These days, I am up most nights, swatting mosquitoes and pouring sweat. I tell you, it feels like hell. With fuel selling at 400 on the black market, and diesel costing double in both consumption and price. Like hell. How Governance is absent, and nobody takes responsibility enough to say – It is my failing. Blame me. Instead, those already in Power lament with us and say, ‘Put me in a different office, a higher office, and you will see…’ See what? What will we see that we have not already seen?
The bastardization of the word ‘change’. It is not that we are not deeply appreciative of rice pyramids, and railway lines, we are. But the idea was to add this to the pre-existing state of relative peace and security, and inter-ethnic co-existence. Not to take that away for locally produced rice. Ah! E no balance. No. For it is better to be importing rice, but travelling with relative peace of mind from Lagos to Kafanchan. Than to be unable to carry that bag of locally made rice to Maiduguri for fear of bandits. Yes. Law and Order is the First Law of Civilization.
For this reason, to me, it is clear, the cancerous effects of Tribalism. Yes. This is it. This tendency to condone the petty criminality of our ethno-religious kinfolk. Saying, ‘No, they are just hungry. No, they are just angry. No, it is not really murder.’ Shielding them from the full weight of the Law, always in the false belief that anarchists from your own side of the country are on your side, and will shield you and yours from the worst consequences of their anarchism. I tell you, Extremism is nobody’s pet. It is, and will always be, a tiger. And those who feed it will end up in its belly. That is the eternal tragedy of Tribalism, with its naïve belief that the Terrorism of relatives can be domesticated.
Let me tell you. If you are muslim who believes that jihad is not about violently seizing other people’s lands, but about valiantly striving against the downward pull of earthbound propensities, you have far more in common with a Christian who understands what Christ meant when He said, ‘The kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force’ than you have with someone who thinks capturing and enslaving young girls of contrary faiths is Islam. It is not. It is not Christianity either to say, ‘God says to love one’s neighbour as one’s self, but these Fulani people eh… Hmm. It does not apply to them’. It does. For eternal truths are not only true when it comes to forbidding the white man from discriminating against the black man. No. They are also true when it comes to forbidding the black man from discriminating against the black man. You see? Racism or Tribalism, it is one root.
So, free your heart from this prejudice and bias. Yes. It is how to begin the process of re-building one’s capacity to hear, again, one’s human spirit, and see the road ahead clearly. For the decadence all around us is rooted in our inability to call a spade a spade when that spade is in the hand of a member of our ethno-religious group. You see? Where there should be light, there is darkness. Where there should be peace, there is war. Where there should be singing and dancing, mothers are wailing and weeping deep into the night for lost sons and daughters. Because we would rather sit in suffering under the incompetence of someone from ‘our side’ than let the best man or woman win. I swear, Tribalism is a bastard.
So, I let it go. These years of deep conditioning, to put my socio-cultural idiosyncrasies above the Truth. No more. It is one country, and no life is more precious than the other, no culture is more beautiful than the other, no faith is more valid than the other. Yes. Let God be the judge. But here and now, on this earthly plane, between me and you, I owe you nothing more than Love and Justice.
So, get your PVC. And use it well.