Clouded in thoughts, like Immanuel Kant, I wallowed through a shallow quiet stream in search of perpetual peace. I thought of how great our dear country would have been if peace and harmony can be sustained as we enjoy the benefits of our diversity. I wondered why we are not our brother’s keeper. Why do nations rise against others? Why are few people amassing wealth at expense of the poor? Why do people pervert the judgment of the guilty and fight not the cause of the just? Why are we so gullible and brainwashed by those enjoying their lucre wealth and push us against one another? Why do we want to perish for lack of wisdom?
This figment of imagination liken to Carthage, ridden with corruption, the richest and most powerful city in the Mediterranean region before 260 BCE that went through three major crises (Punic Wars). We need understand that the first war of Carthage, it was still economical viable and strong; the second war shook it off-balance-though was still habitable; and the last war…Carthage was nowhere to be found!
Nigeria like Carthage, the economic hub of Sub Sahara Africa and the most populous black state in the world witnessed unforgettable civil war 46 years ago with great loss of lives and unquantifiable properties destroyed. Though hopeful with current military operation in the part of North East to curtail the unending Boko Haram menace. While still at war with Boko Haram, we went into tension soaked general elections in which the former President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan found it so worthy to extend the olive branch by conceding defeat and won us the inestimable peace. There comes some dissatisfied un-sportsmanship-like characters who want to take us five steps back after moving a step forward (away from post-election violence predicted by doom’s day prophets) hiding under the umbrella of Biafra agitation using unapproved radio wave to incite the unsuspecting citizens. Apart from its economic implications, Nigeria cannot afford to engage a new front for military confrontation. Then the questions emerge: Who want to take us backward? Would Nigeria survive another (third) internal war-from Civil War of 1967-1970; to current unending Boko Haram menace and the latest uprising in the South East? Are we on the way to freedom or self-afflicted destruction?
In Rwanda, between April 7 and mid-July 1994, an estimated 500,000-1,000,000 Rwandans were killed where radio played an ignominious role in inciting ethnic slaughter. It is laughable, after losing out in power game, a group of irredentists (Association of Chest Beaters) regained their voice, and illegally mounted transmitters to achieve its aim of dissemination of hatred. Just after the defeat of the then ruling party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Radio Biafra and many other internet forums, like RTLMC (Rwanda), started broadcasting racist propaganda; disseminate hate broadcast by instigating fellow countrymen against another and referring to the rest of us as animals living inside the ‘Zoo’ called Nigeria. And we do business on daily basis with each other and pretend nothing has happened? This is time bomb; it is only ticking to be exploded as our silence is no longer golden.
Somebody need to tell these disgruntled comrades that election has come and gone, a new government is now in place at least for next four years. Whoever is angry or feel marginalized (If truly) should go through the proper channel to express his/her own grievance(s)- not disturbing the peace of the rest of us. Election is a contest of highest number which is garnered by ideas and bridge crossing. It is not tribal challenge, and it will never be.
And for the sons of perfidy who have skeleton in their cupboard and want to use this as a cover to distract and arm twists the government in order to evade justice are free to enjoy the sympathies of their tribal and emotionally blinded fellows. It is only a matter of time, when push comes to shove; we shall know the true agents of progress as the case progress!
While still on the peace move, and if we think otherwise that to separate is fundamental human right of any people to live under their own government and freely choose their sovereignty, there are non-violence way(s) internationally endorsed for self determination not this perverse and archaic way of “bring the zoo to the ground”- reopening old wounds-cutting the nose to spite the face. Remember, Chukwu Abiama preaches the golden rule to love one another-not the reverse.
And for the rest of us, who still believe in the Nigerian project, it is advisable to follow the counsel of Robert Greene in his classic, The 48 Laws of Power, to “avoid the unhappy and unlucky. You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as disease. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.”
This is my cry, this is my plea!
Remi Otuneye is a Political Scientist and Public Affairs commentator based in Lagos. He sent this piece via firstname.lastname@example.org