Friday, September 30, 2011

Letter To Nigeria At 51

Dear Nigeria, kudos on your 51st birthday. Need I say that you have really grown into a man? Even a lunatic will admit that. I remember those gruelling days when you were in the womb of the British. They ruled your thoughts, and like a chisel, they divided your wits and wrenched you in derision. Alas, they concieved you out of compulsion, and you became a maverick of your own. But, did your beleaguerment end in 1960? Today, you are 51. An age that demands responsibility and progress. Yet, you tend to have failed your many children. You denied them of an education that is worth something. You barely provided food, water and shelter for them. You sent them to perish in death-traps you called roads. Eletricity became a luxury to give them. You have dragged the name 'NIGERIA' to the mud and many now see your kids with an effigy that elicits pain. As if the misdeed was not enough, you bereave them of their consciences? Many of your sons have led the family. Yet, like people bearing an incision mark, they have all led with the same recklessness and destruction living in their bones. Dear Nigeria, you have become a caricature of other families. None wants to associate with you, because they dread that they might be pliable to your cancerous attitude. A bulk of your children now desert you for other families. They now hate you with a penchant at it's peak. Dear Nigeria, 51 years after your conception you have grown in your foolishness and cowardice. How did you become so bad? Nothing about you gives reprieve to the heart. Look at your neighbour, Ghana. You taught her to crawl. Today, she flies while you still crawl. Even your few children still habouring hope that one day you will be better, have become gutted. You tarnish their dreams, yet you extinguish their hopes. Are you not really ashamed of yourself? Dear Nigeria. I will have love to write more to you, but even my ink marvels at your idiocy. On a parting note, I still believe things can be better for you. Yes, you have strayed so badly, but your case has not become unsalvageable. Moreover, you pride yourself with kids who are more than capable of altering your fortune for good. But, do they have the needed will for this daunting task? Are they ready to stand up and fight for their future beyond the pages of facebook, twitter and 2go? I pray for you everyday. With love, from an optimistic son.ling days when you were in the womb of the British. They ruled your thoughts, and like a chisel, they divided your wits and wrenched you in derision. Alas, they concieved you out of compulsion, and you became a maverick of your own. But, did your beleaguerment end in 1960? Today, you are 51. An age that demands responsibility and progress. Yet, you tend to have failed your many children. You denied them of an education that is worth something. You barely provided food, water and shelter for them. You sent them to perish in death-traps you called roads. Eletricity became a luxury to give them. You have dragged the name 'NIGERIA' to the mud and many now see your kids with an effigy that elicits pain. As if the misdeed was not enough, you bereave them of their consciences? Many of your sons have led the family. Yet, like people bearing an incision mark, they have all led with the same recklessness and destruction living in their bones. Dear Nigeria, you have become a caricature of other families. None wants to associate with you, because they dread that they might be pliable to your cancerous attitude. A bulk of your children now desert you for other families. They now hate you with a penchant at it's peak. Dear Nigeria, 51 years after your conception you have grown in your foolishness and cowardice. How did you become so bad? Nothing about you gives reprieve to the heart. Look at your neighbour, Ghana. You taught her to crawl. Today, she flies while you still crawl. Even your few children still habouring hope that one day you will be better, have become gutted. You tarnish their dreams, yet you extinguish their hopes. Are you not really ashamed of yourself? Dear Nigeria. I will have love to write more to you, but even my ink marvels at your idiocy. On a parting note, I still believe things can be better for you. Yes, you have strayed so badly, but your case has not become unsalvageable. Moreover, you pride yourself with kids who are more than capable of altering your fortune for good. But, do they have the needed will for this daunting task? Are they ready to stand up and fight for their future beyond the pages of facebook, twitter and 2go? I pray for you everyday. With love, from an optimistic son.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Poem: A Hurtful Demise!

Sixteen odd years it was, in the dark day of september, at a time when the sun gave it's radiance in paucity, and the wind doled out it's strenght in vexation. Sixteen odd years it was, when the breath of my beauty was siezed, for reasons only death could tell. A harsh fate was to be my lot, a beleaguered reality was my inheritance, a poisned chalce was all that was in my pandaro's box. Sixteen odd years it was, when I last beheld the beauty only her face could conjure. I remember the telling look in her gaze that day. The smile she faked to curb the flood from gushing out of my eyes. The laughter that was only a mere facade and the lullaby she chanted to ease my perturbed head. Sixteen odd years it was, she battled her fate, she wrestled her waterloo. Like a gallant fight, she streched her body to a breaking point. She fought with sheer conviction, but the battle was an herculean one, one that could not be won, a lost course. Sixteen odd years it was, I remember how pensive my spirit was, as I envisioned her saying her final goodbye. The brisk nature of her movement was traded for the long wooden casket. Her fists folded in timidity and there she was, hapless, motionless, lifeless. Old and young filtered the air with their tears and wailings, some in sincerity, others in mockery. Sixteen odd years it was, yet, the memory has not lost an iota of it's vividness. The thought still resonates in my mind. The hurt and pain still reminds me of their presence. The gloom still hangs over me like a cloud and the feeling still plagues me like a raging ghost. Sixteen odd it was, I truly will never forget because it is not in my power to forget. My star, trust you are resting in serenity and peacefulness. Please always remember that I hate that you left. But, I shall stick to the fight like you always taught me. I shall guard my dreams, like you guarded me. I shall be my best like you tutored me to always be. Rest well in the lord, rest well in my heart. Sixteen odd years it was, adieu once again, my hearthrob, my gem, my treasure, my radiance, my salt!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Untold Story Of Religious Intolerance In Nigeria

Often described as the opium of the people, religion has become an integral and focal part of the existence of every individual. However, any attempt to vividly define the concept is likely to be an effort in futility. Freedom of worship is a fundamental right of every individual in Nigeria. Despite this glaring fact, religious tolerance in our country has remained elusive. The tussles and skirmishes between the christain and the islamic religion is one that often reoccurs, and any attempt to do a rehash here will be painting a myopic picture. Suffice it to say, christainity and islam are the two dominant religions in the country. However, the clamour for religious tolerance in Nigeria has often taken a fallacious approach. We often here of muslims stoking the fire by burning down churches, and christains formenting trobules in reciprocation. However, it is a pensive anomaly that none of our national dallies or television stations have deemed it fit to give voice to the African Traditional Religion that has often been subjected to unfair ridicule, deceptive scrutiny and sheer neglect by society and those who should know better. In more cases than one, dieties that exist in several parts of Nigerian society has been equated with babarism and evil. This notion has been defeated today in the light of educational enlightment and by the help of historical hindsight. However, a lot still needs to be done in protecting these dieties and their devotees. Dismissing their belief as devilish will be making a caricature of the freedom of worship right enshrined in our constitution. It is a norm to hear christains say that 'darkness and light cannot exist together.' But, by whose standards do we define which religion is light and which is darkness? The misconceptions abound, but the crying need to give the African Traditional Religion it's place in society, is an issue that should not be treated with kid gloves.

The Fallacious Nature Of Religious Intolerance In Nigeria

Often described as the opium of the people, religion has become an integral and focal of the existence of every individual. However,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Nigerian Youths In The Nigerian Dream!

It will be a sheer waste of ink to doubt the fact that the youths hold a critical and potent role in the overall development of any nation. For the sake of clearity, youths refer to those between ages 18 and 35. However, while history is replenished with tales of revolutions and social changes trigged by youths from several nations, the case in our country will pass for a tragic sonnet. Today, the Honourable minister of Youth and development, Bolaji Abdullahi, hosted a tweet-meet conference on twitter, to engage youths on issues affecting them. The apathy displayed by numerous youths on the social networking site who had a chance to contribute in formulating a blueprint for the Nigeria of our dreams, was one that beats the mind. Although about 500 youths were involved in the discussion, many others on the site appeared to be uninterested. It is a harsh reality that millions of Nigerian youths have lost absolute confidence on governace, and this trend is in dire need of a reversal. The youths cannot continue to just be content with being armchair critics or apolitical in nature. Perhaps, it is worth reminding ourselves that when time and age have caught up with the current crop of leaders, the challenge of leadership will be entrusted on our shoulders and the gauntlet will be thrown at us. To keep displaying apathy to national issues, will mean throwing our future to the wind. Beyond the frenzy entertainment offers, the youths must realize that their tommorow is much more imperative than the latest songs on the top ten billboard chart, and that his future counts more than the latest result of the el classico match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. The time to find our tamed and wrecked voice, is now. The time to train that voice and make it find it's unity, is now. The time to send a clear message with that voice, is now. The time to quit the lackadastical attitude and get interested in the polity of our nation, is now. If the Nigerian ship will flourish again, then we must be the captain in that precarious ocean.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Victory In The Face Of Life's Odds!

Five donkey years ago, my father taught me a fundamental lesson. One I was going to remember on a day like this. I vividly recollect the day he said that. The clouds were pregnant with tears and the sun hoarded it radiance. 'Jideofor,' he whisphered my name, in a tone that was hallmarked in uncertainity. I hurried and sat by his side. My ears were anticipating and my eyes exposed it's nakedness. 'Jideofor', he continued, 'If you are going to be the man of your dreams, then you must be ready for daunting, unfamiliar and precarious odds.' Five years later, I was in a fix that demanded my dexterity in bravity, and temerity in a beleaguered situation. This was the tale of my final year project defense as a graduate. As I stepped into the hall ready to keep my lecturers in awe and astoundment, an unusual occourance happened and I was sent out in an indignation that was too grievous for words. Almost all of my classmates all defended before I was given a second chance. As I entered the hall, I was sent out again. And finally, I was given a chance. My spirit tended towards dampenness, and the confidence I once exuded, eluded me. But, my father's words came back to haunt me. I conjured courage, and defended. When the result was out, I was one of the best. Indeed, I realized that days of diverse odds like this, are what creates the stuff of which our character is built. Dearest friends, what odds are before you today? Stick to your convictions and almost remember that, the darker the night, the brighter the dawn. Never forget, that the trails of life are intended to make us better and not bitter. I end with the words of my exquisite father again: 'If you are going to be the man of your dreams, then you must be ready for daunting, unfamiliar and precarious odds.' How ready are you?