A broom is a cleaning tool made up of several dry shaven palm fronds, laid horizontally beside each other, bound by a rubber band or plastic cord. A broom serves multiple purposes; it is popularly utilised for cleaning and sweeping but can also be used for removing cobwebs and pounding ewedu leaf.
Most Nigerians think of brooms differently today. In 2015, the All Progressives Congress (APC) crafted a new significance for brooms in the minds of Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora.
The Broom became a symbol of Change; a new beginning, a new Nigeria where everyone who donned the broom was automatically part of the progressives; the fighters, the avant-garde, the people who risked their lives to rid Nigeria of its filth.
The Early Broomers promised to bring about change; change in the social economic status of Nigerians, corruption perpetrated by the elite, poverty amongst the masses, deteriorating health care system, high unemployment rate, huge infrastructural deficit, and so on and so forth.
The Broom for Change became a symbol of hope, light and a NEW Nigeria; a country free of impunity, insecurity, corruption, and elitism.
Nigerians enthusiastically swept out their tribal and religious sentiments and as a matter of fact, in some geopolitical zones, brooms were no longer used for its original purpose; some forbade their brooms to touch the ground, it was their holy sacrament. They hung it on the dashboard of their cars for all eyes to see, especially those frustrated looking men and women standing under the rain with umbrellas that barely shielded them from the heavy rainfall.
The Broom was donned proudly and boisterously by politicians, students, traders, bus drivers, men and women of different calibre, religion, social and ethnic groups. In 2015, the Broom for Change brought more reverence than money; furthermore an ailing grandmother gave up her lifetime earnings of One Million Naira in exchange for the Broom of Change. May her soul rest in peace.
Fast-forward to this present day…
The metaphoric exposition of The Broom has been stripped from its neck and unbundled into 150 single pieces. While a faction of the All Progressives Congress picks up 40 broomsticks from the unbundled stack that lays bare on the ground, another faction grabs 20, 16, and 19 and so on. The broom Nigerians once waved in the air with pride and hope for a better Nigeria has been unbundled into scantier, weaker, factions that cannot operate effectively, and therefore reneges on the buyers’ expectations.
Question: Have you ever taken out one broomstick and used it to clean, sweep, remove cobwebs, pound ewedu leaf or Change anything? Isn’t it more effective to utilise the entire bundle to achieve multifaceted results? Food for thought…
* This is part one of a three series article written by Ms. Osasu Igbinedion, the Host and Executive Producer of The Osasu Show on AIT, Ben TV and ITV.