Happy Independence Nigeria: Arise O’ Sane Ones

Nigeria Is 59

In the beginning Nigeria tried the so called intellectuals, the Azikiwes, the Awolowos and all other overrated men and they failed us. We tried the brutish military generals on rescue mission and they too failed. Then we turned the other way and tried an ex military general and he failed us again and when Academicians joined the queue we tilled the bloody ground for inspiration and exhumed a redundant thing which gave up hope.

Those of us who have been here for long say that our predicament is the handiwork of that rugged son of Ogoni who placed a curse on Nigeria. But how does one man curse a country? Wouldn’t the gods be crazy if they listened to the wicked desires of one man over the welfare of a million faithful? How old is Nigeria and how old was Saro Wiwa before he was executed by that bloodthirsty regime?

Evidently, our fathers have failed us and with their support (a lazy youth is trying to push blame now), we can guarantee failing our next generation but didn’t our fathers’ fathers fail them too? Someone said our fathers are foolish and Nigeria is the evidence of their achievement. If my generation gets old and Nigeria is still this blind cite, the leaders of tomorrow deserve the rights to use those words.

We often wonder what would have become of Nigeria if the military coups never happened. Did we miss the opportunity to become the city of God and Gold? But if we had the skills to extract gold will the coups had happened? One tribal set blame the spirit of gluttony among the Igbos, another set blame the spirit of laziness in the North while the spirit of treachery in the Yorubas is reason for another set.


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But who is right? Who is wrong? Is there a Prince of Persia hanging over the destiny of Nigeria? Is there such a thing as destiny to even begin with? Are we independent? Are we happy? This morning one elder statesman (you can’t tell what that means anymore) said we should be happy because we are still together and I wondered how stupid divorced partners are. Who is holding Nigeria from moving forward? What is our idea of forward? What if we parted ways after the civil war?

If we are not held by occultic powers, what are we doing with these blood sacrifices? Why do we slander and spite one another? Why do we kill one another? What if the protectorate of Southern and Northern Nigeria were not collapsed? What if Southern and Northern Nigeria were still intact? What if they never existed? What if the Brutish British never stepped their bloody feet into our lands?

Experience has shown that ‘how’ and not ‘what’ to do is the problem. Doing a smart thing, from our experience, is easy. Here you’d be a genius if all you do is simply think of a stupid thing and do the opposite. And just look at the sensibilities of our creations. But, how do you create it? How do you do it? To stop the increasing number of deaths in a place as a result of violence, you stop the violence, but how do you stop the violence?

To bring peace to a place you have to sow justice, but how do you bring about justice if the thinking that destroyed the peace is the thinking expected of justice? Assuming you are the leader and the only smart and good person around, how do you change the barbarism of the people around? How did you even become the leader in the first place? Can a goat herd a pack of wolves in goat form? So what do we do? How do you present the opposite of Nigeria?

For a start, Nigeria is not that rotten. Okay, Nigeria is like a bleeding wound covered with weak gauze bandage and gangrene roots. There are madmen and psychiatrists and if you are not mad enough you are weak and cannot survive in the mega cities of Lagos, Port Harcourt, Aba and Kano. If you step on someone’s foot and he shouts at you, saying sorry means you are weak and wouldn’t survive on the streets. If you stay on queue it is because you are a fool.

Though the mad men still outnumber the psychiatrists, with the right strategy the few psychiatrists can cure many of their madness. For example, how many were the Fulanis that came with Uthman Dan Fodio when the man touched Northern Nigeria? You don’t have to agree with a process to appreciate its depth. You don’t have to like the man to learn from him. We can see strategy in the works of that Sultan.

Saving Nigeria requires the intervention of the few sane ones among us. Many of us are already corrupted and reprogramming will take a long time but we have come to see that repetition has power. Through repetition, children in Catholic churches and Islamic schools are brainwashed and programmed and they draw closer to the faith until something around them mimics the process that got them there in the first place.

Growing up in Northern Nigeria, it was believed in many quarters that Vaccines and Immunization exercises were tools for depopulation (and this is not entirely false) and indigenous Northern parents hid their children away from the team in accordance to the sermon preached in the mosques. Vaccination and Immunization were forbidden not just because they were Western but because they were seen as tools by the west to reduce the number of Muslims we have in Nigeria by targeting the region.

Each time the health workers come around the women hid their kids from them but the workers and ministry didn’t lose faith. They kept coming until a shift was reached. Today, in most barbaric of places, it would seem barbaric to reject immunization or vaccination. If the change maker or revolutionary gives up, the place is doomed but with continuous repetition, refusing to follow the ideology he is proposing could mean you are not cool.

So, these few Nigerians in the madhouse owe it to humanity to do their best to sanitize the madhouse. Let me break it down. A rich person, who believes in repairing Nigeria, uses his money to empower the youths whose bleak outlook on life could mess up the country. It will be of great benefit if this is continuous. The youths and jobless can be empowered with skills or given cash if their business plan is deemed worthy like we have seen with Tony Elumelu, Cowbellpedia, the Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs, A.Y.E and other unpopular philanthropists.

A musician who wants Nigeria to work uses his music to transform Nigeria. Because the growth of an idea is like the making of a child, both minds like gametes meet and like alleles, the dominant wins like the legend Fela did. This sort of music shouldn’t be a once in a life time thing but a continuous thing for the repetition of anything works. 

The journalist who wants Nigeria to work reports balanced stories and leave imaginary sources out of the way. You can’t want Nigeria to work and your reports are myopic. You report the crime stories when it is done by someone outside your region but when same crime is repeated by someone from your region you develop hypermyopia.

Stations like the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, talk about fighting hate speech but then go ahead to describe the enemies of any government in power with damaging tags. As a media outfit, you can’t claim that you want Nigeria to work but still show bias towards certain Nigerians. This shouldn’t be a onetime thing but a continuous show of honesty and transparency.

The civil servants who want Nigeria to work have to continuously do well. No choosing of days to work, late coming and early closure. The ability to change things at the top stems from the abilities built in getting to the top. If you don’t repeat good habits it will be hard to master them. As long as you don’t try to do well today, irrespective of where you are, getting to the top will simply expose the environment to the other unfavourable abilities you acquired while climbing.

The teacher should continue to teach well if he wants Nigeria to succeed. The student should be a student, open to ideas and try to see how to liberate the madmen. If we don’t liberate the madmen we won’t be able to liberate Nigeria. As long as the few sane ones do nothing, the many mad men will keep deciding for us who leads. Keep teaching your truth. The security guards in the banks should keep it up. The cleaners who actually want the best for the country are not left out. And don’t give up if you are trying and it doesn’t seem to be working because as we have seen with the Immunization exercise in Northern Nigeria, often times people reject an idea, insult it, re-examine it, question it and embrace it. But this is for only those who want Nigeria to work.

About Poet 171 Articles
I am Rey Alaetuo, a conscious Poet and health care professional living in Owerri, Nigeria. I am an exponent of humanism and a vigilant Poet. I am deeply interested in the propagation of positive human values and behaviour.