2 Legs Good, 4 Legs Better, 3 Legs Best
Over the years the left leg had left the left leg. It was not dependable any longer. Nigeria could not stand on it. There would be pain in the ankle and pain in the knee and pain at the waist.
And not all at the same time. And not sequentially, either. The pain, or should Nigeria call it the pains, travelled freely wherever and whenever it liked.
And so it was difficult if not impossible to move forward or backward, only to be stationary was comfortable. Which was not acceptable to a healthy youth in the first decade of its life. What to do?
Initially, there were those who felt that whatever was happening to Nigeria´s legs was Nigeria´s kadara. And as far as anyone could say, we chose our fate before coming into existence and then when we get here we begin to complain.
Live with the deformity and thank God you are alive. And Nigeria could always choose the profession of begging consequent on the disabling deformity in the left leg. There are beggar persons as there are beggar countries. So, why not get over it and continue to live our lives.
There were others who were not convinced that deformity should be the lot of the country. It was born healthy with its two legs in good walking, working condition.
So, something could be done to persuade the left foot to come back into the service of the country. The homestead of those who know what sacrifices to make, the abode of those who know what leaves and tree barks to hack to cure any illness and all illnesses. There were still at that time buildings from which hospitals had not departed. It was thought that these also could be consulted.
In the meantime, a crutch was constructed of iroko planks with an underarm cushion to ease the pressure on the armpit. With this, Nigeria began to waka again. The crutch was an intervention that would become problematic as the country grew older.
In years to come, it would be disputed whether this third leg was a good thing or a bad thing. But when it was first brought to aid the movement of the country forward everybody rejoiced and danced on the streets calling the iroko crutch a saviour and something that could have been brought in much, much earlier instead of the wanderings that had earlier squandered time and money looking for cures that did not exist.
The crutch could save the country from begging and once more, the young and vibrant country stood on her two legs again. Well, on her two legs and a crutch.
Every where the country went when other countries asked Nigeria: How are you Nigeria? Nigeria would answer smiling: Managing! The country was managing to survive. But this was still not good for some people. The country should not be managing.
It should be thriving, going from strength to strength. And what was it that was stopping the country from moving forward, thriving? It was the well made crutch under its left arm. To get the country to move forward the country must get rid of the crutch.
Kick the crutch from under the armpit of Nigeria! went the slogan. People were arrested for saying the slogan. Some were killed for writing the slogan. Some tried to kick the crutch, failed and ran into exile.
Some even decided that they were prepared to go to war to ensure that the crutch is crushed and the country should walk on its two legs again. But it was easier said than done. It was easier for the country to lean on its crutch and get on with its flawed life.
So, one day, Nigeria hobbled into a church and prayed for the restoration of its left leg. Never mind that the church was like a cow shed and there were no stain coloured glasses on the windows.
There were no windows anyway, just an open space covered with tiles and walled with bricks with a generous space between the encircling wall and the roof that sat on pillars of stone. In kneeling down to pray, Nigeria had thrown away the iroko crutch. And Nigeria prayed and cried and prayed and moaned and prayed until it was sweating.
There was not a single country in the church, just Nigeria alone. Finally, Nigeria opened her eyes and stood up. There was no pain in the left leg. It was perfect. Then Nigeria moved. It was like having to learn to waka all over again like a baby. One leg forward. Another leg follows. And then the first leg again. But no! There was a third leg which was asking to be moved forward as well. Nigeria stood still and absorbed what has just happened to her.
Instead of two legs, the country now had three legs. Nigeria sat down and began to think of what has just happened. Three legs? Like keke Marwa? How do you walk on three legs?
Change changes change, wallahi tallahi!!! Nigeria came out of the church trying to hide her third leg, so that other countries don´t find out that her prayers have been answered and she now had three legs unlike the two legs of others.
It is impossible to waka like keke marwa.
Move two legs first and let the third leg follow? Nigeria was praying for two good legs, left and right and now got another one as bonus to be called central, middling, balance?
Now, we must seek specialists to teach Nigeria how to waka on three legs. But what about amputating the third leg? Asked some people. Others said now, you don´t throw away a blessing. God must have blessed the country with a third leg for some reason. Perhaps so that Nigeria can waka faster, faster than any country. Lets find out from those who should know why God does these things, these wonderful miraculous things!
It was revealed that indeed this third leg was a blessing, like the trinity of tribe, party and army. Now shall we begin the waka of our new life on our three legs? Forward faster!!!