Dancing to the drumbeats of war.2

 

In 1993, the war drums were rolled out for rehearsals. The staccato rhythms beat across the land in the wake of the June 12 riots. And the people fled from their homes across the country in search of a safety that had become elusive. And they died in large numbers. Very few, if any died from gunshot wounds though. Most died from motor accidents, highway robberies and in some cases, from stampede.

There is a pathetic story of a family who hid their wad of cash in their baby’s diapers as they ran away from the Northern part of the country. When they got to the Lokoja bridge, they ran into highway robbers who demanded for their money. They insisted they had no money and the robbers began a meticulous search. Unfortunately, they found the money in the child’s diapers; they took the money, and threw the innocent baby over the bridge into River Niger. Father and mother turned back to where they were running away from, distraught, inconsolable. They had danced to the drumbeats of war, and it was not pleasant. This is just one out of the many horrible experiences that people went through in 1993 and 1994.

There was no actual war but the drummers drummed and the people danced. Rumours led to more rumors and panic bred pandemonium across the land as we all danced to the drumbeats of a war that existed in the hearts and imaginations of warmongers. Because you see, a war is not just a fight between two armies; a war is an attempt at destruction of everything your enemy represents. When a war happens, the lines are often blurred and the enemy becomes faceless. Fear and insecurity are the twin commodities that go on sale, and everyone is forced to buy. The reason I felt safe in 1970 was not because I was a child; it was more because the theatre of war too was far away for the drumbeats to be heard in my neighbourhood. But not anymore. This time, the sound is loud enough for the deaf to hear and the crippled to dance to its ugly beat.

 

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WE ARE NOT DOGS (1)

 
 
The Urhobo people have an adage that only a dog watches silently while his meal is prepared amiss.
I am not a dog and I will not be silent.
What I am is a Nigerian with a major stake in her country and the power to do something about getting it on the right track and getting it to remain there.
 
It is no longer news that the Country seems to be on a downward spiral and it appears to be unstoppable. It is no longer news that the majority of Nigerians are unhappy with what is going on around them, and rightly so. What is surprising and therefore, newsworthy, is that it appears most of us, myself included, appear to be floundering; we are going about like a people without the power to decide how we want our food prepared.
We are behaving like dogs~watching while our food is prepared in a way our food is prepared in a way we thoroughly detest, and doing absolutely nothing about it!
 
I hear you protest loudly that you are not a dog, well, prove it!
 
Stop sitting silently while the only thing that truly belongs to you and your generations unborn is rapidly being shredded to pieces!
 
Stop twiddling your thumbs rather than putting your hands on the proverbial plow; don’t remain at the bus station hoping and praying that someone else will decide when you get on the bus; you get on it and tell the driver where to go!
 
I hear Christians complain that Buhari will Islamize Nigeria; of course he will and with good reason too!
I hear them complain that he has taken Nigeria to the league of Islamic nations and I say, ‘so what?’ Why should he not take us there to seek solutions to our seemingly intractable solutions?
 
Buhari will do all that and more, and you know why?
 
• Buhari is a Moslem
• Islam is his culture, it is what he is most familiar with and when people are faced with problems they first look to the most familiar in search of answers.
• He has seen a model that appeals to him in other Islamic nations
• Islamic nations have extended to him the right hand of fellowship and a drowning man doesn’t care who is trying to save him; all he cares about is getting out of the water.
 
So yes, he will Islamize Nigeria and I have no problem with that.
 
Am I saying I want Nigeria to become an Islamic country? Far from it!
I am a Christian and I grew up in a secular nation and I desire with all my heart that it remains so. I desire a Nigeria where people are free to make the choice about who or what they worship.
I worship a God that has offered one and all the opportunity to freely choose what is best for them and I want my country to remain so.
But here’s the point: Buhari cannot and will not do what we do not permit him to do!
There is a beautiful scripture in the Bible that we frequently misuse or “underuse” if you will.
It is Proverbs 22:6 and it says
 
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Well guess what? Our leaders are our children and we have “trained” them in the way they should go and believe me, they are finding it very difficult to depart from the way we have trained them to go.
But we are not dogs; if we do not like what we see, we can do something about it. We can make a difference if we choose to. So long as there is life there hope and there is still a spark of life left in Nigeria. The Bible says that to him that is joined to the living there is hope…to be continued