FEATURE ARTICLE


Debo Awosika-OlumoWednesday, November 27, 2002
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dawosikaolumo@neo.rr.com
USA


NIGERIA IS A BUS WITHOUT A SPECIFIED DESTINATION


"Turning and turning in the widening gyre; The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere; The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity"
--Chinua Achebe
This quotation best describes the current state of the Nation.

ere we go again, the current mayhem in Nigeria as a result of the aborted hosting of the Miss World pageant and the writing of a Journalist with This Day News Journal, is a demonstration of the current sorry state of the incomprehensible concoction called Nigeria.

There is nothing surprising about it, because it is my view that Nigeria is a mistake by the Ocean. The National icons and infrastructures have been reduced to rubble in massive, perfectly orchestrated devastation by the past and present leaders. People are fleeing the country because of mismanagement and corruption. National unity bridges and tunnels are closed because of religious bigots and ethnic jingoists. Communications failing because of people or groups of people who believe that it is only their way or the highway.

The Siege on the nation by my Muslim brothers because of the comments of an unknown Journalist is even worse than the comments on the image of Islam because it made Muslims into villains, implying that Islam encourages violence. Although, most Islamic scholars always claim that Islam forbids taking innocent life, recent events around the world, orchestrated by Islamic extremists, would serve to suggest the contrary. I can't help wondering what it will mean for the future of Muslims in the country and the world in general, sequel to the September 11 attack on the United States and other Muslim fanatical and murdering attacks of innocent people in the disguise of defending their faith. It is my believe and understanding that only powerless Gods needs the human to fight for them by shedding innocent blood. The Almighty God that I serve as a Christian can fight and defend Himself.

The Genesis of this current Situation
"There is something worse than blindness and that is eyes without a vision" -- Helen Keller

It is very disingenuous, disheartening and fraudulent and also an assault on freedom of speech for anyone to blame the mayhem on the press. The main cause of this problem is lack of visionary leaders in all sectors of government in the country. The so called leaders are growing fat and the masses are emaciating. Most of the people used to carryout this siege were jobless, hopeless and fatalistic youth. The youth of the country are disillusioned, hopeless and in a desperate state of despair. Hence, it is very convenient for hateful mischief makers (and we know who they are) that abound in the country to instigate this fatalistic youth to bid their course.

I will not be surprised, to find out that the mayhem was instigated by those trying to divert the attention of the whole country from the bribery and corruption that is permeating the current National Assembly and all spheres of government.

Another reason for this ignoble action is intolerance and the intention of some misguided and marauding band of ethnic jingoists and religious zealots, who believe that it is their birth right to continue to (mis)rule and pilfer the national treasury.

"Cruelty is contagious in uncivilized communities". -- Harriet Ann Jacobs

It is very disturbing and disgraceful that Nigeria, who has always been the pride of Africa and the black race as a whole, in the 21st century is degenerating into an uncivilized community. When looking for an example of evils, cruelty, pains and sorrows humans have added to aggravate the calamity of humanity, Nigeria is a perfect example.

For Nigeria to be a prosperous and united entity many questions need to be answered. These questions can be drawn from the foresighted or prophetic poem by Professor Chinua Achebe

Questions to be answered

  1. Can the falcon hear the falconers? Are the nation's so-called leaders responsive to the yearnings of the people? Are the tribes and ethnic groups that form the entity Nigeria hearing each other?
  2. Have things not totally falling apart in Nigeria? And can the center ever hold again?

  3. Has anarchy not loosed upon the whole nation? A country where the killers of the country's Attorney General, the Nigerian Bar Association Chairman, Anambra Chapter and his wife, to mention a few, are still at large.

  4. How does the country stem the blood-dimmed tide that is loosed and everywhere?

  5. How do we bring innocence back to this current depraved wasted generation, the youth and future generation.

  6. How do you bring sanity to a country where the best lack conviction and vision, and the worst are full of passionate intensity to steal, kill, maim and destroy?

It is my view, that the nations polity has passed the point of redemption and no arrangement can succeed unless human beings are giving the right to exercise their freedom or see values in the reasons of their existence in a group..

Right from our colonial days the aspirations of the south were different from the aspirations of the core north; when the south was ready for self rule the north still wanted to be ruled by the British. Currently our core northern "brothers" and "sisters" are agitating for military rule while we in the south want democratic rule. They want Sharia penal code but we want the current existing legal systems. As my Bible says, "Can two people work together unless they agree?"

I do not pray or wish for a violent separation of the country because this will create both economical and social disaster all over the continent of Africa. There is too much distrust, dissension and disdain for each other that the best solution now is to try other arrangements. This is the time, as honest and patriotic Nigerians, to disencumber ourselves from this failed current disoblige status quo that leads to no specified destination. A word is enough for the wise.

In closing, I must resort to what may seem a redundant frame of reference that has however stood the test of time… "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result"… and to quote my daughter from her most innocent and poignant moments of eloquence… "I just don't get it…."