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Pius Adesanmi @pius_adesanmi
, 12 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
1. Some ask: Pius, why do you hold such a low opinion of the Nigerian social and political elite as a collective? Primitive is your ever ready descriptor when you write about them as a collective. Why? I will answer with some illustrations. Come with me.
2.Throughout history, civilization has been measured in stages by man’s ability to impose order on primordial chaos by deploying his genius to exercise aesthetic authority & control over his environment. To this end, he innovates, invents tools.
3. In d crudest sense, the 'elite' in hunter gatherer society in d Stone Age invented primitive tools to exercise aesthetic authority and dominion over his lived space and environment. This enhanced other activities pertaining to feeding, economics, socialities.
4. If you know the lived spaces of Nigeria’s elite as well as I do, u will feel truly sorry for Nigeria. I am talking about where he lives in Maitama, Asokoro, Lekki, Magodo, Banana Island. This is where the intellectual nakedness of this class is on full display.
5. It is in such lived spaces that d Nigerian elite has failed d most rudimentary test of civilization. As a collective, they have exercised no aesthetic authority over d conceptualization of those spaces which are some of d world’s most expensive urban ghettos.
6. These folks vacation in Neuilly in Paris or in d French Riviera. They then return to urban ghettos in Nigeria where they build anyhow, do violence to every notion of spatial aesthetics & symmetry. No conceptual rigour in their approach to their own lived spaces & environment.
7. A man treats guests to haute cuisine. Polite company. They discuss Naija politics while listening to Verdi’s Aida. At the end of this soiree, everyone drives out of this majestic compound to garbage, sewage, and other forms of conceptual and spatial violence.
8. Throughout history, man’s response to challenge has been innovation. The Nigerian elite is a unique species. His only response is primitive: escape. That is why he builds bigger & mightier fences to lock challenges out of his compound that other elites resolve with innovation.
9. German elite may resolve certain challenges by conceptualizing better, futuristic autobahns; his Nigerian counterpart will respond to d same challenges by importing sturdier SUVs(Jeeps). When these prove insufficient, he escapes to the skies via helicopters & private jets.
10. An elite whose only answer is escape, an elite that has not colonized (in the Latin sense of the word) its own environment in Maitama or Lekki cannot do anything about yours in Nyanya, Lugbe, Oshodi or Okokomaiko.
11. If he does so much violence to his own lived space, how can he organize yours as your political leadership? That is why slum clearance is his only answer to your problems.
12. NB: I left Ikoyi & VI out. He did not plan those. Rather, that which Oyinbo planned for him he has spent d last 50 years destroying. He couldn't even maintain the canal. The aqueducts built by ancient Rome are still there...
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