I have dreams, a series of dreams that often leave me without any much sleep.
And last night’s wasn’t any different.
At first, My Country had dissolved. It had disintegrated into four mini nations in line with the major ethnic and geographical boundaries and because it was a dream, I lost the concept of time and did not know whether it was all happening in the past or in the present. Anyway, my family and I had relocated home and we decided to do some visiting. We started with my wife’s family in the new South West country and realized soon that the people in that nation had begun fighting each other, agitating for a further disintegration and if their wishes were granted there would be a further six nations from that country. And then we headed to the South Eastern nation to visit my folks and extended family and the situation there was same with the prospects of another eight countries gaining independence quite soon.
I have friends who live in the other regions now nations of their own but I was unable to pay them visits because of the protocols and expenditures incurred in transnational travels and besides, with all the secession agitations one’s safety became far from being assured. My Country was now a land of conflicts. My sons asked me what the maps of these mini nations would look like and truthfully I had no idea but what came to mind that instant was a myriad of dots. I envisioned my father’s compound someday becoming an independent nation of its own. Talk about Africa’s USSR.
At that point I was awakened but only to fall into slumber some minutes later and in my next dream, My Country was one again, thank God but now a band of terrorists had taken over and were shooting and tossing bombs about like firecrackers at Christmas. But the problem here was that the terrorists seemed to lack a sense of target and aimed their weapons only at helpless edifices and individuals so that soon only large governmental buildings stood amidst rubbles of destroyed churches and schools and residential homes and shops and kiosks. And homeless masses scuttled across streets yelping with arms raised over their heads only to be often run over by the disinterested vehicular entourages of the ruling class and it reminded me of scenes from Grand Theft Auto. And in the middle of all this the University staff in the nation began an industrial action. And the resident doctors too.
And then I woke and after I dozed off once again I landed dressed in a blue Babanriga into the National Legislative house amidst flying chairs and tables and maces and there were so many maces I began to wonder where they had all come from but then someone pointed at me and yelled ‘there he is’ and I had to crouch down to my knees and crawl away as more chairs landed around me. I finally made it to the exit only to meet a crowd on the other side cheering and applauding my efforts as I was stripped off the blue attire and adorned in an army general’s uniform and I also received a medal of valor for surviving a battlefield.
And the resident doctors called off their industrial action and the secondary school teachers began theirs and the University staff continued theirs.
And then I went home and met my sons crying and I asked them what the matter was and they said some of their classmates had taunted them about My Country’s crude oil belonging to them alone since it was found on the classmate’s father’s land and it meant I and my sons and their sons and generations unborn would be poor and would be slaves to the oil owner’s family. And I was sad and I started to cry too.
Then I woke up crying and my wife farted in her sleep and I groaned and went back to sleep and this time I dreamt about the news filling with amnesty for culprits of any kind and so I got my family together and tied blue ribbons around their foreheads and upper arms and ankles and we had a heavy meal before marching to the presidential mansion. And then we demanded amnesty from the head of My Country else we would crumble the nation with our farts. And they were all terrified of us, I could tell, for they sent in their best joint task forces, state service departments and so on to wrestle us down and in the end I was arrested and imprisoned while my family was offered amnesty and sent all over the world on vacations.
In jail I met Nelson Mandela and Wole Soyinka and some other men who had been imprisoned by their nations on grounds of patriotism or a lack of it and they all said the same thing. That patriotism has its costs. Mandela told me that it was always a long walk to freedom and Soyinka’s teachings were that though the man died, it never really translated to an ending and that colonialism wasn’t completely extinct and the idea of man trying to subdue another in any form was, to him, a disease and I felt the class distinction in My Country was colonialism dressed in indigenous clothes.
And then corruption took up physical wormlike forms and crept into My Country and everywhere was infested, the prison yard inclusive and everyone too was infested, myself inclusive and I was able to reach an agreement with the prison officials to grant me freedom but My co inmates were incorruptible and decided to remain in jail so I promised to put in a word for each of them when I was out. Of course I forgot because freedom is like sweetened biscuits and again I was infected with corruption and so I went home and got fat on other people’s wealth
And the secondary school teachers called off their industrial action and the oil workers threatened to begin theirs and University staff continued theirs and the Labor Congress, which is really every worker in My Country began theirs.
And I woke up once more and fell asleep again. And in my dream I sat on a table with the ruling class and listened as they talked about their plans and escapades in My Country. They threw banters at each other for different things and one of them jested about another’s embarrassing moment when he had disguised as a woman and boarded a flight home to escape arrest for some embezzlement situation that would have landed him in jail while another bragged about how he had told off a rowdy delegation of university students who had come to challenge him on the true amount of his salaries and allowances as a legislative member and a third smiled mischievously as he said that it was high time they began to choose who would be next to sit on the presidential seat for the next eight years.
I asked them what was supposed to become of My Country if the ruling class and elder statesmen weren’t interested in its development and they laughed at me and said I was a learner and I became sad and kept quiet and thought that My Country used to be known as the giant of the continent which helped lesser nations and was supposed to be in tandem with its contemporaries overseas but all that had changed now and it was now an ordinary entity that was constantly drawn backwards and backwards. Then I brooded and went outside.
And then I walked the streets of My Country and a miracle had happened and everywhere resembled the streets of Dubai and there was constant generation of power and there were good roads and cheap accommodation and other social amenities and the standard of living improved and I rejoiced but then I heard a thunderous solemn voice come from above and it said ‘enjoy the moment son, for this is a good dream’ and I knew that it was the Lord and I fell upon my knees and covered my face from his glory.
And the Labor congress called off their industrial action and the police force began theirs and there was crime everywhere and the University staff continued theirs.
And then I was awakened again and fell back into slumber.
I have dreams, a series of dreams that often leave me without any much sleep.