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Those to be feared

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Tony Afejuku


Let me state it urgently: The Nigerian condition compels many of us to time after time, moment by moment, day by day, week by week, and month by month engage on what I will call here and now the metaphysis of existence. The engagement takes diverse forms: reading of the Bible and Koran, and other works of spiritual dimensions and bearings; studying of diverse works of literature and of politics and economics; perusing of war treatises and strategies; and others and others and others. We do what we do in our respective attempts to find the solutions to the problems of the arithmetic and algebra of governance, political leadership and ruler-ship created in the land by those who have created and are still creating them. What we are discovering is that the majority of the majority who are ever jostling for leadership positions mean very un-well for my country your country our country.

But we are not giving up and we will never give up on them. Nigeria my country our country your country must remain my country your country our country governed, led and ruled by decently decent ones – men or women, women or men; until we inhale our last air we will continue to do this. But we shall not do this in any helter-skelter kind of manner in order to reap the benefit and bounteousness of purposeful spiritual action and devotion devoid of spiritual polemic.

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Why do we reproach our politicians? Why do we reproach our current politicians in particular? And what do we reproach them for? To start with, for being inspired by lies, and they lie about everything. What did the APC central government of liars and lies not promise us when they sought power? What did they not tell us that they would do when they eagerly wanted to snatch power and victory from the PDP? Did their prime candidate and supposed persona and champion of integrity fully backed and egged and egged on by the party’s propagandists and philosophers of lies not say that they would snatch us from the anguish Dr. Jonathan and his co-travellers were causing us – or rather caused us in their moments of glorious power? If Jonathan and his men and women gave us what now in hindsight we call or can call refined despair, what now can we, all of us, call the nihilism in the land and everywhere about us since the lord of nihilism came on board?

How we all were deceived by our supreme lords of wickedness who have been showing us their supreme wickedness, biases and biasness since Jonathan delivered power to them on a platter of gold, on a platter of the gold of power – which at the time he did stemmed from good faith, so it seemed. At the time he did, many of us were glad that he did what he did. But some persons there were who had the nerve to conclude that his action was an apology for weakness and cowardice. They may be seen up to now to be right, but Jonathan did what he did to save Nigeria from disintegration – so was the common thought. Was that not an irony of ill-judgment or misjudgment since Nigeria’s disintegration which he tried to avoid is now looking at us in the face? Yet we must hope that we still have the time to save my country your country our country.

In our current circumstances we must really keep on hoping and it will never be wrong to hope and place our trust in hope. What this means is that hope is an alluring weapon of positive action to give us the desire to unite and re-unite our country your country my country. A vision of a new country, a vision of empire, that will not deplore sound economic autarky, and which will terminate the turmoil in the land with potentially wonderful effect should now be cast in the minds of our political gladiators and scholars without any negative bent, who possess no negative bent, of intellectual authority and connections.

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There are fears and those to be feared, however. They include those who violate our constitution without inhibitions. They are numbered and numbered and they include those who inspired the banning of twitter and implemented (or are implementing) the ban. They include those who have Buhari under their perpetual spell, control and care because this president cannot but be in their strong control. The man is out of control but he is perfectly in the control and spell of those who are determined to keep on creating chaos in your country my country our country. The splendidly patriotic Sunday lgbohos and Nnamdi Kanus and their co-travellers are not the ones to be feared. Those to be feared are those in the central government and those in government and outside government everywhere in the land supporting terrorism and terrorists called bandits or herdsmen – who clearly are not herdsmen but primarily destroyers and architects of destruction.

I want to end with an Igbo traditional poem, pertinently entitled “Those to be feared.” I am quoting it in full because it captures accurately our current situation and predicament:
I am not afraid of spirits
For they do not kill
One who has not wronged them;
I am not afraid of fire
For it does not burn
One who has not gone near it;
I am not afraid of my brother
For a brother does not hit
A brother on the head;
I am not afraid of a true friend
For a true friend is better
Than a bad brother;
But I am afraid of members of my community
For people do not
Love one another;
I am afraid of a false friend
For what destroys a tree
Starts attacking from its roots;
I am afraid of enemies
For if the eyes were a matchet
There would have been no
Life in the world
For the world kills
One whom god has spared

This is a lovely Igbo traditional poem that we must find enervating at least on account of its simplicity and each truth it espouses. Disagree or agree with me, I love the poem. Its careful marshalling of the resources of language in support of its persuasive end enriches me as it must enrich you as well. Above all, this is a poem that is a must-poem or must be a must-poem for the rottenly strong men and women in power. But compatriots, will they ever learn?
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.

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