Scenario 1: The president of the most populous black nation in the world jets off to the United Kingdom to receive treatment for an unknown ailment. His second absent spell. It’s been 100 days now, and his people have no clue when their president will return. To add insult to injury, his party and cabinet members have been jetting off on tax payers’ funds to see him one after the other, yet no one has deemed it fit to address the people on what exactly is the nature of the first citizen’s illness. Protesters were tear-gassed for daring to demand answers. Shameless is the new cool.
Scenario 2: In Edo State, a set of men old enough to be grandfathers, in the state house of assembly decided that their people, and indeed the entire nation needed some comic relief to douse some of the tension in the land. And so they took to displaying what looked like a poor attempt at imitating a cross between a wrestling and boxing match right there in the “hallowed” chambers. Not that it was the first time we would be treated to such a sight. It’s all in line with the “Shameless is the new cool” theme.
Scenario 3: Social media is the platform where the common man has resorted to venting his frustrations. You can’t blame him too much, he has a government that won’t listen to him. A set of leaders who can’t be bothered if he sails or sinks, and so he rants and lets out steam through the one medium he is most assured of his freedom of expression. But when the lawmakers he elected into office join him in lamenting the state of things under the administration they serve and throw their arms up in despair like the rest of us, when they are the ones who have the power to change the trajectory of things, he knows he is doomed. Shameless is the new cool.
Scenario 4: A university undergraduate and a young man hook up for a night long tryst; not such a big deal. He tries to drop her off at her the following day, and that’s when the trouble started. The young lady refuses to step out of the car, insisting he had to pay her N20,000 for their time together. The man had offered her a paltry N1,000 claiming he had had a mild asthma attack and had been unable to get “down to business” with her. Apparently, he had assumed that attempting to drop her off within the school premises would shame her into accepting whatever he was willing to give in monetary compensation. Boy, was he wrong! People gathered and tried to mediate between them; asking the man to up his offer, appealing to the sister to accept a lower price. She wouldn’t budge. All entreaties fell on nonexistent ears, as she casually threw groundnuts into her mouth. It was an amusing spectacle. At the end of the day, police officers were called in, and they were whisked to the station to find a solution to the deadlock. Shameless is the new cool.
Scenario 5: A university owned by two formidable states in the southwest has been under lock and key for the almost two years. The students, completely clueless as to when their lingering stay at home will end. Yet, the democratically elected governors of the states who are paid to serve the people are silent on the way forward. The other day one of them joined “football twitter” and was more concerned about Arsenal’s fortunes in the new Premier League season. And why wouldn’t he? None of his children attend the school. Shameless is the new cool.
Scenario 6: A political party with obvious cracks within its group, one full of looters and charlatans who plunged the nation into the economic recession it has been battling, and who were given the boot when Nigerians had had enough came together for what they tagged “A non-elective convention” to convince Nigerians to vote them in 2019. And yes, with the full compliments of the immediate past president under whose administration looting took a dimension of epic proportions. If it wasn’t so annoying, it would have been funny. Another testament to the fact that shameless is the new cool.
Scenario 7: For the umpteenth time, the Academic Staff Union of Universities have embarked on a total and indefinite strike which will see millions of university undergraduates condemned to a protracted stay at home once again. It’s been a perennial occurrence in federal government owned institutions of higher learning, as lecturers attempt to press home their demand for proper funding and equipping of the schools by downing tools. In a sane clime, this perpetual back and forth would have been resolved once and for all a long time ago. But we do things differently here. Our lawmakers would rather gift themselves new automobiles worth N6.1 billion instead of injecting those funds into a sector of the economy that will determine the future of our nation. If this doesn’t suggest that”Shameless is the new cool,” then I don’t know what does.
Our penchant for shamelessness pervades all strata of our society. The rich, the poor, the political class, the elite, celebrities, public figures, literates and illiterates alike. The other day, a popular musician released a full track praising the “hard work” of fraudsters.
We are not quite sure of the gender of the most followed Nigerian on Snapchat, even as they bask in the euphoria of their tomfoolery to the delight of their teeming followers.
The unwritten rule is “The more ridiculous you can be as an individual, corporate body or government official, the more recognition and appreciation you’ll get.”
Might sound strange, but right now…at this point in time…in this geographical space, you have to be shameless to be considered cool.