Friday, 29 September 2017

I am first of all a Nigerian

The human being at birth can be likened to a computer. We were all born quite unfilled. However, we all came to this world with the innate capacity to care for each other. Even as babies, we recognised other human beings as analogous to us and discerned them from the animals we found around us. As we grew older into toddlers, we stopped selecting who we allowed to carry us as long as someone we recognised was around. We were attracted to other Children we came across and played we with them more freely. Sometimes, too freely. We enjoyed human gatherings because they provided us with opportunities to further explore possible relationships with more and more people, and to play some more. No wonder I cherished the “end of year” parties my parents took me to so much.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

A Twist of Fate

“I will love you wellu wellu, I must to love you wellu wellu, Maria don come for me oh. I will love you wellu wellu. Bread wey I no dream of oh, Don find me come oh, Make una come helep me shout oh, Wetin I go use thank Maria oh. I will love you wellu wellu, I must to love you wellu wellu, Maria don come for me oh, I will love you wellu wellu.” After singing this song on top of his voice, he cleared his throat and started his story while his son listened with keen interest. “Maria and I were friends from babyhood. We danced and rolled together in the sands of the village in pants and sometimes without clothing. Maria lived two compounds away from mine but you could not tell the household members apart. My house was her house and her house was my house. We followed adults to the stream and played in the stream waters like baby mermaids. We were like brother and sister.

Sunrise at dusk: A Prayer for Nigeria

When I look around, faces of despair are not in short supply. My own face is not immune. Thank God every Nigerian has some innate resilience to abjection. The issue however is that we all have our breaking points. We know when enough is enough! Though our past as a nation was quite eventful, we seemed to have thrown the cigarette butt into a trash can filled with papers and moved on without putting the fire out completely. The smoke from the trash can has gained dense billows and ignition is not far off. With reference to the political antecedents of Nigeria, no Government in uniform or without uniform has adequately coped with the immense expectations of Nigerians. If you kept an inventory of newspaper headlines from 1960 to date, the word chart would throw up a trend of words that abound in our discussions on national issues today. There is a popular saying that “Government is a continuum.” If this is true, why haven’t we as a nation overcome basic recurrent issues that continue to plague every successive Government in Nigeria?