BURNING POT BY PRINCE CHARLES DICKSON
Nigeria and our story of the 'gods'
A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. --Marcus Garvey
A Tiv adage, says, a lizard that views a python with disregard will find itself in the belly of the snake. (Whoever disdains obvious danger will suffer dire consequences)
Last week was significant in the run up to the 2015 General Elections as most political parties sought to prepare the road by picking their candidates via various primaries. Well, I am not writing about political parties and their primaries or internal democracy or their candidates, no, not at all.
However my admonition for this week stems from an encounter with one of the candidates for the Federal House of Representative, in the course of discussing what he had to offer if he gets to the lower chamber, we veered into Nigeria's history, so I asked the man, his thoughts on Nigerian leadership of the past, starting from the likes of Herbert Macaulay, Ernest Okoli, all the way down to Zik, Awo, and Sarduna, and I was shocked at his naivety about his own country.
It was so sad, as I had just despite an excruciating week, gone through Zik’s book for the umpteenth time--My Odyssey (1971) by Nnamdi Azikwe.
My take from 'My Odyssey' is where Zik says, "There is plenty of room at the top because very few people care to travel beyond the average route. And so most of us seem satisfied to remain within the confines of mediocrity."
It occurred to me, not necessarily as a revelation but reinforced learning that we are still gravitating along the peripherals of mediocrity. A people, like Napoleon Bonaparte puts it, that has refused or not agreed on any version of past events, so we have no history.
Today's Nigeria is a result of lies, half-truths, propaganda, misinformation, disinformation, revelation, grapevines, orange vines, and all sorts of vines, gist, rumours, gossips and whether you like it or not truth.
We are a nation with too many stories of the 'gods', too many secrets of nationhood.
Stories of the ‘god’, Abiola died, how and why, remain part of serial unknowns in Nigeria. Despite all the revelations, breaking news and new- breaking, we never will know the real truth. Rumours aplenty about the man Abiola, himself, his past and his rise and even in death will continue to mean different things to different people.
Like did Abiola pay to have a truckload of Bibles sunk in the high or is it low sea...Did Abacha pay him off, was he poisoned?
IBB killed Dele Giwa, my error, 'allegedly' killed. However, until the man IBB dies we will never know what really transpired, who really 'wacked' the gulf billions, does the man have properties in Israel, Rome, Paris and even in hell. What exactly is the truth is, we never may know.
Did he kill the junior officers in Ejigbo crash, how about Vatsa...?
On several occasions, we have been treated to the gist that Obasanjo is originally Igbo, with so much debate, who really cares about who he slept with and who he did not, story of the 'gods'.
In our country, we hear, we gather; according to both informed and reliable sources, yet chances are that it may just be one big beer parlor induced contraption.
For all the efforts, years after we are still treated to several versions of the gospels of Bola Ige, Harry Marshal, Dikibo, Funsho Williams, the list is endless, add that to the Rewanes, Kudirats, you just wonder what a people.
Do you recall the hot story of how the late Abacha killed his first son in a plane crash because X did not follow Y but choose C, or how those Indians gave him apples?
How did Yar'adua die, who spoke to BBC, all those Jeddah information and signatures, how did they come about, is it true that his elder brother was injected, by whom, for what purposes?
Talking toady of Mr. President, the amiable man without shoes, so many gists about him, for example, that those kids in the family portrait belong to some other woman, or that he is being controlled by 'you all know' or the President drank ogogoro with alomobitters?
I do not know if it is true that there is an agenda to Islamize Nigeria, and funds are coming from A, B and F...same time Jonathan is Christianizing the power bloc and poverty is on the rampage dealing with Muslims, Christians and pagans alike.
In Nigeria, we elevate gossip to national discuss, fight ethnic wars based on unverifiable facts. In our national life, there are very thin lines between the fact and the truth. It may 6pm, but not 6th of August, and it may 6billion naira but not 6 persons. It’s often all muddled up.
Can anyone confirm that Tinubu smokes weed, I hear that Fashola also takes small too, and after all our generals and top shots also take Benelyn with codeine cough syrup to stay ‘high’ to the whims and caprice of an impoverished populace.
Death threats and brown envelopes won’t allow journalists get the job done, and then ethnic agenda and bias keep others mute, while others are stifled because the thief is practicing their religion.
Security operatives can’t do much because of officialdom. They beat cats until the cats accept to be leopards.
We are just doing the familiar dance. Nothing really is new, only more questions even when the old ones are still begging for answers. We are a nation with no history, very little pride.
Nigeria as is the case with the stories of the 'gods' remains a tale, every circumstance is situated to benefit a group of persons, and a section, a faith and we keep living on falsehoods.
Fact is that behind every rumour there is an element of truth, our case as Nigerians defies this statement, because for us, for every truth there is an element of lies.
For issues that are true, we have refuse to tackle them, we are threatened by the phenomena called Boko Haram, we are harassed by the conglomeration of politicians across party lines. “Nick Joaquín, in Culture and History says, “The identity of the Filipino today is of a person asking what is his identity.”
We have a generation that know nothing of their nation, either in the past or are showing signs that they possess a strong Nigerian identity, naivety is everywhere you go, for how long—Only time will tell