A Banner Without Stain

by Dele A. Sonubi

Nigeria we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood we stand,
Nigerians all, are proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.

Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle honour’d,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.

O God of all creation,
Grant this our one request,
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed,
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed. [1]

Fortunately for me, I was born a little earlier before this great old national anthem was removed and substituted for another insignificant but- calling- for- respect-because- it was-written- by- a- Nigerian anthem. In those days when I was reciting the lines of this anthem, I hardly knew what they meant nor understood the reasons why I spent a great deal of talent cramming it and all of a sudden, I had to start committing another set of lines to memory. But over time, as I grew to observe the chaos going on in my country, as I grew frustrated and unrepentantly annoyed at our leadership and follower ship, I have come to understand why Nigeria was so quick to dispose of this anthem; it meant something which leaders were sure they could not keep up with. They knew history will challenge them to these words; “…to leave unto our children, a banner without stain

For the first time in my adult life, I made personal efforts to register for elections and struggled against all odds to go out and cast my votes. I had to struggle against myself because on the two occasions- registration and elections I had great inconveniences; it was sunning and very hot and for the first time since many weeks, we had NEPA at home. Then there was so many people and so many conveniences that I had to give up to register and vote. Nevertheless, I did these for the reason that I had watched our polity deteriorate under eight years of OBJ rules; I had seen Nigeria go on the decline. I had suffered with millions of other Nigerians for lack of basic infrastructures. I wanted to have a reason to complain if the unimaginable becomes imaginable. And indeed, it is imaginable; Alhaji Yar’Adua has become the next Nigerian president curtsey of OBJ and INEC and their “do or die” testimonies.

Immediately after the elections, there was grave silence, Nigerians who were before now, shouting and screaming of fire and brimstone became dumb folded. No one believed the election results. No one thought it was possible to declare such flagrant betrayal of human decency. It was simply impossible and we were witnessing the possible impossible!

The eight years of OBJ’s term, eight wasted years of PDP steering confusions in this country, Nigeria thinking that there would be a new wave of opinion, a new dispensation, a new people at the helm of affairs, a new focus to correct NEPA; eight years of taking a leap forward and several steeps backward now meant nothing. The wholesome election meant that much more than 70 percent of Nigerians are happy with the state of affairs in Nigeria. Incredible; simply incredible!

Since after the April 2007 elections, as I look at OBJ on television or see his pictures inside the pages of the newspapers, my frustrations and anger are without limits. How can this man, who sang, that “our flag shall be a symbol, that truth and justice reign” how can he stand before the same flag and abuse truth and insults justice? How can this man mortgage our future with such ease and without any remorse? The ideas of our founding fathers; was for every leader, every man holding governance in trusts for some electorates to “hand onto our children a banner without stain.” Why is Obasanjo handing over a blood stained flag with the slain blood of innocent Nigerians and those who guiltily demanded for their rights both electoral and fundamental rights!

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Dele A. Sonubi May 24, 2007 - 2:51 pm

Dear Gbolade Sonubi (same name?) No, unfortunately I do not have any US distributor. but if you reach me directly and give me your mailing address, i can have copies sent to you. And if shola, the adminstrator of this site should say you are a regular on the site, who knows i might just send you copies free and with autographs.


gbolade sonubi May 24, 2007 - 2:18 pm

like to get my hands on your

novels. Any US distributors?

dele4you2@yahoo.com May 15, 2007 - 3:44 am

Thank you sir for your comments. I quite agree with your views that action speaks louder than words. but its only words, and words are all i have- to remind history of the errors of today. and my dear; curses do work. the yoruba will say; "iyan ogun odun si gbona felifeli" the pounde yam of 20 years is still as fresh as ever. my curses will remain fresh until they are ready to take effects. I had spoken those words and nigerians will see revenge one day. I cannot carry arms (there are others equiped and good at that) I cannot go to jail (there are many who dont care) but I can write and that is what i try not to get tired of.

Again thanks for your views. I respect them a lot


Anonymous May 14, 2007 - 11:08 pm

What is "truth"? Mr Sonubi. You live in Lagos (Surulere) and elections in that part of Nigeria was free and fair. True winners were declared in State Assembly, Federal Assembly and Gubernatorial in Lagos. Even the Presidential results in Lagos were authentic and you have not disclosed in this piece who you think won the Presidency against whom Yar'Adua rigged. Could it have been Buhari? Could it have been Atiku, whose victory in Lagos was lanslide?

The Yoruba idea of "epe" has never resolved anything. Since the day you pronounced curse on Abiola's killers what has happened to them? If President George Bush had sat down in the White House and pronounced curse upon Sadam Hussein or Osama Bin Ladin, would he still be alive today? If Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu had pronounced curse on Igbo killers in 1966 would he still be alive today? Just as you have reported what you did to get registered and vote, report something you did to remedy the "rigging" (But you must first define who rigged against who. You cannot just say like the iconoclasts – "cancel the whole election".)

If you feel so mad about Obasanjo (1999-2007) or about 2007 Elections, take action – ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS. God helps those who help themseves and faith without works is …. Nigeria's problem is that those who should act are full of words but words have never changed things as ilustrated in the above examples. You will witness credible elections in this country by the Grace of God but you must work towards it, it doesn't just happen! Those public servants who have stolen will have to be prosecuted by Ribadu becuse your "ogun"'s justice is not observable etc etc


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