SPEAKING hyperbolically, most Nigerians have a DNA for controversy which is why the polity is always overheated. So, everywhere you go, you find fiery arguments, quarrels, fisticuffs, threats, protests, demonstrations, strikes and even open fights. Our country is therefore no longer at ease.
One man who graphically captured our penchant for controversy recently was senior citizen Peter Enahoro. He is a Nigerian foremost journalist now on forced “exile” abroad because of monumental corruption in the land. In an interview published in Saturday Vanguard of January 24, 2015 he presented a vivid illustration of how controversial a Nigerian can be.
His paraphrased story. A Ghanaian and Nigerian were at a UK Home Office to renew their residential permits which had long expired. First, the Ghanaian, looking penitent, came before the official in the UK Home Office. He was told that his residential permit had expire a month ago. So, why did he delay in coming forward to renew it, asked the official at the office. The Ghanaian apologized for the error of omission. No obtuse hehaviour.
Enter the Nigerian. He had a frightful scowl on his aggressive face. Meanwhile is residential permit had expired for a whole three months. The official asked him the same question posed to the Ghanaian: why he delayed in presenting himself to the office for his permit to be renewed on also examining his documents.
Do you know what the Nigerian did? He requested for the documents, pretended that he was examining them and then returned them to the official with a frown.
There was no politeness in his hand’s biomechanics while giving back the   documents. No apologies from him. He was dead silent. Very, very cold in disposition. At this juncture, the disturbed official asked: “No comments. Can’t you see that you delayed for three months in presenting your residential permit for renewal?
Behold, the Nigerian retorted: “What do you want me to say? I have nothing to say. Don’t waste my time. Renew the permit quickly for me. Afterall, when you came to colonise us, did you need a residential permit?
No one needs to be told that the Nigerian’s idiosyncracy provoked a raging controversy between him and the UK Home Office official. Certainly, not all Nigerian stir up controversy. However, the fact remains that most of us love to swim in its murky water, filled with giant crocodiles, each passing day.
All said, experience show that certain contexts generate controversies in themselves. Interestingly, some of us provide these contexts for them to thrive.
Ridding half –truths
See, when a person is economical with the biblical truth, he has pulled the trigger of controversy. This is exactly what the president did during his last media chat early in the year. When he tried to dichotomise between stealing and corruption. Hear him: “Yes we have corruption cases. We have cases of stealing, no doubt about that. But I always say that, call a thief, a thief.
Several Nigerians pissed off by the high level of increasing corruption in the country expected him to outline his transformation agenda for an invigorated fight against the monstrous, killer corruption in Nigeria. But all they got was an academic lecture, complete with a Socratic phiso-phical posturing, on corruption and stealing. His behaviour, therefore, caused controversy. Afterall, corruption is metaphorically a poisonous snake.    When you are asked to kill it, you don’t go into a doctoral clarification of the concepts of its colour, size and length before doing so.
Similarly, INEC threw up controversy when on February 5, 2015 Prof. Attahiru Jega, its  chairman, told the National Council of state meeting in Abuja that the electoral body was ready for the February 14 and 28,2015 general election. That was one of the biggest lie even told on planet earth.
Imagine, as at the time he made this statement, only 45,829,800 PVCs or 66.58% of the   PVCs  of the total registered voters of 68,833,976 had been distributed to eligible voters.
In other words about 23 m voters would have been statistically disenfranchised had the election held on those days.
Yet INEC is supposed to be a quintessential electoral shepherd who must go, all out to ensure that one “sheep” of voter is not missing from the nation’s democratic flock.
Well, following the six weeks, extension for INEC, it was now able to start the normalization of PVC distribution. On March 14,201 INEC had been able to distribute an additional 10 million PVCs. Yes, INEC has not reached the promise land in PVC distribution. But not to worry. More voter have now been empowered to be able to cast their vote even though not all of them would do so eventually on election day. The foregoing matrix explains why INEC got the nation into a thunderous controversy when it glibly said that it was ready for the election earlier scheduled for February 14 and 28, 2015.
Indeed, being economical with the truth in a nation whose institutions and personages have lost public trust, awe and respect is bound to elicit controversy. This is more so granted also that we live in a pre-science society. Here no homage is paid to knowledge and to conceptual differentiations between opinion fact, truth, half-truth, rumour and evidence. No space is given to inductive and deductive logic as valid tools for harnessing credible data in arriving at balanced, affirmative conclusion. Trust, too, in our Neanderthal pre-science society only a few acknowledge that “evidence is the end of argument.” People, instead, like to argue and debate endlessly.
Controversy Personified
Controversy rages in Nigeria, also, because some of us are personifications of controversy itself. Yes –oo, if you see some people, you can read controversy written all over their bodies, including their biome trics Mallam Sanusi, Lamido, former CBN boss and currently the Emir of Kano, is one of such persons. During his tenure as the boss of the CBN, everything he did was smeared in controversy. Before he left office, he wove a cap of controversy and wore it on the head of NNPC. He accused it of holding on to 49.8 billion dollars of our oil funds!! Later, he scaled down the missing money to 20 billion dollars. So, how much is really missing became a matter of controversy.
Obasanjo qualifies of Mr. Controversy, too. The way he ordered his PDP card to be turn recently shows him as one. What other proof do you need?
Well, Nigeria hasn’t seen any controversy yet. The biggest one is expected on March 28, 2015 when the presidential election will be holding. Two controversial candidates, Jonathan and Buhari, are in the controversial race in our controversial country of controversial people. So, everyone is expecting a controversial outcome. Abi-oo

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