Column Opinion

The ‘Anyhowness’ Of A Beautiful Nigeria, By Dr. Prince Charles Dickson

Kolanut needs no introduction, fish needs no tutoring to swim…this is our Nigeria

Don’t look for the meaning of anyhowness, but by the time you are done reading this, you would know the operative meaning of the word.

So do you belong to a WhatsApp group? I do. Yes WhatsApp group, we all these days belong to one, either alumni, professional or religious group, political, and off course ethnic groups.

It’s so tough sometimes keeping up with these groups or managing them, oops and not also for those administrators who’s only leadership experience is managing a WhatsApp group, and yet we want government to manage us effectively. Create a group, put the rules, in less than 24 hours people are breaking them, call it a business group, first thing a person sends is a message that threatens you to send to 100 persons or you will die. Chai the anyhowness of Nigeria.

So next week Simbi is getting married from our group, I don’t know where Simbi hails from, I do know she’s a beautiful Muslim woman, the group would be represented by a few of us. The wedding is in Kaduna. We are buying her a car, did you say impossible, well that’s your business, a whole lot of the members of the group have never been to Kaduna and they contributed. That’s our true picture, our beautiful anyhowness.

NwaDonald, is an Igbo man from Imo state, he’s been in the US for more than a decade, he dislikes Mr. Buhari, as much as he dislikes the state of affairs in Nigeria. He loves Nigeria, he is not a fan of Biafra and you can feel his Nigerian pulse, he really wants a good country to come back to, not the current anyhowness.

Omo Iya Charlie, he’s Yoruba and resides in the United Kingdom, he ran commentaries on the last UK polls, and often he has a partner in discuss, she’s Aunty B, who is also half the time in UK and half in Lagos. Last time Omo Iya Charlie visited Nigeria, he was livid with fear that he left his children in the UK; he couldn’t risk the security anyhowness of Nigeria. He ‘supports’ Buhari!

In this group we have Dr. CK, Dr. Ceejay, I don’t know what Ceejay does, apart from being a life coach, he’s a jolly good fellow, wonderful soul. Dr. CK is an academic and peace practitioner and expert in one thing like that. He silently contributes in the affairs of the group; he did too in buying Simbi her car-wedding gift.

And if we have three doctors in the house, we have a professor, she’s with BUK, and yes you are wondering, the only professor in our group is a woman, homely and down to earth also, infact let me add, her expertise is physics and those big sounding science things.

There’s Olori Yimu, she’s an educationist, lovely woman who is super intelligent, she speaks Yoruba and Hausa, she’s a Nigerian mixbreed and has a heart in raising good kids, she’s often sad that this isn’t the Nigeria we want with all these anyhowness.

How about Orsh, he worked in the NE, and the tales are not by moonlight, with him in that axis is Nkem, she sometimes would ping in with sounds of AK 47 and 48 in the background and we would console her and now the fears are normal. She got me a birthday cake on behalf of the group while I was in Kano this year and I never met her.

I shared the cake with members of the Emirate, Danjy, Haji Auwal and Emir Yusuf, the last two got me some sweet smelling perfume, the borders had not been closed then, I was meeting them for the first time. Danjy, the humorous, we were meeting for the second time, he offered me his beautiful car to drive while in Kano. Danjy serves this country in Lagos despite the anyhowness of the traffic and all the stress that comes with serving this nation.

Did I say he offered his car to me, yes, a Muslim offered his car to me a Christian, Nigerian is a beautiful country, forget our anyhowness, in that group we have the enfant terrible, his name is Shaxxxx, he ‘shaxx’ everything and everyone, a once upon a time Buhari man but these days, he just wishes for a better Nigeria, he once advocated military rule as better than democracy if it will bring change.

We have Pastor Love, yes Love, if only most pastors where like him. He’s trouble encapsulated but a good heart, himself and Shaxx are always on each other. He’s been involved with IDPs in the North East apart from his pastoral calling; he’s an opposition man also, meaning he is PDP.

In the group we have those that don’t say a word, but have made many behind the scene contributions, and then we have Tivman, a member who made a few biting decision and the group rallied around him. Who ever said Nigerians do not have large hearts.

So, members of the group got Sallah gifts courtesy another member, and members got mobile vouchers courtesy of other group members like our friend Iyk. We paid school fees and helped each other; even house rent was sometimes advanced without group members knowing the source unlike governors who praise themselves for paying salaries.

We fought over topics, but in the end we were united in our beautiful anyhowness, our solicitor and advocate General Chris would give us legal counsel, and Cyril the accountant helped us out mischievously. There is Beebah the queen daughter, she is wife to three men on the group, sure the anyhowness of Nigeria.

Met Beebah for the first time this year, wonderful woman. How about Jerry and Shehu the driver, two chronic bachelors, and their many women, they would marry when Nigeria’s anyhowness improves.

Phaty, sweet Phaty, the woman with the Shua Arab fairness, you wouldn’t know she’s almost a grandmother, how many things do we know really about Nigeria, she is highly mischievous like Nigeria. There is Aunty Dorcas, Patrick and a few others they sneak in and out. And like Nigerian politicians appear on the scene and disappear, we wonder whether they were ever with us, but that’s our anyhowness.

We have the milkman; he works in one government agency like that and avails us citizens’ education on matters as it affects us. Like Lucky, who avails us cover pages of the newspapers everyday with the not exactly too good news.

We have a nurse in the group, we have two bankers, don’t ask me if they have money, two wonderful women, Bukky and Rasheeda, we have two couples in the group, and how could I forget Aunty Layo. In the group and house as we call it, there’s a dude called Seldom and he seldom talks, we have Onyeka but not Owenu. There’s the great Elephant Giwa, a math teacher and businessman. He’s a fantastic soul. Never met him. But you underestimate the calm he brings to conversations and the back room diplomacy he plays.

We celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, we laugh together and mourn together. This year one of us lost a wife and father, we cant bring back lost loved ones, but like when Danjy was in the hospital, or when Nkem lost our baby, or when Beebah’s kid was sick or Phaty lost her grandma or was it Kemo having domestic wahala, we stood by each other.

The year is about to end, Nigeria is a beautiful country, our diversity is our strength, we can re-write the script, and our anyhowness to become beautiful. In the naija narrative, we don’t have to be the same, but we can sure respect each other, grow each other, offer constructive criticisms and share beliefs that can make Nigeria work, is 2020 our year, can leadership harness our anyhowness—only time will tell.

Contact the writer: pcdbooks@gmail.com

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