RESTORING NIGERIA ON PATH OF GLORY
The author of the book, Lawful Nigeria, is a social crusader. He has witnessed the rot in our society, and the passion he has for an orderly, just, humane, peaceful and lawful society has motivated him to write this book, hoping that society would retrace its steps for the better.
Lawful Nigeria is a book in four parts: 'Discovery Matters', 'Political Matters', 'Socio-Economic Matters and Relief Matters'. In each chapter, the author, Agwagom Vincent Chibueze, dwells on aspects of our social malady by engaging in philosophical thoughts oiled with poetic reflections, or what the author terms 'overloading vibrations'. Using pictures, the author drives home his messages. He, in addition, incorporates famous quotes of great minds in the world to back his points.
The first part of the book begins with 'God in Our Lips, Wickedness in Our Heart', a prose poem where the author laments societal hypocrisy of trumpeting their godliness, which is only a smokescreen to mask the wickedness in their hearts. His anger finds expression in these lines: 'All over the place you see more God on our lips and less humanity/ … Leaders of our country have turned wolves to the masses/ They preach the Bible and practise unequivocal criminality/ Many have even turned preachers as a means of confusing the people more…'(p. 3).
The author is also disenchanted with an ex-president of Nigeria, who promised to fight corruption only to promote corruption in diverse dimensions: 'Hence corruption grew wings under his watch' (p. 6).
Nigerians have sustained injustices and inhumanities for a long time in the country, but these anomalies might continue unless society rises up against the evil. This is major concern of the poem 'Until we are ready to Die'. This is eloquently stated in these verses: 'Until we are ready to sacrifice our lives for freedom, our unchaining can't be possible/ The ball is in the court of the people/ But we must be aware of the angels of deception…' (p. 9).
In 'Life of Rush and Scramble', the poet is disappointed in horrible orientation that has engulfed Nigerians. Due to the reality of poverty in many Nigerian homes, the poetry regrets that any material meant for sharing, not matter how insignificant attracts scrambles. At periods of fuel scarcity, says the writer, 'our fuel stations become battlefields' and those who govern 'show less interest in all these recklessness' (p.17). Even at burial ceremonies, where people go to mourn the dead, the scramble for food and drinks do not delight the author.
The woes of the schoolteacher sadden Chibueze. His poem 'Travails of the Teacher' decries the lot of the teacher who works hard but earns little. With a load of worries to contend with the poet wonders how the best can come out of the wretched teacher: 'The woe of the teacher is the tragedy of our time/ What can a financial diseased and men tally stressed mind offer earnest seekers of knowledge?' (p.24). Chibueze is worried that the teaching profession has been abandoned for poor, frustrated mediocritical minds.
Issues that concern the author in this book are also international. The downfall of former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, inspired the poem 'And Saddam Hussein Chickens Out: What a Lesson'. The speaker in the poem is disappointed that the manner the late Iraqi leader submitted to the Americans was cheap. Done with the poem, the author delves into a commentary on his feelings on the Iraqi war.
The second part of the book entitled 'Political Matters' shows the author's deep interest in governance and the unpalatable attributes that have become emblematic of today's governmental enterprise. Justice in chains and counterfeit lawmakers are the first two issues that worry him. As far as he is concerned, the justice system and the lawmakers, who enunciate our laws, have become objects of caricatures due to their monumental failures to serve society.
Likewise, ours has become a lawless society where anything goes. In the poem 'Lawless Society', the author is troubled why society is wallowing in lawlessness and disorderliness. Just as the adjudicators of the law crucify the law, the society sees no meaning in the law (p. 43). This chapter also have poems and thoughts on 'Endless Conflicts', Sorrowful Assassination', 'Epistle to Nigerian Rulers', 'Party Prostitution', etc.
The chapter on 'Socio-Economic Matters' takes a look at Nigeria's limping economy, homeless hawkers, looting of national treasury and its consequences, robbers on rampage, etc. The concluding chapter on 'Relief Matters' draws attention to the possibility of light at the end of the tunnel. In 'The Glorious Day Will Come' (p 112), the author talks about a wind of change that is inevitable, for '…nonsense can't last forever'.
Chibueze, a lawyer, public speaker and conflict resolution expert, sees himself as a 'concerned author', and Lawful Nigeria is the outcome of that 'concern for the mess that has persisted'. The book is recommended to all Nigerian interested in nation building.