Sometimes, appearance is not always reality, for the saying goes, “all that glitters is not gold”. Such is the state of the giant of Africa. The name alone depicts greatness, strength, power, wealth, flourish; think of any other word used to describe greatness. However, coming to the shores of Nigeria, one will realize that the giant is actually a “giant” of failure, sickness, poverty, corruption, bad-governance, darkness, terrorism, ethnicity, religious higi-haga amongst others. Yet, we say all is well!
All is not well is what I choose to say, not because it cannot be well, but because that is what it is presently. Someone would ask “don’t you believe in God that all is well?” yes, I do! But we blindly enter into slavery because we choose to let fanaticism rule our hearts. The humble question I’ve tried to ask myself is “what is slavery?” Is it the selling of another person? Or is it the treating of one without dignity? Is a slave only a person with a master and not a free will? If slavery is not limited to selling another, or dehumanising him, then, Nigeria is a land of slavery.
I am not afraid to say that we all are slaves in Nigeria. The difference between Nigeria and Libya is that in Nigeria, we are slaves to different slave masters we have chosen ourselves. To some, their master is religion, to some others, politics, yet, some have chosen ethnicity while others have chosen ignorance and silence. Yet, we say we are the giant of Africa. I disagree; I choose to say we are the wwarf of Africa, or the giant of incivility, apathy and barbarism.
Maybe I should start with politics, the major slave driver in the country. We see die-hard “patriots” who are willing to go extreme to satisfy their pot-bellies to the detriment of loyal followers who blindly hail their killers. Democracy has been defined to be the government of the people by the people and for the people; but the definition proves to be wrong here in Nigeria. Democracy here is the government of the people, by a selected few for their stomach infrastructure and that of their family. Little wonder Thomas Hobbes said man is selfish. Government is now a thing of old wagons who live in the casket of their end. The government or politics in Nigeria is a do-or-die affair; else, there won’t be public shows of shamelessness and dirtiness by our leaders in the name of politics.
Men have become monsters and beasts all in the crave for power, fame and wealth. It is said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is not the bone of contention though, what baffles me is how they manage to put on the armor of wickedness, greed, unlovingness, unfaithfulness and selfishness within days and months of being in power. Or they should be regarded as wolves in sheep’s clothing; they sacrifice bags of rice to get to power and then deprive their loyalist grains of rice.
“Tell it to those who lead that we no longer are blind, we see their dirty linen in public and we refuse to be deceived no more. Tell them it is useless to keep lying as we know the truth”. That is the cry in the hearts of Nigerians that has refused to escape their lips; hence, these masters keep thriving as more slaves are earned. Nigeria! When will you break free of this slavery? Yet, we say all is well!
Again, I say all is not well when I look at the atrocities committed in the name of religion. I must say I am disappointed. Yes, disappointed in the religious leaders who enslave members with a bucket full of lies with only a pinch of truth. But then, are Nigerians the “literate illiterates” who gulp down everything with gladness ‘of heart just to see a miracle or a shift in their situations. I do not blame them much. I’ve been taught that religion is a lamp that lights up every path, yet, I wonder why many still stumble and fall in the “light”. I have however come to realize that those who fall are they that have chosen fanaticism rather than a way of life (religion).
Sadly, I hear of religious leaders in different parts of the world who rob their followers of money, time, talents, gifts, dignity, clothes and intellects and are still seen as “saints”. These are thriving slave masters. Do we talk of pastors who rape their members, or those who give their members “holy water” (sperm) directly from their manhood, or those who shamelessly have affairs with wives of their ministers and members, those who lay on/with ladies in the name of deliverance, those who engage in physical combats with their members in the name of deliverance, those whose church is attended without clothes on, and the list is endless. The Christians live a deceiving and hypocritical life, the Muslims on the other hand live suicidal and rebellious life. Nigeria is the center of all these chaos. We tear at each other on a daily basis; reduce our own population and growth by killing ourselves in the name of religion. The question remains, did Jesus or Mohammed (SWT) whom we claim to follow teach killing as the best evangelism technique? The bible says we should preach the gospel, baptizing everyone who believes. Do we preach with arm? Islam they say is a religion of peace, peace is a five-letter word which starts with a “P”, while arms is a three-letter word with “A” as its first alphabet. What then is the correlation between these two?
Painfully, we have only two major religions in Nigeria, yet we observe daily killings like fast. Some other countries have more than 10, India is a typical example; yet, our two major religions are tearing us apart and we boldly say all is well!
Now, let me remind you that it is not well. Some blame the constant fall of the ‘giant’ on the multi-ethnicity of it; well, be quick to remember that we have just about 250 ethnic groups with three major languages while India has over 2000 ethnic groups. Yet, we kill ourselves on a daily basis protecting our ethnicity. We constantly disturb the unity and progress of the country with threats of war, secession and the likes. The Fulani against the Igbo, the Igbo against the Yoruba, the Fulani herdsmen kill continuously, Biafra threatens to cause more havoc, the Odua are also clamoring, yet we do not see that we are swimming in the river of slavery and pretend that all is well!
Some have decided to shut their eyes, ears and mouth to the happenings around them. They are the patriotic citizens who have refused to acknowledge the truth. They shout all is well and they wallow and die in poverty. They wish and hope for a change but are not bothered as to how the change will come about. These are the silent and ignorant slave masters. Surprisingly, this is the largest slave field.
What is that bent you see, or the ill you hear that you pretend you didn’t see, because it doesn’t affect you directly? Look again and see how much it affects your neighbor, yet we say all is well. This is for you, that don’t know and is not bothered as to how the national cake is been shared, you who decides not to a say a word in the midst of all these chaos. This is for all of us who fold our arms and watch our great nation fall helplessly, and those of us who through our lackadaisical acts have wielded more harm than good to the growth of Nigeria. We all are the slaves of our various philosophies. Let’s not say all is well but fight to make it well.
Finally I call on Nigerians to awake, arise, and say no to slavery. Lets come together to say all is not well till we see it finally come together and can then boldly scream all is well!