Nigeria: A Puzzling Funeral Dirge

Posted: July 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

ImageBy Prince Charles Dickson



When the shadow of a tree is bent, you don’t aim to straighten the shadow, you go for the tree and the leave the shadow…


Often I say I believe the things I write on, are important for our nation…, but when it appears to me Nigerians especially those in authority do not react to these issues as they should and citizenry still act strange, I repeat them in new essays to remind old readers and recruit new ones to participate in the continuing dialogue.


Nigeria is a nation of growing deep seated grievances; it has been terrible in the last one week, but how about the last one month, or the last one year. Sadly it is no news because the pointers direct us to a worst case scenario.

However, as bad it appears, we know there are solutions, we have it in us to solve our problems, but somehow small minorities of profiteers of bad governance and conflict entrepreneurs are why we are here.

These days increasingly we hear the same song; almost avoidable loss of life and then empty words of condolence and threat. The issue of conflict still remains with perceived cultural, political, economic oppression and marginalization, buttered with a high degree of sentiments by actors and citizens.


By refusing to look at the SWOT analysis of recent events to the polity and society, killings by violence and avoidable deaths are no longer a flirting phenomena, it is becoming permanent. A continuous deployment of violence only acting as an agent in recycling violence.


The scary part is that the violence has rotated from state sponsored, to self-inflicted, leaving in its wake genuinely scary statistics because of a grueling mix of poverty, mis-information, half-truth and a strangely lackadaisical populace.

Suddenly, we almost have forgotten Kaduna, Plateau is back on the radar. Sad that Senator Gyang Datong paid the price, with his life, but stranger, is how life just continues, after all he was a Senator, and the roll call is getting closer.

I may be accused of at most, discussing of the Nigerian myth with a sense of fatalism. However, I believe that if everyone discussed it as much as some of us did with justice and fairness, life would be better.

While for many of us, our testimony remains anchored on value for life irrespective of creed, faith, ethnic cleavages, political leanings or ideologies. Hatred keeps growing in the land.

Beroms and Fulanis and others, Ibos in the North, Muslims are killing Christians and suspects are Boko Haram and Christians too.

A vast majority of Fulanis are neither Christians nor Muslims and it does not remove the fact that there are Christian Fulanis and Muslim fulanis. End result remains hate…that breeds non-stop killings.

In our non-stop blind drive to self-destruct, the death figures in Rivers state would finally hit over 150 persons, including pregnant women, youths and children, it is part of our funeral dirge. Citizenry have to die scooping fuel from a petrol tanker which exploded with the content.

And the state Governor Chibuike Amaechi has ordered a full probe into the causes of the crash. And that is all they ever do, panels, probes and committees, while people keep dying because of poverty, greed, selfishness and illiteracy and state neglected conflict.

So I before I digress, which religion, tribe or ethnic group is responsible for this avoidable deaths, like Jawaharlal Nehru said “I want nothing to do with any religion concerned with keeping the masses scarified to live in hunger, filth and arrogance. I want nothing to do with any order, religion or otherwise, which does not teach people that they are capable of becoming happier and more civilized, on this earth…”


No one is teaching Nigerians, we sit in the cozy comfort of our rooms at least for now it is comfortable and spread all sorts of hate. I say it always I am not totally ignorant of all the conspiracy theories, the Jihadists agenda and Christians have it tale.


However, I am naive and I do acknowledge that, but ordinary naive Nigerians like me want to know what fate would befall a nation where a learned person would spread this–“SECURITYTIPS: Muslims are warned to be conscious of who is bringing drinks and food to the Mosque for breaking fast during the forthcoming Ramadan. Some enemies of Islam and Muslims are planning sending POISONOUS drinks and food to various Mosques to breakfast. They can use Muslims to send drinks to the Mosques please know where these food or drinks are coming from. This information came from a Muslim brother who got the news from some Christians during discussion not knowing that he is a Muslim. It is not a rumour! Please pass on this info. May Allah SWT continue to guide us amin”.

Naive Nigerians don’t get the tale of disappearing Fulanis as told by security agents, nor does it make logic poisoning apples to kill or bomb Christians that should be converted.

Our braggadocios braggadoism will lead us nowhere; we have not seriously explored these crises to the point of analyzing the content and substances that precipitate these slaughters. Instead we do a confused labeling of very direct issues. No one of us took the decision to be Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba; we are Nigerians who happen to be Christians or Muslims and pagans at least for now.


I end with this analogy, I have often repeated it. It tells of a tale in a book called disappearance it is divided into two parts. Part one was an imaginary account of a world in which men wake up one day and discovered that all women had vanished. All the women! The rest of that first part talks about how men tried to survive on their own.

The second part was a vice versa, our women woke up and discovered that the men had disappeared from the face of earth. We are asked to imagine both scenarios.

Would life be easier for Christians if we woke up and found that all Muslims have vanished? Would life be easier for Muslims if we woke up and found all Christians gone? Does the killing of one another bring back the already dead? No, it only berths a circle of revenge, vengeance, retaliation, retribution and the madness continues.

If hundreds die scooping or infact stealing fuel in a land where the commodity is in abundance, why is it so, if we look deeper, we cannot fight for the Almighty and He created us the way we are, color, creed, race, tribe, and religion, but we are one in His sight –Equal!

If you do not agree with the phases of the moon, get a ladder and repair it. We cannot completely destroy each other…try as hard as we do. The earlier we put a stop, and demand responsibility from leadership and the led, the end of the entity called Nigerian may come soon, time will tell.


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