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MUSINGS ON THE CONCEPT OF NATIONHOOD

By NBF NEWS
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Sporadic out-break of crisis have finally eclipsed the soporific and tranquil weather of Jos and it's environ. Jos, a city that once upon a time was inviting, without hauteur and airs, has suddenly been reduced to a grisly city whose staple food is blood and flesh, a city with burgeoning cravings for gore and disaster.

The once beautiful topography of Jos has now been redesigned with blood of men and charred remains of mostly women and children. The luxuriant leafy trees that littered her landscape are no longer green. Her biomass is blighted with the tears and anguish of bereavement.

The aftermath of ethno-religious hostilities in Nigeria brings to the fore Albert Einstein's wise saying that: insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result. The solutions to the plethora of problems ravaging us as a nation transcends mere verbose rhetoric and carefully recited empty promises. The issue of nationhood must be frontally addressed.

The benefits of upholding true nation hood are innumerable and incomparable. True nationhood cuts across religion, ethnicity, languages culture and personal interest. True nationhood easily envisages unity in diversity and underscores the need to jealously guard this unity. Instead of magnifying areas of differences and weakness, a nation hankering after attainment of nationhood would rather build bridges of friendship and cement already existing bonds of love. An ideal nation does not sprout roots and grow on the battle-field of destruction but thrives in an atmosphere of understanding.

When confronted with threats of invasion by external forces she readily taps from the inner strength of her firmly cohesive population to coast home to victory. Brimming with confidence acquired from a culture of handwork and competition, a consummate nationalist does not brook mediocrity and destructive strife but sets out to blaze the trail with the uncommon stride of a champion. Propelled by the inner conviction that the top of the 'iroko' tree is leafy and spacious enough for all birds to hide, like an eagle with an undivided focus, endued with some measure of tenacity, he does not relent until the 'bird has come home to roost'.

A true nationalist does not use religion as an excuse to foment trouble.

He understands and reveres the inexorable role the almighty God plays in the affairs of men. He knows that every religion preaches love and peace and eschews evil practices. He does not stupidly lend himself to be used to perpetrate destruction, violence and killings all in the name of God. He appreciates the sanctity of human life and goes out of his way to protect such life. You will scarcely see him give a nod or be in the company of irate irresponsible youths whose conscience have been sired by hot iron and so would not hesitate to gruesomely murder a young school teacher.

Prodded by a burning patriotic zeal, a true nationalist may want to find out from the incensed youths if the victim has committed a grievous offence against the state, but the sad realization that the school teacher was simply trapped in the web of mundane religious conflict would send a chill down his Spine.

An ideal patriot may not be a ready tool in the hands of fickle minded fundamentalist who chooses to misguide his unsuspecting followers. He is informed enough about the life style of Jesus and Mohammed and so he knows that both great leaders did not preach religion that projects only strife chaos and 'Confusion. —Both leaders did not ~win-their converts by. coercion cajoling or outright intimidation, their endearing life style of humility, piety and righteousness easily attracted plenitude of followership.

I had intentionally decided to add a tad of didactic satire to this write up so that Nigerians can at least decide for themselves if Nigeria is truly a nation or is still on the march to nation hood or simply replete with the symptoms of the kind of insanity that Einstein was worried about.

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