By Remigius Nnamdi Ekeh
“Where there is love, there is neither prejudice nor war nor strive nor pains nor any evil at all. Love engenders peace and justice; and makes the bond between persons, groups and nations strong. Let us light the flame of love in all the corners of the universe”
There is no doubt that Nigeria actually has the potential to stand out as the giant of Africa. So many things point to this and everything that is required to attain this status was graciously lavished on her by the Creator, Whose indescribable Favour upon her is inestimable. It would be safe to affirm that the whole of Africa and indeed the entire World are conscious of these potentials that have been taken for granted, if I may opine. That we are yet to attain this status despite several efforts and the labour of our heroes past is an indication that the path on which we have so far treaded may not have been exactly the right one after all. Indeed, to put it plainly, and judging from past experiences, the path on which we are currently treading could not be said to be a joyful one. There is therefore every cause for apprehension because of the so many obvious signs of uncertainties.
That these inherent uncertainties are imperceptible to many is evidenced by the current insensitivity being displayed by many of the citizens. Sincerely, from the spiritual perspective, if our inner eyes are ripped open to take a glimpse of the end of the current path, the majority would be exceedingly terrified as a result of the horrifying grotesque pictorial depiction of the ethereal environment. As it stands, dreadful is the ominous darkness that currently embraces this ethereal atmosphere. It is dense, firm and suffocating! This condition is exacerbated by the discord amongst the citizens. How I wish we understood the power of unity! Given the potential of this nation, the power of unity would have propelled us to a ‘Super Power’ status with relative ease. This is a secret that our enemies do not want us to explore. We must not let them succeed. But who says we cannot live in unity and harmony? We are the ones telling ourselves; and desperately so. Why is it that outside Nigeria, we stand by each other irrespective of our tribe, religion or creed? It only shows that there are dark forces working assiduously to ensure that we remain divided, knowing that it is only in unity we can make progress. So, emphasis is placed on our fault lines, while those aspects that foster our bonds are relegated. An old trick I must say. I think we should be able to see through this and unmask the lurking Darkness. If you ask me, I believe we can. Let us stop telling ourselves that we cannot. There is power in the tongue as well as our thoughts. As a man thinks, so he is; and as he continues to think, so shall he continue to be. God Almighty has granted us all that we need to be. And He demands that we become what He expects of us, which is to become the true ‘Heart’ of Africa and ‘Bride of Humanity’.
Accordingly, as a matter of the highest priority, we need to urgently do something very decisive to halt the downward hurtling into self-destruction; and this would require tremendous willpower on the part of citizens. We need to summon the very last ounce of strength available to us if we are to arouse the giant to the state of awakening. There is little or no time left for this. We need to act with an immediate response without further deliberations! But would the current drums of war and hatred allow us to take this most needed, most urgent decision that would lift us out of the present mire into the realm of awakening? It is so heartrending to note that many of us are unaware of the oncoming ‘night of horror’ whose blows seem inevitable except somehow, the Creator mercifully and very quickly comes to our aid through some form of quickening or arousal. Although it may seem doubtful because of the sickening indifference that abounds, it is nonetheless doable and we need to do so very fast. We must awake if we are to shake off the dangers.
Has it ever flickered in our minds that the situation has remained precarious despite all efforts? Is it not an indication that something is absolutely wrong? Let us please reflect on the fact that we are one of the most endowed nations in terms of natural and human resources; blessed with the most vibrant, intelligent, highly spirited and innovative youth population desirous of breaking new grounds. Immeasurable talents waiting to be unearthed and harnessed. Just a positive engagement of our productive youth population is enough to navigate us out of the current precarious situation (more economic gains and fewer crimes). Additionally, that we have some of the world’s best intellectual professionals i.e., doctors, engineers, economists, etc is simply amazing. What about the diverse cultural heritage and a huge population of very productive diaspora citizens? Who can contest the fact that we are a highly resilient, determined, kind-hearted and hospitable people blessed with immense talents? Our fertile lands across the length and breadth of the country can feed the entire Continent of Africa at least. Aside from crude oil and gas, we have many other resources as well as a large coastal line begging for utilization. We could go on and on. So many potentials that we cannot excuse ourselves before the Creator Who expects nothing than a peaceful and prosperous nation! Do you know that Nigeria is not just a giant in an earthly sense, but in a spiritual sense as well? It is the soul of Africa. There is a Centre of Divine Light, an anchorage somewhere within the territory of Nigeria. So, the nation is well equipped to fulfill its great calling in both physical and spiritual leadership. We just need unity and love. This is what the Darkness is consistently fighting against with all its being. And we must not allow it to win the fight.
Now to the crux of the matter, this is the suggested solution. Before proceeding further, let me humbly state that what I am proffering here is solely my humble perception of the way forward. I have no intention whatsoever to insult, derogate or belittle any person, group, tribe, religion, faith or creed. I am just sharing my thoughts for consideration by all. It may not be perfect, but it certainly may have grains of substance in it. I therefore kindly implore us to concentrate on the message and not the messenger. Only the message is of importance; the messenger is inconsequential. Having noted that, permit me to start by noting that what we are experiencing currently is what may be termed collective karma. It is deducible that through our actions, inactions, omissions or indifference, we have either directly or indirectly contributed to what we are experiencing in this present time. And the nature of karma (Law of Sowing and Reaping, Retributive Justice, Cause and Effect as one may choose to call it) is actually that it is impervious to entreaties; thus, it could be said that we are actually reaping what we deserve. It is all about choices, which are the basis of free will. These include our individual and collective decisions. Our choices/decisions are the threads with which the untiring Loom of Life knits our ‘Carpet of Fate’. And once choices are made, we do not have control over their consequences. That alone lies within the prerogative of divine justice. Divine Justice is impartial and makes no exceptions. It is adamantine, immutable in nature. No deviations whatsoever. Our ignorance, acknowledgment or indifferences are of no consequences. Seeing evil and failing to condemn or even prevent it attracts the same consequence as direct committal. Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he reap in abundance. So, our flagrant disregard to the Laws of Existence, thus God; by not using our God-given abilities, potentials and resources could be said to be the genesis of the nation in turmoil. So, it may be erroneous to assume that it is this or that person that is the problem. We are all in it by reason of our choices over time. Remember that the Will of God is perfect and does not permit any form of injustice. Having said that, I wish to make the following submission:
The need to go back to God in penitence: We owe God Almighty apologies and heartfelt penitence for failing Him, humanity, Africa, and ourselves; for not utilizing the enormous potentials that He graciously bestowed on us. This we must do as a matter of urgency. It is the most important step in our efforts toward awakening the giant from slumber. In this regard, every one of us is guilty and deserving of His holy Wrath. Fortunately, as the majority of us believe in God Almighty, the first and most important step, therefore, is to go back to Him in penitence and reverential awe. The way to do this is to strip us of all pride, arrogance, conceit, self-righteousness and overestimated egos. We need to stop the hate now as well as every falsehood, lies, deceit, bitterness, playing the ostrich, killing, hurting, mud-slinging, insults, belittling, injustice, blackmailing, grudges, and distrust and so on. Just stop everything that is wrong! Let us just try, to make concerted efforts. It is doable. We must not lose hope. I can see the glimmering light, which if followed would lead us to a brilliant dawn; a new epoch that would usher in peace, progress and prosperity. After purging ourselves of the aforementioned, we must then take the last Hour of the last Wednesday in August or the first Wednesday in September as a day of National Penitence and Reconciliation with God. It is important to first forgive ourselves, free from all encumbrances before going to Him; for we have all sinned. Everyone without exception! Broken down before Him, in the most humble and sacred worship that is devoid of all hatred, sentiments, bitterness, ‘unforgiving spirit’, indignation, grudges and grumbling, we may then lay our fresh petitions for a NEW NIGERIA! Each individual must make it as personal as possible with his God and Lord. It is a tough decision and sacrifice each and every one of us must make for the awakening of the Giant of Africa. I know that many of us may have been bruised, hurt, traumatized, brutalized, devastated and angry with each other, but we must still look up to God to heal us and our land. It cannot continue this way or all of us may go in for it. After all, we have been praying for Nigeria and therefore should not miss this opportunity. Only this new attitude of forgiveness, reconciliation and love is capable of winning for us a favourable answer to our supplication before the Most Merciful, Most Gracious and Benevolent God our Maker. I most sincerely plead with all of us within and outside the country. The destination at the current path on which we are treading is catastrophic! Kindly ‘forgive’ my stern assertions. The situation demands it. It demands an honest, sincere and ‘radical’ approach.
Peace, Healing and Reconciliation Congress: In continuation of the healing/awakening process, the next step would be for the representatives of the PEOPLE to come together for a period of three weeks to GENUINELY discuss all issues that affect the progress, peace, prosperity and wellbeing of Nigeria with the sole PURPOSE of healing, engendering love, true forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, trust, justice, equity and fairness. The representatives must come with sincere, honest good volition. It is further suggested that very humble, compassionate and God-fearing elders and various leaders at all levels (Top to Bottom); including youths, women, the diaspora should be nominated. I humbly suggest that this effort should be spear-headed by the current National Peace Committee and coordinated by the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation. For want of time, it should be of a sizeable and manageable number that would be evenly spread across all the zones. This Congress should produce ‘The People’s Decision’; a working document (not more than 50 pages) on solid, achievable steps and recommendations that the nation requires to set off on the path of awakening, recovery, prosperity and assumption of its leadership role in Africa. So, it should not be a bogus and complicated piece of work given that we have little or no time.
Presentations by Office Aspirants at all levels: The last but not the least step would be to pass the document to all elective office aspirants as well as incumbents to study within a specified time and make presentations to the people at various levels on how in tangible, clear terms they intend to implement the people’s will. Without sentiments, bias or sycophancy, the people should know whom to vote for as their leaders, judging from the outcome of their presentations. It is believed that this step would engender confidence, trust and respect between our leaders and the people. While our leaders will be accountable to the people, in reciprocity the people will be supportive, disciplined, good and law-abiding citizens.
This is simply the message: I think that we should please suspend the blame game and act very quickly by genuinely getting involved to save our nation. For the umpteenth time, permit me to reaffirm that there is every need for apprehension. I really fear for the future. The Darkness is extremely dense and is desperately stopping at nothing at ensuring that it brings only disaster and destruction. The price would be unimaginable. For emphasis, may I further note with utmost humility and sincerity that the Year 2023 is a Great Cosmic Turning Point. It is an important TIME. I plead that we allow good reasons to prevail and voluntarily take the right steps. Other nations will not do it for us. We must do it ourselves. It is a ‘war’ that all of us must win. As it stands now, Africa is holding its breath, and ‘anxiously’ awaiting the awakening of its Giant and ‘heart’. What a great sigh of relief it shall be for Africa and indeed, humanity!
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace”. Will your feet be counted?
A Nigerian is not he who possesses the Passport or National Identity of Nigeria. It is not one who lives within its territory. A Nigerian is he whose heart resonates in Green – White – Green. Let our tribe be Nigeria and our religion love.
*Ekeh is a servant of peace