The people of Nigeria like to celebrate. ‘Nigerians’ celebrate any and all occasions no matter how ridiculous and inappropriate the object and time may be. If it is not so, How can ‘Nigerians’ be wishing each other Happy 60th Independence Anniversary?
No wonder, ‘Nigerians’ have the infamous epithet as the “happiest people in the world“.
I expect ‘Nigerians’, under the inauspicious moment and with respect to the ongoing suffering in the land: – ethnic cleansing, gnashing of teeth, deprivation of all the basic things of life, poverty, hunger, hardships and untold sorrow as the portion of the majority in the midst of affluence and abundance – to shut themselves up in their rooms for a long moment in deep thoughtful reflection and to engage themselves in quiet meditation for divine inspiration and guidance.
I expect Nigerians to seek the merciful eye of their creator and to ask the following questions sincerely:
• What have we, the indigenous people of this country, done wrong to warrant the mysterious political, economic and social punishment visited on us?
• Why are we in this ugly position of mental, psychological, physical and spiritual mess?
• Who is it that put us in a god-forsaken Internally Displaced Person’s Camp?
• Where did the governor-general of the Nigeria jailhouse hide the keys of the IDP?
• How can we undo the knots of the century old ‘mental-cuff’, ‘mind-cuff’, leg cuffs and handcuffs that were used in tying us down all these years?
• When is our day of freedom and true cultural, political and economic independence coming?
• What shall/can we do or should we be doing to hasten the glorious day of our freedom?
• Is it near or is it still far away when we shall be able to take the knees of the oppressors off our necks so we can breathe freely as we take our rightful place in the comity of progressive nations?
Unfortunately, right now my people are so stupid, ignorant and negligent (SIN) to the extent that we are unable to see ourselves truly as the world see us. While the people of the world and our immediate neighbours look at ‘Nigerians’ and shake their heads in pity, ‘Nigerians’ could only see themselves as the giant king on the dung hills of the world.
My solemn wish for ‘Nigerians’ on this unhappy occasion of the sixty years of imprisonment in IDP camp of a country and laden in misery as well, is that the indigenous people of Nigeria will rise up to become a people who, by dint of mental rigour, intelligent hard labour, determination and courage, would stand up and step up their struggles for freedom and political self determination at any cost necessary.
And as the struggles for freedom, equality and justice proceed in earnest, may each of us cultivate the habit of thinking before leaping into any action, no matter how lofty and desirable.
May we be wise to follow the advice of Leroy Brownlow who writes:
Think! for it distinguishes man – raises him above the animal and makes him more like God.
Think! for it is the greatest human power – harness it as you will.
Think! for no brain is stronger than its weakest think – and thought by thought man forges his chain of success.
Think! for it is your chief vocation – no matter how you earn your bread.
Think! for it will shorten your job – whatever it is.
Think! for it is more essential to living than education – and more pertinent to fruition than grammar.”
— Leroy Brownlow, Today is Mine
In the Spirit of Truth
SAM ABBD ISRAEL