BY AJIBOLA M. SALAMI

I remember my Unilag Classmate in the 90s, Emeka Udeaja (I wonder where he is now … any info?!). We call him “Chief”, bcos he was arguably the oldest and most matured in our class of 55 boisterous youths. We were roommates for 3 sessions out of 5, Emeka and I … except for years 1 and 5. So he had a lot of influence on me, positively. We argued and quarreled a lot, there was a time we almost ended up exchanging blows. Yet we’d will still opt to be roommates the next session. Although my closest classmate & bestie was Kola Akinlabi (you’d ALWAYS see us together, especially around the female hostels), but in those long, quiet hours of the night I was always in the company of Emeka and we talk about a lot of serious stuff.

Somehow, because of Emeka, I now compare the Nations of the world to the rooms in Unilag hostels; some rooms looked very nice, while some were … shitholes. Emeka used to say to me: “All rooms are the same … It is the occupants that are different”. This usually comes up whenever it is my turn to tidy up our room, but I just won’t bother about the dirty, smelly state of things. Emeka will beg, shout, even threaten me … but I was just not bothered. The mess will carry over till it was his turn to tidy up again, & he would clean up the double-portion of accumulated mess (looking back, I was really a horrible roommate).

Back to the main issue … Nigeria (& by extension, Africa). We, the occupants/people, are the difference.I’ve studied the white man a lot. It looks as if they just dumped MOST of their religious beliefs on us during the Colonial era, and kept very little for themselves … then they left us alone, and moved on. If a white man sees a snake under his bed, he kills it FIRST … & investigates later. Whereas the black man will organise prayer sessions, declare 50 days fasting, start to cast & bind the demons that are just minding their own business … then blame household enemies and detractors. The white man is tenacious, determined, unrelenting and ALWAYS completes whatever they started. They have sincerity of purpose … this is WHY they operate a system that works!

If you doubt “Emeka’s Theory of Social Demography”, consider the outcome if there’s is mass relocation … all the white people living in Africa, & all black people living in the West. I already know the result because I’ve lived in BOTH climes … Africa will become a paradise, & the West will become a shithole …

I stand to be challenged.