‘Nigerian Roulette’

‘Nigerian Roulette’

He could see the story vividly in his mind as he made his mental constructions and polished his angles on the way to the interview. For most parts of his adult life, he had wondered how it would feel for things to be just a little better than they were. He had known that feeling for far too long. Now, he knew that nagging feeling was the reason he became a journalist, the same reason he was pursuing this story and the reason he would do it all over again.

In the course of his career, he had attracted attention from all quarters because of his unfaltering dedication, which he knew would close so many doors and ultimately ensure his under-achievement. He had chosen integrity over glory, by all means the hard choice. Now, in his mind, he earnestly prepared for the election special that would at least cause a stir, as a payback to a society that mocked his good intentions.

He had reached his destination.

Exactly three hours and forty-two minutes later, he sat in one corner of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as the would-be governor’s concluding statement replayed in his head “Good intentions alone will not open the doors. There’s too much mud in front of the door, and to open it, you must get waist deep in that mud. I’ve made my choice. The danger is, the mud never quite washes off”. The unmistakable meaning of those words hit him the same way now, as they did when he first heard them.

It reminded him of a movie he had once seen where God and the devil were supposedly in a battle for souls, and had to reach some form of compromise. That was how he saw every election period. It seemed all forces were out to claim a share of the polity, and the moment a concession was made to the ‘dark side’, it corrupted the whole process and it was a one way trip to political Hades from there.

Just then, he was interrupted by an exchange between two young men to his right.

“Why do you think I got the voter’s registration card? For free bus rides of course!” said the first man.

The second man, with his mouth thrown open, replied, “Oh boy!! I no know o! I for collect that thing too o!”

The journalist stared incredulously at the two as they went about their conversation. He wondered about their misplaced priorities and the sad truth that stared back at him.

As he alighted, he observed an incident that put the lid on his story. A child beggar, with his blind mother in tow, was about to accept a token from a passenger in a moving bus. Not long after he left his mother’s hand to chase the moving car, she tripped, and fell. The boy stopped momentarily, looking from the moving bus back to his mother. When he moved, he moved towards the token that turned out to be a 10 naira note. In the background was a large worn out poster that read “Vote now and determine your destiny”

The following week, on the third page of the biggest Nigerian daily newspaper was the story NIGERIAN ROULETTE by Fredrick Wali Wali. In the piece, which was dubbed “an eye-opener”, he likened the Nigerian situation to a game of ‘Russian Roulette’, only that in the Nigerian case, where everyone is a player, the revolver is fully loaded and the last bullet is undoubtedly left to the Nigerian child, the future. It caused more than a stir.

12 thoughts on “‘Nigerian Roulette’” by Fabian (@fabage)

  1. Profile photo of Jaywriter
    Jaywriter (@jaywriter): Junior Writer - 2500 pts

    The child beggar and his blind mother, nice image that really helped the story. Good message too. Nice write.

  2. Profile photo of Kukogho Iruesiri Samson
    Kukogho Iruesiri Samson (@xikay): Head Wordsmith - 57201 pts


  3. Profile photo of Lawal Opeyemi Isaac
    Lawal Opeyemi Isaac (@easylife2): Scribe - 13221 pts

    I like the action infused into the ending parts……

    Well done!!!

  4. Profile photo of Ayodeji Lancaster
    Ayodeji Lancaster (@lancaster): Writer - 6519 pts

    @Jaywriter has said it all. Nice, really nice story…

  5. Profile photo of sambright
    sambright (@sambrightomo): Head Wordsmith - 159568 pts

    In my opinion this is not just a write up,but a crusade for a better Nigeria.Well done sir,more power to your elbow.

  6. Profile photo of 4ran6
    4ran6 (@4ran6): Junior Writer - 2069 pts

    @Fabian, ur creativity stands out… Well done!

  7. Profile photo of Fabian
    Fabian (@fabage): Newbie - 227 pts

    thanx pple. I thot i could have done much better with the story though!

  8. Profile photo of Fabian
    Fabian (@fabage): Newbie - 227 pts

    Thanx people. I felt i could have done much better with the story though!

    1. Profile photo of Scopeman
      Scopeman (@scopeman60): Head Wordsmith - 63341 pts

      I share this thought with you bro, but hey, you still did a wonderful job all the same. Your passion for Nigeria is very evident in your writing.

  9. Profile photo of Raymond
    Raymond (@raymond): Head Wordsmith - 51340 pts

    I like the end very much. A nice way to close a good story…

  10. Profile photo of Ellie
    Ellie (@elly): Scribe - 10122 pts

    Hmmmm… Good read, vivid narration, i could just picture it, i liked the story. Your illustrations were apt- the bus conversation and the child, even Russian roulette. Good one!

  11. Profile photo of Kukogho Iruesiri Samson
    Kukogho Iruesiri Samson (@xikay): Head Wordsmith - 57201 pts

    @raymond, you can say that again…it meets your taste, especially with the mention of revolver

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