By Prince Charles Dickson
Yau da shi ya sa allura ginin rijiya (Hausa axiom) literally means doing a thing little by little made it possible for the needle to dig a well.
In recent times I have read and watched with sadness the division in Nigeria. And this week, this is my admonition.
For example, the one tablet-solves-it-all called the National Dialogue has not started but the feelers are ther–we won’t discuss our unity, let’s increase derivation, we shall use ethnic nationalities, no we have majority- arewa tackles ohaneze, afenifere blows arewa, middlebelt gives upper cut to allbelts.
We are told by some who have seen the 1914 marriage certificate with a divorce clause after 100years. We are also aware of the ‘Nigeria will break 2015’ prophecy.
In the words of my brother Tope Fasua, what is special about Nigeria’s forced marriage, as different from other forced marriages all over the world – and is every country not a forced marriage.
Civilization is about forced marriages, the only difference sometimes is the form of ‘force’. But substance over form, all countries have been forced to be together.
There must then be something innately wrong with us, why you make so much hue and cry on one spot, complaining about a forced marriage and the need to dissolve the marriage, when we are all the offspring of such a marriage.
Can one liken the situation with that of a grown adult, who keeps complaining about the conditions of his birth, his ‘wrong parents’, his being born in the wrong place, rather than moving on?
Is that not the difference between a Steve Jobs, who was born illegitimately and in penury, put up for adoption to not-so-rich foster parents, and who slept on the floor as a squatter in university, dropped out and made something global of himself, and many area boys in Lagos, Aba, and Kano, who chose to take to drugs and area-boyism because ‘their parents were not supposed to have met in the first place’..?
Is there a possibility that even as we repeat this ill-informed, ego-induced, short-sighted, tunnel-visioned baloney about ‘FORCED MARRIAGE’, we are also telling our own children to start to put the union of their parents under the microscope, in order to find out whether the marriage was forced, or whether their parents were handsome enough, or whether their mothers went to enough school, in order to decide whether they will become street urchins or whether they will fight hard in the world to make something of themselves?
It’s the cockiness Nigerians spew out that i detest with everything in me.
Cockiness such as when Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, alleged that over 400 northerners may have betrayed the region after collecting money to back President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term.
One wonders how such characters and the likes of Dokuboh, Clark, get public space, well its ‘public’.
I would tell us a fable–In a forest, a pregnant deer is about to give birth. She finds a remote grass field near a strong-flowing river. This seems a safe place. Suddenly labour pains begin.
At the same moment, dark clouds gather around above & lightning starts a forest fire. She looks to her left & sees a hunter with his bow extended pointing at her. To her right, she spots a hungry lion approaching her.
What can the pregnant deer do?
She is in labour!
What will happen?
Will the deer survive?
Will she give birth to a fawn?
Will the fawn survive?
Or will everything be burnt by the forest fire?
Will she perish to the hunters’ arrow?
Will she die a horrible death at the hands of the hungry male lion approaching her?
She is constrained by the fire on the one side & the flowing river on the other & boxed in by her natural predators.
What does she do? She focuses on giving birth to a new life. It’s not just bad or worse–Her case is ‘worsetest’
The sequence of events that follows are:
– Lightning strikes & blinds the hunter.
– He releases the arrow which zips past the deer & strikes the hungry lion.
– It starts to rain heavily, & the forest fire is slowly doused by the rain.
– The deer gives birth to a healthy fawn.
In Nigeria a lot is wrong, many persons with negative thoughts and possibilities.
But some thoughts are so powerful positive they overcome us & overwhelm us like the golden eaglets victory in Dubai, or Super Eagles qualifying for the World Cup.
Maybe we can learn from the deer. The priority of the deer, in that given moment, was simply to give birth to a baby.
The rest was not in her hands & any action or reaction that changed her focus would have likely resulted in death or disaster.
We have to roll up our sleeves and move on to a focus. The problem we have is not about any union. It is about the IRRESPONSIBILITY, THE VISIONLESSNESS, THE GREED, THE MENTAL ILLNESS, THE COWARDICE of the few who had and still have the opportunity, even me and you…but we fight Christians, fight Muslims, fight Idomas, Nupes, Beroms, and what not.
I may not agree with you but will not deny you the right to that opinion. We certainly have a right to be wrong–but for how long, if we want change. It will come like the needle, very slowly, but do we want change and what are our priorities–only time will tell.