I am an angry Nigerian crying silently in between the lines of these pages. I am an orphan… sitting by the lifeless body of the woman who had once carried me inside her for 9 joyful months. I am the brother embittered by the loss of my kinsmen as I dig graves for their remains. I am what used to be NIGERIA!
*sigh* Everyday, the death toll in the trouble spots of Nigeria rise to an alarming figure. Like a virus, slowly and steadily it sips into other parts of Nigeria. We shake our heads and give off a little ‘Oh my God’… ‘Eeyah’… ‘Na wa ooo’ every now and then whenever we hear of babies, young graduates and married couples dismembered and slaughtered, lying in the pool of their blood… nothing more than victims… casualties of war… the poor unfortunate ones.
Some of us resigned ourselves to our lofty beliefs that it was in a far away country this devastation occurred. And who could blame us? I guess we all felt a little bit safer tucking away the gore and horror in the huge stacks of old news papers we often piled in the rodent infested room in that forgotten part of the house. It was easier to just flick the channel to a more glamorous entertainment, bopping our heads to the bass and snares of hip-hop tunes and smiling at the latest trends of the photo-shopped stars of MTV and BET… that was until we felt our blood slowly drain onto those troubled sands… that was until we lost a husband, a brother, a daughter… a dear friend to what is nothing more than a mindless war.
Yes, we sipped our cup of teas and coffees and said our ‘Eeyahs’ while vigilantes formed pockets of ‘resistant’ groups underneath our very noses… resisting peace… resisting progress… resisting life. We read our newspapers, shook our heads; folded it neatly and tucked it under our armpits as we went on with our mundane routines. We sat down in peer groups; analysing and apportioning blame to the ones seating at the wheels of our nation while we adjusted our halos and maintained the position of innocence and non-accountability BUT most vibrant and intelligent youth… look at your hands as you point. See the blood of hundreds… thousands whose voices you silenced with your silence… see how your lackadaisical nature causes the streets to flow with more blood… OUR BLOOD!!! We say we are but one single voice crying out against an army but even one star makes a different in the blackness of the thick midnight sky. Where we bold enough, we wouldn’t have lost them… we wouldn’t have let them die… those little pieces of Nigeria. We would have held on to them… spoken up… stayed alert… we would have felt the tremors on the ground as this beast marched into our land and done all we could to stop it from making us all prisoners in our own home. For the now departed would have stood with you… with us, brother with brother… sister with sister as we all push for a Greater land… a greater home.
The wind is blowing through the land, gathering the dust of the remains… of the ashes left behind from lives lost and properties condemned…incinerated by the fire of ‘blind hate’ which burns between brothers. Jos, Kaduna, Abuja, Maiduguri and the Niger Delta have lost more than lives and properties… it has lost NIGERIA and everything she used to be.
I see your anger rising as you reach for your guns and machetes. I can taste the bitterness of your resounding call for vengeance… oh but young one… Have you not learned by now that War has and will NEVER be the answer! Violence only begets more violence NEVER a solution. Gradually Africa’s Pride turns to Africa’s shame. A wailing mother will NEVER see beyond the blood of her slaughtered son… an orphan will never recite the National anthem with a patriotic sense of love and devotion to his or her country… A father will never hear past the screams of his brother as he was been butchered. Tell me, how then can there be peace? Why won’t we lose our younger generations to the foreign lands and their cultures when we find ways to destroy ours with more bloodshed and enmity?
As for you idle youth, It is ok… continue to sit back, cross your legs, sip your cups of coffee and tea, shake your heads and then say our ‘Eeyahs’? Hopefully it will all be just a dream…. HOPEFULLY!
Any man or woman can start a war but it takes a REAL MAN or WOMAN to initiate PEACE in and for the pursuit of progress.
We ARE one Nation, under ONE God… and that will never change.
** Twitter – @I_AM_EVAEZI