Author : Feyisayo Anjorin
When I was a child growing up in Akure, surrounded by hills and tall trees, and green fields, I believed the book of genesis. The first book of the bible was said to be about the beginning of everything. The first things, the newness, the freshness, the revelation. If life indeed has an end, the beginning must be like the morning of it.
We know a lot about beginnings in this place. A beginning of growth, a beginning of rot, an iroko tree could fall for the need of a power; flowers bloom in their time and wither. We know those mornings of rosy dreams and bright flags, when we were drunk on hope, when we were certain of our reason to believe the best.
There was a time when Africa was reborn; a new Africa from the ruins of slave trade, colonialism, and apartheid. Like a baby, and later like a child, we had our excuses. And we could be excused. The misunderstanding of the differing tribes and tongues could cause wars and start fires; we followed our rulers slavishly while children starved and became skeletons, and vultures waited, looking down, waiting for our dead.
We were poor because of the white man’s oppressive system that we hope to change. Soon change is coming. Soon. We were sure.
Now we’ve gone a hundred years into the twenty first century life. Akure, Calabar, Mangaung, Monrovia, Gweru, wherever; we are all Africans because we can still count our giant trees and green fields. We still have a home for lions, and monkeys, and rhinos, and rats, and bats. We have a home for them without needing zoos. Not everybody is as fortunate. All some people have now are videos and pictures of “wildlife”. Sorry for mentioning that word; but this is Africa.
Maybe we are not really behind because we still have to import almost everything needed to be twenty first century savvy.
And then this issue of the law enforcement robots. It doesn’t bother me one bit. The police were a mess before them. There was a time some terrorists abducted over two hundred teenage girls in Chibok and it took the army over a year to get them back. Happy young girls; innocent and vulnerable. Some came back with babies, some pregnant, some came back with HIV and STDs; they had all been raped. They were all scarred for life.
The law enforcement robots were imported two years ago. To be sincere, I’m baffled by their human rights records because of their slavish dedication to the law. I’m not happy that the tossed the most revered Yoruba monarch into the car trunk. I’m against the injury inflicted on those alleged to be resisting arrests. I believe they do issue too many speed fines. They need to put a human face on these things.
But you can see clear signs of sanity here! There was a time when the law meant nothing to government officials and to citizens. It was chaos and we were getting too attached to lawlessness; which was toxic!
This is Africa and our peculiar problems need drastic solutions and adjustments.
The law enforcement robots of Africa have now been programmed to shoot dead any African head of state that tries to go beyond the term of office.
I was glad to hear it as the sun rose this morning on Radio Alalaye while sipping palm wine by the window. I waited there, listening to the online analysis on the benefits and ills.
I got more palm wine. This is just a beginning.