THE GOLDEN MYSTERY OF THE CONCEPT OF LIFE: A Problem with Nigeria.
Arc. Bankat, FCT.
There’s hardly a single individual who can pride himself with the knowledge of all of life and its mysteries. None existed, none does and and future is bleak for such an accomplishment. Life in itself, pulls strings on the universal odds at the mercy of an ultimate concept of a surreal presence.
Atheists and scientists coming up with theories, concepts, evidences, empirical decisions and baffling facts about the absence of the supremacy of an Almighty body that controls every bit of activity on the planet. Yet, when a staunch physicist visited outer space once in 1971 and at the powerful sight of the planet earth suspending by itself regardless of gravity with a view of Ray of sunlight, he had but two words to say… He said…..”I believe”…. All the proven and earthly “thoughts” that existed in his mind prior to the trip, took a wild twist of fate and since, he believed in the concept of GOD.
We go through various experiences in the life of our country, regardless of the reality of critical and universal “truths”, which has occurred repeatedly in all aspects of our existence. History has been a rough street to visit through our sojourn and an exploitation of such an avenue, can erase a huge chunk of our current realities.
Political arithmetics, religious persuasions, ethnic nationalities, amongst other affiliations, has left us more divided than coerced according to the “business strategy” of our colonial masters. A clear-cut image of strained relations. A tamed beast of interests. A molten prism.
Years later, this beast is woken gradually by our ‘actions’ and ‘inactions’. Our outbursts. Our silence. Our injustice. Our politics.
I take through history, the case of Martin Niomöller (1892 – 1984). One of the earliest Germans to talk publicly about broader complicity in the Holocaust and guilt for what had happened to the Jews. A prominent protestant pastor, an outspoken public enemy of Adolf Hitler, Who spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.
Niomöller, best remembered for the quotation:
“First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak, because I was not a Jew. Then the Catholics, then the Communists, and I did not speak because I was none of those.
And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak for me.”
(M. Niemöller, 1892-1984)
Nonetheless, his point was that the Germans,in particular, he believed, the leaders of the protestant Churches, had been complicit through their SILENCE in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and the murder of millions of people.
In his book, “GUILT AND HOPE” which appeared in 1946, Niemöller wrote, “Thus, whenever I chance to meet a Christian, I can not but tell them, ‘Dear friend, I stand in front of you, but we can not get together, for there is guilt between us. I have sinned and my people have sinned against thy people and against thyself”
This I found inspiring and the essence of the past, is to address the present and improve the future. We, as a Country, have fallen short of compassion and our silence to injustice and evil meted out on our brothers, sisters, fathers, the old, the young, the children and our women. Killings everywhere but we remain SILENT because “we are not one of them”. Crises everywhere but we are SILENT because “It has not gotten to us yet”. Persecution everywhere but we are SILENT because “It has not affected our own yet”. We defend political tyranny because “A profit from it trickles down to our interests”. When the drum beats at us, Who will be left to speak for us? A deep call to conscience.
It may be the Agatu today but Tiv tomorrow. It may be Southern Kaduna today but the Plateau tomorrow. It may be PDP today but APC tomorrow. It may be the Igbos today but Fulanis tomorrow. It may be the Boko Haram today but Farmers and Pastoralists tomorrow. It may be Dino Melaye and Jang today but Amaechi and Dambazzau tomorrow.
No one knows tomorrow but we are certain from the past, and today is what we have to learn to make tomorrow a bed of roses for ourselves and our kids and their’s too.
We have become so divided that a thought of ‘Peace’ seems to exist only with the memories of dinosaurs and what we have left is just but ‘Order’. The world is breaking. The beast is awake and the strengths we share is gone with the same wind that is harnessing our weaknesses. For when the trumpet sounds, Who else will be left out?
Arc. Bankat, FCT.
May 12, 2018.
(In memory of my late Mother’s birthday)
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