Of Cliques, Highness And Death! By Mitterand Okorie

Truth is, young people are dropping everywhere across the country, coked up, their hearts giving way, having been stretched to a breaking point. They are not celebrities or friends of celebrities, so you wouldn’t know.

They grind all sorts of substances and put in their drink, tramadol, refnol, codeine, they mix it in beer, mix it in palwine, mix in vodka, they are looking for high, they are looking to wreck the young lady they took home for the night. They are looking for numbness, they’re looking for hollow heroism, they’re looking to escape reality. They keep looking for high. They forget that 'high' is death.

Young men binge-ing their lives away isn’t anything new, the latest saga in the news is a manifestation of a more insidious problem. You have young folks with money they cannot account for, money achieved in ways that removes purpose from life,and they are ever so busy looking for ways to give meaning to their lives. For some of these folks, hanging with a celebrity and footing their bills from city to city is how they’ve come to find meaning.

Cliquism is how they’ve come to find that meaning. But there is nothing so useless as a clique that is anchored on vainglorious exploits, and all of its attendant dangers.

Cliquism tells you this is how we roll in our circle, and you roll with it, you enter a binge-betting contest, you pop a pill, you snort a line, and then you become slow, and then you’re fucked. Sometimes you bleed, from the brain, and from other parts. The clique is a shark, it always has it’s victims.

I studied in places where the wards of the Nigerian political class did too. As both an undergrad and graduate student, I’ve seen it all. I knew what it meant for young people to have so much money they didn't work for, and so much they didn't know what to do with it. Highness was a pastime. It is same with most of these young cats who suddenly stumbled into stupendous wealth.

You get into that kind of life, you almost never stop, never stop looking for the next high, you drag the elasticity of your brain power, till it snaps, till it haemorrhages, till you bleed from the nose, your ears, and you shit blood.

I saw young boys sent back home to their parents, some as a loco case, some as corpses.

Young people, get busy with your dreams, quit looking for a high. Quit looking for the next codeine to excite yourself or numb your senses so you forget about your problems, because whenever you wake up from the drug-induced somnambulism, your problems would still remain before you, unbowed, and unmoved, like a Leviathan.

If you’re in Abuja, let us meet today at the Yar’dua Centre, at 6pm. You won’t find a better gathering with people of ideas this year. We all can do better.
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