Wikipedia describes the “American Dream” as: ‘a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, and Equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth’.
The “Nigerian Dream” is a little like this, but with, perhaps, the difference being that such “opportunity for prosperity and success” is usually provided through politics. When you “make it”, folks would say you have “hammered” and very few care too much about the source of the “hammering”.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu is living the “Nigerian Dream” thanks to politics. From life in 1999 as a dogsbody (official title: Chief of Staff) to then Enugu State governor Chimaroke Nnamani, Ekweremadu licked his boss’s behind enough to be rewarded with the Enugu West senatorial seat by the governor in 2003.
Since then he has risen to Deputy Senate President. While he can’t point at one single development his elevation and his association with his party’s government’s at state and national level has brought to his local government of Aninri or his constituency of Enugu West, Ekweremadu can be satisfied with the riches he has gained from public office, that have allowed him to live the “Nigerian Dream”.
He virtually owns “streets” in Enugu and several hotels in the city. He also owns a multi-million pound mansion with a swimming pool in Northwest London. He is living the “Nigerian Dream “, so much so that he also owns “Dream 92.5FM” in Enugu.
The station is run by some of Ekweremadu’s cronies. Their website claims “Dream 92.5 FM is an urban hit music & information station, targeted at a wide audience demographic, it is a full-service station, complete with sports, topical news, entertainment news and great music. We are live 24 hours a day and seven days a week, aiming to satisfy the listener’s needs through quality programming. As the mouth piece of the South-East, Dream FM is set to making your dream a reality.”
Ekweremadu’s “Nigerian Dream” is surely a reality for him, but for the majority of the people of Aninri Local Government Area and Enugu West it continues to be a nightmare.