Fear grips my heart when I see a crowd of people trekking home from a corner of a street. They are all moving towards my direction. I think they look very much like people migrating into our country. Maybe I should call them refugees. But, were they really what I took them to be? For I know my country is not a place where people would willingly come to reside.
Out of the large crowd, I see a lady with a baby on her back smiling at me. As she comes closer, I discover she is a neighbor. I smile back at her, but with curiosity within me.
"Neighbor, where are these people coming from?" I ask. "From St. Matthew," she replies, as I look into her eyeballs with surprise. "What's happening in St. Matthew today?" I ask again. "Nothing, we just attended the first mass," she answers. "You mean this is just a mass for a Sunday service?" "Yes," she says, nodding her head, still smiling.
I decide to keep a lookout for the second mass. The crowd was large too. The third mass had the largest crowd of all. It could be said to double the first and second mass.
Mind you. These were the only ones I saw that very day. I did not mention other churches in that same vicinity and other places. I live in a place where you'll find not less than five churches in a street with loud speakers mounted everywhere. And this so much affect our hearing. So we shout at the top of our voices, making signs with the fingers for easier communication.
My country is in a great mess. Imagine a place where milk and honey flow. Nigeria is blessed with oil and agriculture. A land blessed by God, for every Nigerian to enjoy. But, only some sets of individuals are rich. Why? When the Military were in power, I thought things were bad. But as the civilians came on, things became worse.
Actually, we all wanted democracy. We clamored for it. But as it is now, I no longer understand the meaning of the word democracy. It sounds like it means "demonstration of craziness," because we've not experienced its benefits and it never favored us. Maybe we should go back to the autocratic system.
I wish our past heroes who once ruled our nation, such as Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, The Right Honorable Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Major General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi, including other regional leaders like M.I. Okpara, Awolowo and Sarduana of Sokoto will come back to life. They will see that their labor for Nigeria was in vain.
Our new presidents no longer do anything right for this nation to develop. We no more serve our fatherland with love and strength; neither do we serve in faith. Even the patriotic rhythm of our National Anthem has lost its value.
We do not "serve with hearts and might." Neither do we experience "peace and unity." Rather we experience tribal and religious wars. In the Northern part of Nigeria, we constantly hear of Christians and Muslims killing themselves. Hatred for other religious groups has been our practice. Why?
We are not free anymore. Our lives are threatened for the sake of truth. Our heads are not seen as leaders, but as rulers. They dictate and give orders. They hate counsels. They detest the truth and hide it in their undies so it decays and stinks like dead rat. Corruption has become their hobbies.
They help to revive peace and unity in other countries, while our country is falling apart. Crisis, conflicts, pains and poverty is what our nation has been experiencing since 1985 till date. And probably, it might extend till 2007 and beyond.
Yes, I'm sure, because the leadership still rotates among the same old "cargoes," who refuse to die or who never get tired of staying at the Aso-Rock—the seat of power. They sit tight there in conducive rooms dictating what happens to the masses. They've never experienced hardship.
At times, I ask myself this question: "Will this nation ever return to her former state?" "And if it will, who will be the Moses or Savior that will achieve that for us?" The answers to these questions are far fetched. Because corruption, as started and practiced by the leaders has indirectly been legalized for every citizen.
Or maybe we need a moral man. Not a Christian. Not a Muslim. Because none of these religious groups have made any positive influence on us. But the question now is: Where is the moral man?
Now think of the population of Nigeria. Where are the resources to take care of them? Budgets? No. They read budgets. And we hear of the large amounts mentioned. The budgets are shared among state and local governments. And we don't see what they do with it.
An average Nigerian can no longer afford three meals a day. There is hardly a family where you won't find a child with malnutrition. Except for the rich ones.
Oh God of creation, direct our noble cause Guide our leaders right. Help our youths the truth to know. In love and honesty to grow, And living just and true. Great lofty heights attain, To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.
That was the second stanza of the National Anthem composed by a true Nigerian, Mr. Ben Odiase, of the Nigeria Police Band in October 1st, 1978. He never expected that one day his nation would turn for the worse.
I pity Nigeria. I pray for change!
DD Phil is a romance writer. His book titled "How to Marry your Spouse" is coming soon. Mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
DD Phil is a romance writer. His book titled "How to Marry your Spouse" is coming soon.