise of Isanlu, surrounded by my children and grandchildren.

If it pleases you to grant me life beyond 80, may that phase of my life not be spent with my heart palpitating in anticipation of a political appointment announced the same day and time as the appointments of my grandchildren in their 50s, 40s, and 30s.

I do not want to judge them but perhaps, if Chiefs Bamanga Tukur, Edwin Clark, Tony Anenih, Bode George, Biyi Durojaiye and so many in their generation who are still buzzing like flies around government today had worked for a Nigeria that would grant them rest in the evening of their lives... perhaps, perhaps... perhaps they would not need to hustle this late in the evening...?

In the evening of his life, even Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is still hustling for crumbs from the Nigerian state, doing joro jara joro to the Villa every week. In the days of his youth he did not work for a Nigeria that would give him peace and rest in the evening of his life. He even spent the afternoon of his life stealing Nigeria blind, providing darkness from electricity funds, and trying to rape democracy for a third term. Today, he cannot find rest in the evening of his life.

If it pleases you, my maker, the only hustle I want you to bless in my life in my 80s is the hustle to carry a bowl of fresh palm wine to my lips in Isanlu.

Also, my maker, should any confused President deem it fit to offer me a political appointment at 80 and above, teach me to say to him: “I have done my best for Nigeria. I am fulfilled within, without, and roundabout. The only joy I need now is to sit down and watch the younger generation consolidate the work I did for this country when I was their age. Mr, President, thanks, but I’ll pass on this appointment.”

These old men cannot rest because if they lose power and relevance, they’ll be vulnerable to Boko Haram, Avengers, kidnappers, armed robbers, area boys, angry jobless youth and all the ills of the Nigeria they made.

Nigerian, may you not need political hustle in the evening of your life.

Learn from those who are not finding rest now.

The Nigeria that is not giving them rest today in their 80s, this Nigeria which terrifies them so much that they must cling to government and politics to feel secure, is the report card of their youth.

Pius Adesanmi

 

 

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