“Nigeria is such a mess right now. Just when we thought that Boko Haram is permanently resident in the North, Rumuokoro got bombed. It is terrible I tell you. See what is happening at the Federal level.... The future of Nigeria is only the same here at another time. Trust me, fifteen years from now, we will still be witnesses to the mass bloodshed, poverty and corruption....Let us be realistic, nothing is changing anytime soon.” As guilty as I am to be part of this reality, I cannot swear on my doubt of Chuks prediction. Unfortunately, it was the future we both discussed -The future of Nigeria.
Nigeria’s status quo is no secret. Awareness of it is enough rape into the guilt of being part of the system that feeds it. Amongst a lot, today Nigeria thrives of the misconception of what may constitute true religion and acceptability of certain practices. Many do not know the genesis of this, but today the dance is quite a trend. Christmas Day 2011 was not much of an amusing joke and the several Jos bombings too. Painful as it was and still is, some of our very own men regard the bombing and mass killings of fellow men as necessitated by the ‘Nigerian circumstance’- the same circumstance that we share and should work together towards ameliorating.
Nonetheless, efforts have been made by the government to salvage the situation. First it was the employment of dialogue, amnesty, and now arrests. As commendable as they may seem, they do not negate the fact that, everyday, at least one Nigerian child somewhere is fed with a very good measure of hatred, disappointment, poverty, frustration and anger for her society- her country. She may only be seven years old and may not know what a bomb or pistol looks like, but she recognizes the hunger in her belly, the bareness on back, and the hatred in her heart. She is nurtured to accept her individuality and independence as the description of her fate to the detriment of a society who regard her existence a burden, humiliation or even a mistake. On the other hand, there is another who may have sprung up from ‘nobility’ but has been taught by her kin that propriety demands that she spills human blood to be ‘saved’. They are just two out of the millions of other categories of Nigerian children who are born and fed with the similar darkness on other days of the year. The three things these children have in common is their mind, time and the magnitude of their energy.
I am a writer, child tutor, brother, son, mentor and training to be a lawyer. Yet the truth is, I am also a slave and victim to as much stubborn misconception as thrives in our society today as constitutes a threat to our existence as a people bound by a common ancestry and destination. But then, have we not all at one time in our lives or the other been guilty of this same misconception? Forgivably, concession to guilt is the first step to progressive restoration.