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Our country versus our country

By Tony Afejuku
15 March 2019   |   3:28 am
From the beginning of our independence, at least, from Britain that colonized us for many, many and many years, ethnic problem has been one huge problem with which our country has been forced to deal. In fact, I should say – and I am saying it – that the problem with which our beloved country…

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From the beginning of our independence, at least, from Britain that colonized us for many, many and many years, ethnic problem has been one huge problem with which our country has been forced to deal.

In fact, I should say – and I am saying it – that the problem with which our beloved country has been compelled to deal (without success) up to now is the ethnic one. The major and master ethnic groups have from time immemorial – and this is no exaggeration – been dominating the other small, tiny, semi-small, semi-tiny and semi-minor and semi-major ethnic groups.

All the deadly conflicts that we have known, witnessed and experienced result from the disagreements and quarrels mainly among the three major ethnic groups, who closely guard their compartments as they contest for the throne of the ruling and chief tormentor and humiliator of the far more than two hundred lesser ethnic groups of people that ever are at their beck and call of discrimination – so to say, if I am permitted to so say it, and why should I not be so permitted to so say it? And it is a riddle that is more than a riddle that these far more than two hundred ethnic groups, who, when they can stick together and unite, – or can be compelled to stick together and unite will – conveniently and un-conveniently at the same time – induce and compel the mighty three to halt their respective humiliations, exploitations and torments of them.

The thoughts I am espousing here are not new and are not foreign to us. But I am repeating them in view of the changelessness of our condition which has, as we speak, turned our country against our country, turned us against ourselves everywhere in the land.

In every state, in every local government, in every community, in every neighbourhood, in every institution, barriers are being erected by various lords of power and influence who see themselves as dominant majorities. And the barriers they erect or create obstruct the flow of the milk, blood and water of human sympathy in our country.

Consequently, various parts of our social and political systems are experiencing ceaseless series of humiliation, discrimination and exploitation leading to events that are yielding fatally tragic and tragically fatal weaknesses that easily fall prey to demonic attacks of unusual demons in the desolate realm of vast demons.

Our judicial, cultural, economic and educational institutions are not spared the hammer blows of deadly perversity. How can salvation be ours in our current circumstances?

It is not in any way wrong to say or to suggest that things have come to a head in the presidency of PMB, whom I re-christened GMB after the just-concluded presidential election that his major opposition candidate Abubakar Atiku is challenging – or has challenged – in accordance with his own political heart and the electoral wishes of many of his party people and other sundry persons – in the appropriate tribunal or law-court.

GMB’s peculiarly artificial or disagreeable means of electoral apportionment or employment of his presidential abracadabra, vagaries and powerful machinery that, for instance, could compel him to remove summarily our chief justice or any justice from our supreme court and to intimidate, blackmail and arm-twist “recalcitrant” and justice- and independent-minded justices of our apex court to do his bidding, cannot but lead us inexorably to a state of moral perversity.

Soon we shall reach the state of an unparalleled universal evil that will birth incurable ethnic greed, jealousy, envy, dislike, hatred, killings, assassinations and mutual suspicion, the kinds that are stranger than fiction and more real than reality.

Each of our ethnic groups will sooner or later promote themselves to the realm or region of strange or un-familiarly familiar violent dreams that will render them uselessly obnoxious to one another – meaning that our country will officially and un-officially be at continuous lunatic war with itself – unless GMB and his passionately un-patriotic advisers, strategists, verandah and sitting-room and kitchen cabinet(s) creatively devise the kind of political and spiritual passion that will give us the condition that will not make us desperate.

Perhaps GMB’s new zeal to put an inclusive government in place will save our country the final “fatal adventure of drunken passion” riding on the ambition of perpetual regional power.

In any case, will the opposition trust him enough to let him and his respective cabals of calumnious intriguers to maintain, yes, to maintain their unspecified brand of material or political power or governmental magic of inclusiveness? And will their critics, severe and un-severe, who are deeply committed to our country and to healthy governing of it have any place or places in their inclusive government? And will they end their persecution of our supreme court justices? These healthy questions demand and deserve healthy answers.

Perhaps, ultimately, our country needs a series of cataclysms to yield us a new force, a third force, long prophesied, to give us true national will, true political freedom and true freedom of the spirit. It is time for our country to enjoy perfect unity in the happiness of true inter-dependence devoid of the selfish dominance of any group or person(s), clamouring for the solitary cliff or peak of regionalism, groupism and our-time-has-comeism.

Our power-lust should not voice and force our country to commit suicide. We need country-healers, not country-killers. We need country-constructers, not country-destroyers. We need country-builders, not country-bombers. In victory or defeat, we should be decorous.

Now, to round off, permit me to submit your attention to Rabindranath Tagore (1816-1941), India’s most respected renaissance figure, mystic and humanist, who won the 1913 Nobel Prize for Literature: Let us imbue ourselves with “inexhaustive strength” and save our country by emulating the “green grass whose banner of conquest is humble and yet ever victorious.”

Hear, hear, hear, O compatriots if we must save our country that we must save! This is a warning from the masters of meditation and contemplation – from Asia and from across the Atlantic. Heed it and doubt not. The rest is silence.