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Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Stagnation of a Great Nation

Written by: Muoka Chibuzor G

Fears reside in my heart as backwardness has become an attribute of the Nigerian nation. Tears dripped from my eyes as I saw the blood of the innocent shed on daily basis, the newspapers and media are carrying it and nothing tangible has been done about it. The stings of a hurtful past and the certainty of an unassured tomorrow have pushed promising youths into destructive vices. The struggles of our heroes past are clearly going in vain, as the leaders of the day have decided to grope in the dark while acts of injustice and violence are being perpetrated in broad daylight.

Seated on the planes of a grass field with an old wristwatch that my father had long given to me, I watched the irreversible hands of time tick by, just then a revelation struck me, and I felt as though I could hear minute voices within me. In keen observation of nature, it was becoming clear that the animal kingdom is more orderly than the society we dwell in today. Therein, I discovered the ones who actually made the most use of their times on earth.

They were the birds of the air, the ants of the land and the fishes of the sea. These animals worried not about tomorrow, rather they lived every day in gratefulness, the present mattered most to them because the present was the future they asked for in the past. The present was actually the future in disguise. They accepted life the way they met it and acknowledged that nothing in life was actually worth dying for. So why are the killings of men? Is there anything on earth worth killing for? Absolutely NOTHING. The electorates sell their votes for peanuts during the election to elect incapable hands, forgetting that the difference between the bad present and a good future can only be achieved if they can make wise decisions. For the achievement of a progressive nation, all hands must be on deck because if a man agrees to a task, his Chi (god) also agrees with him.

These animals knew their capability, they recognized what they were created for, they utilized their minute talent and ability, and neither complained nor felt any bit of complacency as they advance daily to make their lives better. They accepted their boundaries and lived in their own world, making a difference no matter how small it was. They compared not themselves but lived in the pride of who they have individually found themselves to be. When a man lives as an imitation of another, he is ignorantly insulting himself. Today in Nigeria, most people want to become politicians, even the crawling child wants a political office, not because they have the passion to serve the people but because they want to mimic the corrupt elements. They want to syphon the money of the nation for mere luxury and comfort; they want to make the people slaves in their own fatherland. This is because when the value of something is obscure, abuse tends to occur.

The tiny ants managed to construct the magnificent anthill that had the appearance of the Egyptian pyramid. The architectural design behind the anthill was simply glorious. Its strength and inner cubicles made it possible for the anthill to withstand adverse windy, rainy and sunny conditions. Inside this anthill are rooms wherein myriads of ants reside, they embraced the power of accommodation. They understood the quintessential power in unity, and in such conformity, snakes do not enter anthills. Today in Nigeria, creativity is smudged by men in power, a little or no recognition are given to the youths who distinguished themselves. The pillars of the nation are collapsing, the educational, health, security, and power pillars have been left to rust and dilapidate. Unfortunately, our leaders neither allow themselves nor their children to patronize those dilapidated pillars, instead they go abroad.

I discovered that these lower animals often lived in peace, in their world of order than to compare with the society of man that is often driven by chaos and disarray. The love among men has grown cold, as they failed to recognize and acknowledge their essential and respective roles in life. They lacked peace and unity, and progress became a myth to them. Consequently, they destroyed themselves and left achievable feats, unachieved. There was enough for everyman's need, but not for everyman's greed. The oil boom in Nigeria, lead to the eruption of unfathomable greediness. The money from the oil sector was pocketed and the people, from whom the oil was gotten, were hardly compensated. Their water and soil became toxic and could neither support aquatic nor plant life, and yet the leaders make promises about the environmental cleaning and fail to fulfil it. When the people cry out in agony, they are instead sent to the afterlife to cry to their ancestors.

Lost in deep thoughts, I could hear calm whispers from within. This calm still voice spoke with innocence. It was the humanity in us, and every time it tries to calls us to order, most of us harden our hearts. Most times this voice of humanity whispers to us and we ignore it, forgetting that the battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man. The good in us tells us to live as one but we decide to live in enmity, it tells the fortunate not to build tall fences against the weak, but the rich and influential class always demands huge thick walls against the poor. Truly, we all are not equal before the law and government, but are we still unequal before God?

Deductive reasoning explains that since human morality is one all over the world, therefore its source must have emanated from one God who acknowledges the total equality of man. The height of religious intolerance in our nation Nigeria is truly unimaginable. Religious intolerance has been one of the reasons why the nation has remained in stark darkness irrespective of the light of civilization. The Christians and Moslems judge each other and claim they worship a different God, who probably would have created different planets for different religions. If Martin Luther Jnr was alive, he would have told Nigerians that the respect of another's belief is the greatest height of civility. Worship the hills and allow me to worship the valleys, for peace to reign. The belief of a man makes up his social DNA. Therefore, when his ideologies are threatened, he feels unsecured.

I see no reason why we should kill one another, because of religion. Three blind men who were asked to explain their perception of the elephant had a lot to say. One touched the tusks and said, "This must be an arrow!" Another touched the body and said, "This must be a huge wall," while the other touched the tail and said, "This must be a long rope." Everyone with his/her perceptions but none is pure and perfect. Perfection can only be achieved when we understand and accommodate our differences.

Helpless people are on the streets roaming in rags, some are at the orphanage totally clueless of tomorrow, some are incarcerated in prisons without justice, and others are stuck at the hospital with pathetic ailments that would have been treated if our leaders in public offices understood that health is wealth. At the same time, the leaders are busy swindling the masses by making policies that favour them all alone. Probably they want to carry the wealth of the world to the land of the dead. Vain and vanity, the deeds of a man is his only true asset. No one remembers a man by how much money he had; rather he is remembered with his contributions to the growth of mankind.

It would be wise if we adorn ourselves with wisdom because dwelling in fear, panic and divisiveness, would only immobilize our nation. I have a dream that one day; the voice of truth would be heard, upheld, and implemented. The time to repair the roof is when the sun is still shining. Let us sit as brothers and sisters and appreciate the humanity in us.

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