In Nigeria, For Or Against...You Must Belong!
A man found himself fact to face with a lion, he sat down, the lion did the same, the man start praying, the lion did the same. The man said to the lion: I am praying to God to get rid of you. The lion answered: I always pray before eating
From filling forms to being asked directly, there is no time in Nigeria's history that our identities are being so explored. In the heat of passion we have made utterances that with the benefit of doubt we would not ordinarily have made.
Today whether we like it or not, the president is Christian, the Senate president is Christian, head of Judiciary is Christian, SGF is Christian, National Security Adviser is also one, the Chief of Army, the SSS Director, infact welcome the federal republic of Christians.
I was privy to a recent heated discuss in which one of the participants blurted out, "If we leave 'them' the next Sultan will be Christian".
Tambuwal's victory as Speaker has altered Nigeria's power equation as the North now has the Vice President, Senate President, and Speaker and the intrigues continue.
However, the question is, what really the problem of Nigeria is, we have allowed ourselves to be stereotyped into Muslim North and Christian South. Into Middle Belt, and all sort of parapoisms. Very little is achieved beyond this short-sighted madness.
These days everyone wears an Ijaw hat, and I gathered it's a sign of the times to have a Bayelsa licence plate number on your car, it shows you are a 'shun of the shoil'...you belong. Just a year ago you just had to have that Katsina swagger, it's all about my turn, my turn and wait for your turn democracy.
Now we are massaging the ringworm rather than treat it vigorously, the National Youth Service program is neither here nor there. All, the review, interview and reform is window dressing because each day the number of parents that would allow their wards go a Bauching or Bornoing is on the fall.
Prince Ajibola had this to say recently...regionalising the scheme was important “for the time being because of the security implications.
“This is my view, don't let us scrap it (NYSC) but let us regionalise it so that students will serve in the region where they belong. Don't take students from the South to the North. That will help because you cannot sit down and watch your people being killed by others. It is sad, it is unfortunate but for the time being and until we have any other improvement, the scheme should be regionalised,”
On the other hand, Emeka Anyaoku disagreed with the regionalisation concept saying, “The NYSC is a very good scheme, but what happened in the post-election violence was a tragedy, that is why I said those responsible should be indicted. It will not be right to sweep that issue under the carpet. They must be investigated and indicted.
The bottom line is that we are living on the edge, and trust me on this, it's not Jonathan's fault but the bulk of the files stops on his table.
Some months back I was part of a media brief at which the National Security Adviser openly said he was not in possession of the Boko Haram files, I could only but wonder which files he is in possession of.
The Shiekh Lemu panel or commission has done very little other than drink lemu (Orange) and like ones before it, plenty travels, on tax payers money, a secretariat, laptops, allowances, a ceremony to receive reports and 'cest la vie'...that's life
While many believe there is hope, we are mutually existing in times were mutual suspicion is high, rather than respect for each other we are tolerating ourselves. There is no conscience effort at telling each other the truth about how we truly feel.
I know I would court controversy but off course the truth is often controversial. In the last 20 years of leadership under Muslims, what did Christians benefit...I daresay nothing. But then I laugh loud because I cannot in good judgement call Obasanjo a Christian. He may be good but certainly he was nowhere Christ-like and did nothing for anyone but his farm, university and numerous businesses.
If Buhari had won, it would have been a born again Muslim and fiery born again pastor. In 1992, Abiola and his running mate were Muslims. But in 1983 what did Buhari do for Muslims, and was it not Abacha that brought the pope?
Jega is a Muslim, before him, Iwu a Christian, still our elections has remained a mixed grill, from vendor, to contractor, rigging, to forensic. I wonder what would have happened to Jega if he was a Christian and his family domiciled in Bauchi given the post-election violence.
After 50 years we still suffer that phobia, of looking at a list once it is out, the first question is, how many Christians, how many Muslims, why is the head a Muslim, the secretary and all that sundry non-issues.
I have argued that in these entire craze where do we situate the pagans, the Ogun worshippers, the Atheists, are there no other religions?
Muslims are still divided, Christians are not any better, after 86 years, Cherubim and Seraphim gets first leader from South East as 86-year-old Onyeleonu becomes Baba Aladura
And you can imagine the joy of the Igbo worshipers knew no bound recently when one of their brothers was elected the head of the church as their new Baba Aladura .
Imagine an Hausa man as Baba Ijo of Celestial Church Of Christ, when will Mallam Okonkwo be head of the National Hajj Commission. We are so all holed up in our prejudices and no one wants to shift.
There is no talk of religion when the looters are looting away; I have times without count asked what is the religion and ethnic configuration of good roads, hospitals and schools or which religion prefers bad roads, poor health facilities and bad governance?
Is Islam to be really blamed for the killings up North, and how come at the heat of kidnappings in the Niger Delta a first time visitor on a Sunday is likely to think that the whole town has been rapture.
We are not peculiar, in Egypt we know the story, our case is not as bad as Iraq, or Afghanistan, but must we wait till it gets any close there. How can we rationalize the killing of persons drinking in a barracks as an affront on the system?
How does the killing of a policeman with eight children affect the Senator who sits in Abuja and steals?
Many things are fundamentally wrong, for fear of saying everything is, and most people on top are blinded to the realities that these system will not continue like this.
We need to make sacrifices to the one true and real almighty Allah only then would we experience the virtues of equality, justice, fair play, good governance, honest and focus driven leadership.
It is sad because the picture is a bleak black and white copy. The snakes are emitting dangerous venoms rather than kill them; we are setting up committees on snakes. Almighty Allah save us from ourselves.
Prince Charles Dickson
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