The alarm was ringing and I woke up with a start…just as I was approaching that threshold of full consciousness, I heard what turned out to be the sound from impact of that world famous Pre-Palestinian times missile on my window. Incoherent sounds followed, then my eyes began to slowly take my surroundings in: the building, the jingle from the radio, the poster with some Arabic stuff on the wall, the Hijra Calendar, the Billboard I could see through the window with TEHRAN written on it... it then dawned on me: I WOKE UP IN IRAN!
Now apart from the Arabic numerals that we seem to all know, I’d have sworn I could not speak anything Arab except by some gift of tongues.
Then some youths, playing what sounded like Hiphop with heavy Asian influence barged into my room…my bad! I must have been so tired I forgot to lock my door.
Something very weird happened…very weird! I began to understand them (perhaps they were actually speaking English, I can’t tell, I am not sure of anything anymore) and they were screaming ‘JUNE 12, JUNE 12!!!’ Before I had time to comprehend fully, I was whisked into the middle of a rally and I began to wonder if I had not only traveled in space, but had also traveled in time.
To the protests post-dating the annulment of the June-12 presidential election on the 23rd of June 1993…exactly how far did I travel? When I went to bed last night, it was June 15, 2009, was it?
Then something dramatic happened. I was blindfolded and hauled into what I felt was a truck. For the first time since the turn of events, I panicked. I have seen clips of executions by extremists…I wanted desperately to scream ‘I am not American! I am Nigerian!’ but then, I had been gagged.
The gag and the blindfold were removed as I was locked in a dark and dank cell, and I was given thirty minutes to feel the pulse of a man locked in the same cell I was in and write about it. They said his name was,
I walked closer to
What felt like Megavolts of electricity coursed through my spine and I convulsed, ‘Hossein Mousavi-MKO Abiola-Babangida-Ahmadinejad-The Quick and the Dead’ was all I heard amidst harsh wailings, bloodshed, smoldering tyres….I saw what I would call a vision of Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and …I was about to name the others when I heard a voice behind me that caused me to quake ‘THE OTHER NAMES ARE FOR YOU ONLY’ I obeyed instantly.
I saw them at a table; discussing Global Domination, how to get people to believe everything they hear and see, and then I saw Saddam Hussein! Apart from the hole in his neck, he looked just as he did in the days of his reign, I dared to look at his eyes and I saw the pain of betrayal, the same machinery that sponsored him as a despot sponsored his end…okay, I broke the rules. I forgot to tell you I was given the waiver to mention two more names. I saw …Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO)Abiola ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?’ I blurted out. I saw sadness in his eyes, he wanted to speak, but his characteristic eloquence (in spite of the fact that he stuttered) was gone. I wanted to know what happened on July 9, 1998; I said ‘Chief, were you actually beaten to death as Al-Mustapha (the Chief Security Officer under the late dictator, General Sanni Abacha) alleged?’ No answer. ‘What was in the Tea served by Susan Rice? Were you poisoned?’
…..I heard nothing…All I heard was silence.
Then I saw him pointing in one direction. He pointed to two video screens. The screens were labeled:
What I saw next baffled me. The Nigerian screen was split in two, showing the THEN and the NOW. The then showed students being tear-gassed as they protested; I smiled as I saw myself on the screen. I saw demonstrators burning tires. I saw Frank Kokori, Beko Ransome Kuti, Pa Rewane, and Chief Gani Fawehinmi among many other faces..I saw those that fought to their deaths, I saw those that fought till they were too frail, having expended their energies over the years…then I saw, at the forefront of the fight, those that shifted ground and crossed to the ‘Dark Side’ I saw Chief’s running mate preferring years later to serve as Secretary to someone who would have called him Uncle than persevere and hold to his mandate as Vice-President…I saw the then Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, under which MKO was the Flag-bearer become one of the most dreaded Godfathers of the party that has kept perhaps the longest and most frequent track record of electoral fraud in Nigeria, nay Africa’s history. I saw Charlattans paying lip service to Democracy….and I wept. While I couldn’t feel the pulse of
At this time, I was completely overwhelmed with tears, it no longer mattered to me HOW MKO died but WHYWHAT he died for. Chief was not asking me to see him as a Saint, he only wanted me to see that at the least he LIVED and DIED for SOMETHING.
Then I heard the Cell Door open. ‘Time Up’ and I looked around me and everything was swirling again. I closed my eyes as the footsteps approached and my ‘abductor’ took up my sheet from my hand. ‘You failed to obey simple instructions again, Plumbtifex’. I opened my eyes, I was in an examination hall, the invigilator was holding my script with a frown on his face….
My bad! I was actually meant to write a short story themed: I WOKE UP AND I RAN. Cruel Joke!
Ps: The Iranian Run-Off Elections were held on...guess? June 12....Ahmadinejad, O Ahmadinejad!!! is that a code for only Nigerians to decipher?