Psyches of our country’s minorities
In the midst of the jarring disharmony of our political gladiators’ opinions and the shouts of their false defenders, who include lying religious prophets and treacherous analysts, one cannot but withdraw into the realm of the contemplative spirit in the (vain?) hope of finding the right remedy for our illness.
As I recline in my realm of contemplation, my peace of mind tends to resist and control the restless pressure of my feelings. And I can see clearly the picture of our country’s minorities, our country’s ethnic minorities, who have been treated by the mighty ones time after time as beggars in their God-given lands of delicate perfume of Golden Mangrove.
This perspective may not be new to some readers’ thoughts and psyches, but if readers are from the regions of ethnic minorities, say, from the Niger Delta, who have always been treated as exploited, restless and solitary wanderers in their homelands, they, men and women, must, as a new rule, enter and re-enter into a real communion of minds, an excellent and most intimate transfusion and interpenetration which generates a new birth.
Every denizen, male and female, of the Niger Delta mangrove must bear and re-bear a masculine mind and a larger mind that bears the stamp of the feminine which is bequeathed with a receptive and fruitful womb.
Both must conjoint to re-harness the psyches of their people for their real atomic task and destiny.
Is a beggar truly helped when we press alms, big or little, into his hand, even when he may cherish what we have done? Indeed, a beggar is better helped if, as a psychic philosopher-critic has rightly observed, “we show him how he can permanently rid himself of his beggary by work.”
Unfortunately, minorities of the Niger Delta, who are not beggars, but have been turned into beggars in their rich homelands, have over the years (until the late Ken Saro-Wiwa said enough was enough), been too inclined to receive alms from their tormentors who are deficient in king-craft. The time of the king-cobras of our land must come to an end.
The spirit of the Niger Delta or of any Nigerian ethnic minority must not be helped by new feelings, sensations or titillation of spirits or of the nerves, but by our collective re-recognition of our ethnic-worth and wisdom on working on ourselves not to close our thoughts and psyches to our own problems.
When Ken Saro-Wiwa stood up and organised his Ogoni people to reject the cruel and damnable poverty, hopeless filth and vices thieving foreign capitalists or better feudalists and their internal collaborators unleashed on their homeland, he impressed it upon the Ogoni people and masses the danger of deserting their own foundations of steadfastness and unity in place of the sinister gifts and alms of barbarians.
As we all know, Ken Saro-Wiwa has since died, he has since died in the hands of his judicial murderers. And his Ogoni people have been conquered, it seems, politically. But Ogoni-land is not the same again.
Despite their predicament, despite the overwhelming destiny fulfilling itself, and which the people see anywhere they turn their eyes to, their positive psyches never desert them. They know and understand the meaning of and wisdom in organization.
The alienation and other horrors they experience will never and can never cow them.
Never! They now resist the divide-and-rule style and manipulation of the invaders of their homeland.
I will not be wrong if I aver here that other minority ethnic groups in Rivers State and elsewhere are borrowing the leaf and flower of resistance from the Ogonis.
The once-discriminated-against Ogonis are teaching us how not to live like pirates in our respective homelands. They are little, very little in number, but nobody, no ethnic group, no matter how big, and led by some swine, can kill their spirit and psyche.
Now, no matter how we try to rationalize it, we should endeavour to see the over-prolonged Boko Haram war against the rest of our country as the war of a collection of minority ethnic groups of Northern Nigerian (Borno – Maiduguri and Potiskum) extraction against their perceived “brothers” in the central government whose guns of exploitation and misrule they must resist.
In fact, their resistance is the resistance of a foreign science and technology, specifically of a European and American materialism and cupidity that must no longer flood their homelands.
The spirit of Europe and America which their own colonizing “brothers” in the federal government have infected them with must be expelled from their persons and from their homelands.
The Boko Haram people want a new spiritual treasure, a new psyche and meaning into life.
Their infamous and famous perception – depending on our respective realms of rationalism – is certainly induced by the negative contents of the hearts of the colonizing powers of our federal governments over the years. I do not foresee how soon the Boko Haram minorities can be the de-fanged. It will last years to do so.
In all the wars of resistance that our country has known many Nigerians have been sacrificed. And I wonder whether the feeling that our so-called leaders have stood on the brink of a great change, a kind of upheaval whose nature they cannot clearly grasp have ever grown in them.
If they ever dream, are their dreams ever filled with memories, happy memories of Nigeria? Or are their dreams not filled with images that are always sad, dark and gloomy – meaning those of the psyches of our respective ethnic groups, especially those of the psychic sufferings of our minorities who by far outnumber the ruling big ethnic groups and their cabal?
But let me assure them: everything, nothing can be sacrificed forever and ever.
The sacrificed will always return to haunt the sacrificer. The minority ethnic groups will soon possess the sacrificial weapon which will be used very advantageously.
Now I can picture very vividly the visit of Ken Saro-Wiwa and myself to the late Anthony Enahoro’s residence in Benin.
The occasion was years ago when Ken Saro-Wiwa came to Benin to launch his then new book, On a Darkling Plain. I was his anchorman in Benin.
After pleasantries and entertainment Ken raised a discussion on the plight of minorities in the country, and on the Nigerian civil war years, which his new book, among other things, dwelt on.
The big ethnic groups without any exception would forever use the minorities, and dump them thereafter. They are worse than the Europeans who were here. But surely would come the time when the big but really small (big) ethnic groups that constitute the specious majorities will be worsted.
The two statesmen were very serious about the Nigerian condition. I cherish that memory that will ever be part of my divine consciousness.
Perhaps now is the time for the minority ethnic groups in Nigeria to proclaim their physical and psychic majority and turn the table that must be turned in order to lead our country out of a decisive spiritual crisis, a clear evidence that the contents of the minds of those at the helms of affairs centrally and in the states are horribly diseased spiritually.
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