By Prince Charles Dickson Ph.D
We forget who we are sometimes—
But oh, the power when we remember /Topher Kearby
As you read this, millions of Nigerians would have cast their vote, like I said last week, a handful would have paid the ultimate price which is death because like I stated clearly that our elections are war in these parts. We have witnessed ballot snatching despite the best of efforts but I must also say that it has reduced and that is a big plus. As usual logistics has failed us
There is also the early excitement of the very big possibility of a slim victory by a third force but as it is often with those of us that see far, I have since this electoral cycle stated that I see no hope in the horizon with the three musketeers as I term them. This is not a popular opinion though…Kindly follow me, and I will tell you a story and again stick to my point. A quick caveat though is that I DO NOT INTEND TO CONVINCE ANYONE OF US, RATHER TO AGITATE US ENOUGH TO PROVE ME WRONG.
There was an aged artist who lived in a small village. The man used to design beautiful artistic works to be sold at an attractive price.
One day, a poor man among the villagers challenged the old man saying: “You earn a lot of money from your handiwork but why don’t you assist poor people in the village?
Can’t you see that the butcher is not as rich as you are, but he still shares free meat to the poor people in the village?
Also, look at the village baker. He is a poor man with a large family. Yet he gives the poor people free loaves of bread”.
The artist did not respond angrily to the accusations. He only smiled.
The poor man was confused about the reaction of the artist so he left him and went out spreading rumors that the artist was so rich, but he was a selfish person who only accumulated wealth and refused to help the poor.
The villagers hated the old artist and they all forsook him.
The old artist became sick and could not do anything for himself but nobody among the villagers cared to visit him or helped him so he died a lonely old man.
The days passed by and the villagers observed that the butcher stopped free distribution of meat and the baker could not give the poor people free loaves of bread any more.
When the butcher and the baker were asked why they stopped helping the villagers, they said that: “the old artist used to donate money every month to pay for the free meat and bread to the poor people in the village. Now that he was dead, there was nobody to pay for the free food anymore”
While we reflect on the story above let me add this—A man died in a drinking spot/dancehall. Another person died in the masjid.
If we are to judge them, we would say that the first man died a sinner and the second man died a righteous man.
But the first man entered the drinking spot to preach against sin and the second man entered the masjid to steal.
By next week, there would be a clear picture of who has won the war to lead Nigerians, there will be protests, and again, a handful of Abobis would pay the price. Like in Abia, like in Kogi so far. Let me again say that whilst the search for leadership is pertinent.
Actually, many people may have wrong impressions and different opinions about leadership, Nigeria and yet are Nigerians. They destroy Nigeria with their personal influence, opinion and behaviours and still think it is the leaders that need to be the Messiah.
We pass judgment on anyone based on his physical appearance or what people say about him. There are things about his personal life you do not know because we are Nigerias. If you were privileged to know about them, our judgment isn’t any different because we are Nigerians.
In Nigeria we decide who goes to heaven or who goes to hell. We disdain God in our privacy and fear God in the open. We believe that everyone needs to change but us. And painfully again we move, we will get a leadership but we are still a people whose physical appearance is just a deception therefore, not willing to forgive and ignore our shortcomings at least or at best forge shared values and fronts so that we can build a nation.
By the next few months many would have forgotten all the drama of 1983, 1993, 2015 and so will 2023 be forgotten, just the way #endsars and soro soke, we often harp, if Nigeria gets it wrong, many of those that said it are dead and gone. Nigeria still remains. Whichever candidate wins, or loses not much will change if we do not change, votes in an area largely than a stronghold of a candidate is ready but it cannot be uploaded, sabotage will be alluded to, there will be ‘orubebes’.
The excitement will come and go, because those that are happy are those that are taking 2k to give 5k, Nigerians will still arise against whoever wins, the problem is not just enormous, the problem is us. Our leaders eventually will behave like us, they will treat us like us. The redesigned Naira notes are already withering, and come May 29th the transfer will happen, we all will be debited, whether the transfer drops or we are credited or not, the journey of 2023 is still far, and only time will tell.
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