Long before now, I have been carrying the inclination that I am going to write this piece but now I have the conviction of time to do it expressly. This is not an indictment on any religion or a section of the country. In fact, it is a pointer to all of us— globally—that everything is about to go down, if nothing is done in the quickest time possible.
I used to patronize one Brother Adamu. He was introduced into the compound by my landlord. He does some chores for us in the compound but for me I only allow him clean my jalopy. Many times I had to settle him even beyond what a typical industrial car wash would charge and sometimes I defray the bill of his primary principal when I see him lurking around for too long, calling out when he’s done cleaning Alhaji’s cars in order to be settled. This guy deserves that daily pittance however you view it, especially when he works to earn it; I thought each time I saw him hanging there. Adamu is an industrious young man. He had sold me his shoe shining business though I never patronized him but I appreciate the adroit with which he carries the small case beating it to call the attention of any possible client. Adamu is striving, even when he tells you Ba Turenci , he puts his best to understanding whatever instruction you pass to him and he will deliver optimally.
Along the line I had a serious disagreement with Alhaji (on principle) that I was prepared to enforce my right in the Court of Law but somehow due to interventions here and there, we were able to reach a compromise. Then I called Adamu to come over to help get the car prepared as usual. Adamu jumped at it, rushed down to my compound, took all the needful from the muster point and got prepared to wash the car: then he was summoned by Alhaja, the wife of the landlord. Adamu was gone longer than normal and when he returned he just stood right there; he couldn’t utter a word, neither did he go back to the bucketful of soapy water to get done with what I invited him for. He just stood there and I got the message. I pressed: you wan wash or not? Adamu couldn’t respond. After a while he just walked out on me and I smiled. I took care of the car myself, in the first place I have always done the chore myself but I have to patronize Adamu for his own sustenance. After I finished washing the car and I realized that Adamu was still in the compound, I walked to where he was standing with Alhaja whom I suspected deliberately kept him company for the period I was washing the car, so he may not return to me. I offered half of what I had planned to give him if he had done the washing. Not that I had so much fund to play with, but I know Adamu needs help. His mind was just being exploited. Even though he may not have liked it, he couldn’t resist. It is possible he may have been told I am a Kaferi. The next morning I saw Adamu grumbling and when I asked what the problem is, he managed to explain to me that Alhaji hasn’t paid him for a very long time now. I pitied the young man who could have earned his full pay yesterday and possibly got a top-up, and also retain this customer. I could only wish him well and I drove off.
My mind went to those cheap recruits lurking around at the foot of the streets; young minds and energies that are left uncharted or underexplored. That’s why someone would see life as undeserving of them and would leave his or her supposed good life wherever in the world to join agents of destruction: ISIL, Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabbab, Boko Haram, etc.
The ongoing agitation by some youths in the South-East with a tag of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) calling for secession, threatening war and spotting some people as the enemies of their realization, led by one Mr Kanu who had been legally arrested at his arrival on the soil of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, precisely at the airport but, (truth be told) unconstitutionally kept in detention till now. Mr Kanu is a young man himself who had been exposed to sound education and quality life. He instigates untold hate from his base in the UK through one of his machinery of doom, RadioBiafra and he had doubled his effrontery to fly into the land he so much professed hate for and expected to be treated like a royal. At that point he can be taken to be a spy and rightly to be treated as one. The devil doesn’t get a fair trial when he touches God’s anointed.
I didn’t witness the Civil War just as so many of us but we have heard stories and follow histories; most recently, There Was A Country by Chinua Achebe. In some quarters Achebe was said to be fragmentally segmented in his depiction of the events in his piece but whatever he captured were actions I wouldn’t want to experience so I wonder if Mr Kanu truly loves the people he was trying to take with him to his ‘republic’.
The street protests I see have no elderly person joining the march, even though some of us may want to believe the ‘supporting’ elders are only taking the back seat for now and would come out to reap the usefulness of the roundtable after these young men and women have been used to test the venom of whatever clampdown may be necessary in dealing with such unruliness; I still wonder at the raw energies of these unchecked herd-followers.
A reasonable Nnamdi would not see a reason to burn down his own store even if he will agitate for a better space; he won’t stop taking customers to his small shed till he is able to turn it into a chain of stores, then work on becoming a hybrid of importer and exporter group of companies. Look everywhere, you will see my Biafran brothers and sisters doing well. They usually pursue their businesses peacefully so we need to start asking why the majority of them would allow the few fallow-minded ones amongst them to put all of them in a bad light. Despite many expositions that this Kanu guy is a fraud, many young men and women offer themselves as pliable tools for his acts of self-perpetuation disguised as a clarion call for a Biafran dream and actualization. Let no clannish Kanu mess you up.
No doubt the current political hegemony may be lopsided, but don’t be another foolish sect sporting for war when you can get things done within the purview of simple human reasoning. Don’t die for what you can’t even explain if you were asked at the gate of hell: what killed you?
No Victor No Vanquished is a bad memory.