Perhaps, in tandem with the record global climate change currently and virtually affecting almost every facet of the world’s community and social order, not a few of such constitute interesting psychological phenomena that are worthy of high pointing today. They may not be landmark and historical or meet the expectations of some readers, but methinks they still qualify to be as interesting, epochal and relevant developments to be so described.
And talking of issues and developments, they qualify to be described as interesting and psychological phenomena that easily reminds one of the record-breaking box office film, The Gods Must Be Crazy, a 1980 South African comedy film written and directed by Jamie Uys. Financed only from local sources, it is the most commercially successful release in the history of South Africa’s film industry. Originally released September 10, 1980, the film is the first in The Gods Must Be Crazy series. It was followed by one official sequel and three unofficial sequels produced in Hong Kong.
The film is weaved around the tribal people in a remote African desert who hitherto live a happy life, but it all tears to pieces when a Coca-Cola bottle falls from a plane. With the villagers fighting over the strange foreign object, tribal leader Xi decides to take the bottle back to the gods to restore peace. His journey to the “end of the world” eventually has him crossing paths with a bumbling scientist, Marius Weyers, and a band of guerrillas who take a schoolteacher, Sandra Prinsloo, and her class hostage.
Then enter Andrew Steyn, (Marius Weyers), who falls so much love for the school teacher, Miss Thompson (Sandra Prinsloo) but is either shy, has inferiority complex or too dump to express himself. Prodded on by his American friend, Steyn summons courage to return one leg Thompson’s shoe left in his non-descript contraption of a car in which he managed to convey the female teacher to her new station.
At the end of the day, inspite of his good intention and love (lust?) for Miss Thompson, Steyn fumbles, tumbles and makes a mess of himself, his intention and the delivery of his emotional interest to the lady. But then, he recalls the lecture he got from his colleague he repeatedly summarised his misadventure to the school teacher as “an interesting psychological phenomenon.” But did he really get any inroad into the heart of the woman at the end of the day?
Steyn: …I know you think I’m an idiot …but I’m not really like that. It’s …only when I’m around wom– Around you. I’m sorry.
Normally, I’m quite normal. But whenever I’m in the presence of a lady …my fingers turn into thumbs, my brain switches off.
Miss Thompson: I noticed.It’s actually–
Steyn: Actually, it’s really only an interesting psychological phenomenon.
Perhaps it’s some Freudian syndrome.When I brought you your shoes, I came to apologise…for the stupid things I did when I met you at Mabula.
To explain that I’m not as stupid as that. But then, of course, I blew it, and I….
So I don’t blame you if you think….But it’s really only an interesting psychological….
When you get to know me better, you’ll see that I’m not always stumbling.
It’s really just an interesting psychological phenomenon.
Miss Thompson: Yes, you are a very interesting psychological phenomenon.
In today’s Nigeria, not a few happenings remind one of the love scene between Steyn and the school teacher, Miss Thompson. Today, reports, rumours and half truths of what is, was and should be fly all over the place. Amidst the myriad of worries over failing conditions of living alongside uncertainty over developments in the polity, good or bad, the entire scenario becomes a phenomenon that is as interesting as Steyn’s bungling of his otherwise reasonable and meaningful intentions to win the heart of Miss Thompson.
Once upon a time, it was the ruling party. In 2015, it fell from grace to grass, no thanks to the self-serving indiscretions of its top members. In its very first meaningful effort to rebuild and galvanise ahead of 2019, it is fast crumbling into three factions.
Only last night, two high courts in Lagos and Port Harcourt gave conflicting verdicts on what the leadership coloration should be. While the court in Lagos restraining former Kaduna State governor, Ahmed Makarfi, from being recognised as PDP chairman, a Port Harcourt judge ruled otherwise, declaring Makarfi as the right chairman of the party.
Meanwhile, the party’s national secretariat remains under lock and key as a detachment of policemen keep vigil at the two entrances to the office premises. This remains interesting by all reasonable standards.
Workers disgrace NLC
Not a few Nigerians saw it coming. The total strike called by the central labour body in the country, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, was dead on arrival. Most did not believe in it and the reasons advanced for the factional promotion of the action.
Even very strong members of the congress were disappointed that the pro-strike group of the NLC did not do enough sensitisation and neither did they advance convincing reasons to underscore their call.
At the end of the day, the action fizzled out just the way it crawled into the centre stage days earlier. The Ayuba Wabba factional leaders had no option than to call off the failed strike explaining that they would return to the negotiating table with representatives of the federal government.
Finally, Independent Candidate Bill coming?
Yes, there had been attempts in the past to get a law that will allow independent candidacy in the country’s electoral system. But each time there appeared to be some positive reaction from lawmakers coming to support the Bill, it gets spurned.
But Senator Stella Oduah has now called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to include independent candidacy in the Electoral Act.
Oduah, who made the call in Abuja, said the inclusion would detribalise Nigeria and end godfatherism.
“I have been proposing a bill and I think I would continue to push it: that bill is called Independent Candidate Bill. I believe, people should have a choice; if our constitution guarantees us that choice, then the Electoral Act itself should address that and allow us the option,” the senator said
“You do not have to belong to a political party. It should be a choice to belong or not to belong. And so, the issue of godfather and godmothers would disappear. I am really hopeful that that will happen so that people will get the best.”
Oduah said the nation’s constitution allowed for people to have a choice and that she had been proposing for a bill at the Senate to allow for independent candidacy in Nigeria.
Her argument: “Nigeria is long overdue to have independent candidacy. With independent candidates, the right people would always come out to contest in elections.
Most times, the candidates fielded by political parties were usually not the choice of the people, it hinders the right people from emerging.”
There won’t be any need for that. So many scenarios are playing out about particular issues; and the whole environment is becoming as interesting as it is phenomenal. But whether they portend positivity or negativity for Nigeria and Nigerians now and after now, I really cannot fathom. But we must remain very hopeful.