War Is Not The Answer

“What we are witnessing today is not too different from what happened during my administration as head of state….We need to pray and work with the government to ensure that this ugly cycle of violence comes to an end so that the unity of Nigeria is not threatened. It is therefore imperative for the government to deal with the spate of violence sweeping through the country so that this country can remain as one united entity,” – Dr. YAKUBU GOWON; Nigeria’s former Head of State

…we had the opportunity of fighting a civil war, So, we saw it all – from the beginning… We were in battle…We saw the consequences of war and we are now praying that we should not have a second civil war. There is no country that has gone through civil war twice… that survived it…Retired GENERAL DIPO DIYA

Lately, we have been hearing louder rants of impending belligerence and deafening noise from the tom-tom of wars beaten by certain people in Nigeria. The charged and tense atmosphere which appears like a screaming signage of a dangerously- looming feud makes me tremor endlessly in concern, fear and apprehension of what the future holds for this country. Nigeria is on the precipitous escarpment and on a free-fall into the abyss of unquenchable self-set inferno. All the talks from coast-to-coast and region-to region are tough and taunting; they are also threatening and treacherous.

I hear militants in both the North and the South on television and radio blustering and bragging about how they intend to subdue their enemies. Gunshots are rattling in far-away forests, bombs are booming in busy cities, and there is confusion pervading the landscape. The North wants to go to the Cameroon, The South-west wants to stand alone, the Niger Delta wants the oil to itself, and the South East wants out of the amalgamation. The auditorium where the ongoing national conference is taking place is filled wall-to-wall with shrieks, shouts, holler of hate, resistance speeches and dumb demands. The colloquy now serves as a standing mirror through which Nigeria truly sees itself. The Western world’s ‘prophetic’ word that Nigeria will cease to exist in 2015 seems to be fast coming to fulfillment, while the lunatic mercantilists in our midst who profit from troubling times are counting down to a big pay-day that we pray will never come.

Those who are fanning embers of resentment and hate may have no understanding of the grimness of the grave they are digging. Nigeria’s death, God forbid, will be painful, gory, sorry, and there will be gnashing of teeth. Those who want the oil and precious metals will be spitting and dancing on Nigeria’s grave and later write memoirs about a foolish people from a foolish country who never really appreciate how good God has been to them, and who never understand that what should bring them together are much more than what poles them apart.

Before the first shot is fired, let’s think and rethink over again. In wars, victory and defeat are both too bitter. Everybody will lose precious things and people, and never will the landscape remain the same. These are the realities we face. Anyone who thinks these times are about one person must be on opium. This will not be about President Jonathan, but about the Leviathan called ‘WAR’ with which we must be ready to wrestle and win.

Did you see the carnage that occurred in the aftermath of the bomb-blast in Nyanya? Did you see how bodies were scooped up like decaying meat-loaf unto filthy rickety vehicles meant to be ambulances? Did you see the horror in the eyes of onlookers many of whom have never set eyes on blood until that day? When the first shot is fired in this war we feel its hover in the air, the result will be 1,000 times worse than that!

I heard that the number of Nigerian green-card applicants in the US is growing as Millionaire and Billionaire Nigerians are sneaking their subjects outside of the war-zone ahead of the “day of judgment”. Your leaders who began all of this, the greedy loonies, the thieving rascals, the gluttonous goons and geeks who care nothing about the common man will be in the comfort of their homes in Chicago, New-York, Texas and Tennessee -with their children, and their first, second, third wives enjoying the loots from Nigeria.

Pastors and Imams who are not telling us the truth and who are not preaching words that will solder us together, but only speak words that will bind them and their families to freebies of stolen money will relocate to London, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Iran where they already have branches of their church and mosque. And the peons in Nigeria will remain in peonage; the helpless will be without help, the homeless will still have no homes, and the hungry will still be hungrier than ever before because farmers are no longer farming, and the Gari sellers have nothing to sell because of war. Millions of Nigerians who can’t run will be trapped in the mayhem and the outbreak of pandemic and epidemic that will follow.

Someone may say that Boko-Haram has already fired the first shot. No, that is a rehearsal of the monumental monstrosity knocking on our doors. ‘Intellectuals’ speaking big grammar on TV and blogs today will not fight, politicians will not, clerics will not, those who are egging us on to fight will not. Rich people don’t fight wars; they just watch them like movies. But the robbed and the pillaged will be recruited to fight in a battle they never started, they will die and their bodies will be scooped up like decaying meat-loaf for mass burial in lonely jungles.

Those who have entry visas to other countries will scurry out, but when they get to the countries of their intents, doctors among them will become cab-drivers, bank CEOs will become security guards, and nurses will become horses that exploiters of labor will ride smiling to the bank.

When Ghanaians were in economic trouble in the 70s, they ran to Nigeria and we welcomed them. When Liberians got in deep mess, Nigeria was the sanctuary and they were welcomed. I know South Africans who made Nigeria home when apartheid stung them hard. If the pangs of war besiege Nigeria, we will have few choices of countries in which we take refuge. Nigeria and Nigerians are hated by many countries, and this is true! Words of wisdom and cautions from those who have been through wars in times past are largely ignored and the sages among us are considered wimps who don’t know how to fight for their rights. WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER, Nigeria! Late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo once said something to the effect that the consequences of breaking up of Nigeria would be too traumatic to even think about. My name is Fola Ojo, and I approve that message.

Those who clamor for war are protesting injustice and tough lives in a land flowing with milk and honey. They are protesting thirst amidst plenteous sweet water that they have no access to, and they all know there is enough to go around. The average Nigerian dies ten-thousand times daily under harsh conditions brought about by misrule that has always been our story. Our leaders are like Biblical Pharaoh who loved to keep people in servitude. Until the tormented wakes up, the tormentor will continue to wreak pain. Nigerians have not made the demand for change hard enough. Until we hit the streets and make life tough for them, life may continue to be tough for all in the hands of these strange people we call leaders. War is not the answer, we are!

THIS IS STRAIGHTUP TALK!

Written by
Fola Ojo
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