Monday, 23 November 2015

There Are Levels To This

Prince Abubakar Audu died on Sunday. He was on the cusp of becoming the fourth (technically third) governor of the state. Okay, so in case you are not Nigerian, here is what happened. Kogi State, where I come from, had a governorship election on Saturday. It was basically a contest between Prince Audu (who is now dead) and Captain Wada, See my dry story. INEC, which is the electoral body, Sunday afternoon had announced that the elections were inconclusive. Make no mistake though, Audu defeated Wada, the supplementary polls which INEC announced would take place was merely going to be a formality. Until an even more breaking news came in: Abubakar Audu, who had more or less won the election and was going to be sworn in next year after the shenanigan of supplementary polls were over, was dead.
There are levels to this.
For a long time, I imagined fetishism as something that would not bother you if you did not bother it, if you did not think about it. During my undergraduate years, I had a neighbour who saw ghosts or, well, creatures (fictionally or otherwise) on a relatively frequent basis and every morning he would tell me stories of what he saw the previous night while he was heading back home from night class, I would nod and say wow! But inside my head I would say 'if truly you see these frightening things every night, man, you need some serious deliverance.' I think I still feel the same way now. Fetishism is a thing, there's no doubt about that, however, how much power do our minds have? I read Louise Gluck's poem, Saints, for the first time one Saturday afternoon in my tiny room in Abuja during my service year. I did not appreciate it much at that time. I just felt it was a good poem and that was that. I thought about it today when it was confirmed that Abubakar Audu had died in the most mysterious circumstance.
There are levels to this.
Normally, I would consider this superficially and come up with theories like 'he suffered from exhaustion. Because he was 68 years old and those campaigns were draining.' or 'he was poisoned by one of his political opponents.' But there are levels to this.
There is the superficial level which I would be content with sticking to but there is also the arcane level.
As governor, from 1999 to 2003, Audu was unapologetic in his mysteriousness. Calabashes with salt and red things were not difficult to stumble upon within the State which he governed. There were rumour about all sorts of human sacrifices, there were testimonies from people who refused to go to shrines with him.  There was everything in those four years.
There are levels to this.
In Saints, Louise Gluck talks about an aunt and a grandmother who were both Saints but found their ways out very differently. Below is an excerpt:
My grandmother's was tranquil, even at the end.

She was like a person walking in calm water;
for some reason
the sea couldn't bring itself to hurt her.

When my aunt took the same path,
the waves broke over her, they attacked her,
which is how the Fates respond
to a true spiritual nature.

My grandmother was cautious, conservative:
that's why she escaped suffering.

My aunt's escaped nothing;
each time the sea retreats, someone she loves is taken away.

Many times, these things are inexplicable. And so I am not trying to explain anything. This isn't even a theory. It is merely a thought. I do not know anything other than the fact that there are levels to this. May the soul of the dead rest in peace. May we never see the likes of it again.

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