The “Paid” Piper

Published September 21, 2013 by EMMANUELLA ODUM

pied piper

“GODFATHERISM” as a concept, is relatively notorious in today’s emerging global political comprehension. It connotes a subjectively asinine method of indirect power acquisition which seldom leaves the legitimate ruler with the Mosaic staff of authority to lead an enslaved, puppy-eyed electorate, who massively chime their support for a multi-faceted regent. Ever wondered how our old bed time stories objectively hit the mark in displaying the realities of the modern world and its conventional norms?
Well, occasionally I am compelled to muse about the realistic tendencies of mythical fairytales and the legendary stories of the past. Oftimes I am inclined to proffer that the themes of our seemingly childish stories which are supposedly immersed in farce are in the actual sense of it more “REAL” than we can ever comprehend. Take for instance …CINDERELLA ,there’s no gainsaying the fact that there is a sickening convention (albeit induced by Society )amongst many females ,that the lucky and successful one is the lady who marries a rich and powerful “prince” as the case maybe. SLEEPING BEAUTY…? It certainly pays to have “happy” and influential friends who save us from the hassles created by wicked step mothers, which in this case is, LIFE! Therefore to keep their loyalty, don’t assume martyrdom by telling them the truth…that they are DWARFS!!!
However, this piece attempts to enunciate the erstwhile dim connection between the popular fairy –tale, THE “PIED” PIPER and the “kudos-driven” political ideology of GODFATHERISM. The term “Godfather” has ,without an iota of doubt, come a far distance from what it was originally acclaimed to be (which was: the male sponsor of a baptism or the head of the Mafia). It goes without saying that the only KIND of baptism or Mafioso that these modern political godfathers engage in …is one that irreversibly ensures the transfiguration of the “godchild” from a living being to a puppet!
Once upon an unfortunate period in fairy land, rats were inured as the recalcitrant rulers of Hamelin. These pesky rodents made life virtually impossible for the rightful inhabitants and so the “erstwhile” rulers thought it a sage act to employ the services of a piper to play a special tune which was different from the conventional melodies: one aimed at luring the rats out of their hidden abyss and out of the village. In shocking comparison with the circumstances above, our generation hasn’t fared any better as it has undoubtedly been victimized by the tyranny of her leaders and this is depicted by the vivid fact that the beautiful melody of democracy has been altered by the incidence of “Godfatherism” in politics. The Political Godfather salivates, not merely at the thought of obtaining power, but at the very notion of wielding the staff of office and ripping the regal garments from those who have painstakingly grasped the slippery trust of the electorate. The pipers amongst us who are naturally gifted to surge our nation forward with laudable ideologies are handsomely paid to reel out specific tunes …not to provide harmonious music for our aching ears, but to fulfill an obligation suitable to “he who pays the piper”.
Analogically, the rats are subjectively perceived to be a menace to the rulers majorly because they have wittingly acquired power by taking centre stage, to warn the people of the failure of a government upon whose shoulders they had piously laid their trust!
For the villagers (masses), the rats are a reminder of the unwanted truth that they are helpless against the deteriorating state of their nation. Clearly, the rodents are despised both ways, by the people and their rulers!
To that effect, the masses are inured to permit a commoner like them… in the guise of a PIPER …, whose duty it is to provide melodies: melodies which aim to recant a period of merriment and plenty: melodies which soothe the soul …to divest them of these benefits. The PIPER who ought to be a source of hope and inspiration trades his conscience for the appeasement of his auditory senses and sensory nerves with the clanking of gold coins and the perverse weight of bulging pockets. By that process, he loses out and so do the masses. Only one body remains the sole beneficiary in this plot of thievery and betrayal…OUR GODFATHERS!
These “Fathers of god” are apt to concede that they blaze a trail of infamous deeds, a trail that ought to inevitably lead the arm of the Law into their coven where cauldrons of evil have been left to boil… Despite this “set back”, the unfettered urge to repeatedly remain within the corridors of power stays overwhelmingly strong, hence the need to sponsor a guileless candidate who possesses the support of his people.
However corrupt they are, they certainly aren’t stupid! Therefore, the plan to stage a marionette on strings is created for the puppet-show!
Yes it is a puppet show… our piper who possesses a genuine passion to salvage his people and put a smile on their grim faces is paid to play an eerie dirge that would further enlarge the pockets of our hidden fathers and cause untold injustice worse than the “rat like” infestation of socio-economic breakdown. His life hangs on strings controlled by our “big-daddies” and when the faintest wisp of rebellion is perceived by these powerful, cautious and over –sensitive bunch, the strings are tautly pulled though in warning but sometimes taut enough to snap life‘s essence out of the hapless piper.
Regardless of this melancholic situation, hope shines through yet, for in THE PIED PIPER of HAMELIN , the ruler reneges on his part of the agreement and all hell is let loose as our converted piper plays another tune , not one familiar to the village but one which calls out to the savage , caveman like instinct of the village children . They scurry out in droves as the tune promises a trip to another place better than that which they leave behind. The children of Hamelin follow their new found guide to the Promised Land, leaving behind hopelessness as Hamelin loses her next generation.
Presently, the pipers in every sector of our nation have their hands well oiled and their backs well rubbed, that to lead such a rebellion would be an act of ingratitude to the powers that be! THE AMAZON shall not indulge in the never –ending game of “finger –pointing” and etching culpability on Politics alone. Godfatherism is one trend that is well fixated in every section of society! Brilliant ideas are left to die and the carcasses feasted upon by vultures into non-existence because there is a high “risk” that it would irreversibly hurt the already dented image of the Godfather of such a sponsor!
Writers are warned to desist from using the best weapon known to man…THE PEN, to sensitize the public about a trend that is gradually reducing the fragile comprehension of PATROTISM amongst its ever-willful citizens. We are told , time and time again , that if we must write …if our artists must be heard …if our families must be kept safe from oppression, it must be to put a smile on the asinine faces of authority!!! The PRESS exists no more, for they are wont to reveal the tragic phenomenon of our “OGAs at the Top”
Despite it all, one question gnaws at my inquisitive side…if these are “fathers of god”, who are their ancestors and where are they? Who are their fathers?
The truth is we all share the same paternal custodians, therefore, we are BROTHERS!!! As shocking as that may sound, this view has one undeniable merit… WE ARE EQUALS. If they can opt to pay our trusted piper, we can afford to take up flutes of Positive radicalism!
If we emulate the actions of THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN, we may yet play our tunes in harmony and call out the next generation before they are turned into puppets!!!
And while we ready our flutes, I remain THE AMAZON and my amazing quill loves you! *winks*

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8 comments on “The “Paid” Piper

  • Great read and very brilliant depiction of pied piper… Godfatherism as a concept in politics is an integral aspect of it but in d Nigeria environment where so much aberrations hold for all real derivative we see it as essentially bad. Godfatherism and cacuses in politics are the essential tool of influence as democracy it self is all about parties. Aberrations in all sectors make a Nigeria entirely different society to apply things that work well and fine in other societies.

  • Funny how cartoons can depict more than just fairytales we hope to see; its true what they say that the eye sees what we want to see. Even I Demi must confess the “confusing truths” hidden in fairytales But you’ve been able to triumph beyond the obvious, seeking path with the sages. The issue of Godfatherism has always been an issue we look at with a gaint’s mind forgetting its more than just what we admit it to be. Great use of the piper’s metaphor….Great job, just as others

  • Wow! Funny how cartoons can mean more than the fairytales we hope to see; its true what they say, the eye sees what you want it to see. Even I Demi must confess to the images of such “confusing truth” found in these fairytales. Godfatherism has always been an obvious problem we face in our county ranging from d political to oda sectors. But just like giants, we look at it from afar, never giving so much as an effort to look closer. But your use of the piper metaphor really pleases my love for reality and cartoons. Good job

  • In its entirety, Godfatherism is not an utterly bad idea if its used for progressive reasons and not just to benefit a few at the detriment of the masses. But as the case is in the Nigerian situation we all know the degrading role Godfatherism has played in all section of our society. Be that as it may, you’ve good job bringing this to public limelight again.

    With regards to calling out the next generation before they are turned puppets, my question is are these set of people ‘truly’ ready to be called? Many of them would rather pitch their tents with the Godfathers than take up the flute of ‘positive radicalism’. But then nothing shall discourage us from giving that a trial 🙂

  • A brilliant synthesis of stark reality and mythical fairytale to force out a monstrous factor that is partially responsible for the ills suffered in our society today. Godfatherism ideally should be serving a better purpose but it has been turned on its head and used in more selfish ways at the detriment of the majority. However, there is hope, I strongly believe that. Karl Marx stated that: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it”. You have pointed out the problem, Madam and offered a way out by advising that we ‘take up the flutes of positive radicalism’. A clarion call to all who believe in this to turn words into action and be pragmatic. It is time to pick up the gauntlet. Impressive write up. Well done Amazon!

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