Yesterday I got a warning: They are going kill you, Chuma. Stop writing all those things!
There it is in the open: the fear of Death. The Fear that keeps millions of us stashed in our cages like battery hens. It doesn’t mean that we won’t die of course. Or that we’ll die later, or in our beds perhaps. Oh no. We’ll die daily, ghastly deaths forever. Like battery hens, we’ll be cut off in the prime of our lives at the convenience of the Tribe of Theives.
Today, a thousand of us will die on death roads, in pain more grievous than a hail of assassins’ bullets. Will die on roads that termite-leaders will never fix because their budgets are piped into private bank accounts. Will die because we are afraid to die.
Tomorrow, a thousand more will die in hospital rooms. They will die more agonizing deaths than you could wish on your worst enemy. They will die for avoidable conditions that pipe-borne water would have prevented, that basic equipment, cheap pills could have cured. But they are not in the league that can jet off to foreign hospitals. They will die because we are afraid to die.
How many more will be killed by armed robbers, kidnappers and rioters? How many more by tax-payer-funded extra-judicial killings? We live in a land where the only security that is worth its name are the bullet-proof limosines escorted by sirened outriders that run tax-payers off the streets.
So of course they were going to kill me, that is why I write these things.
We all have cousins, parents, siblings, children and neighbours that have already been slaughtered as a direct consequence of the greed of a tiny group. Yet we will only grumble, we will never act. We have values, clear African values of fairness and justice, of the protection of the stranger and the defenceless… and yet dozens of us will watch mutely while armed ‘navy officers’ on a civilian street assault an innocent, defenceless, girl. We stay mute when it is her turn. They will stay mute when it is our turn.
Today is the time to wake up. I do not have a deathwish, and I do not call on Nigerians to die. I call on Africans to make an effort to actually live before the death that is the promise of all flesh finally comes. I do not call on Nigerians to kill their corrupt, reprobate, leaders. I call on them to KICK them emphatically out of office and influence. As Africans, the time has come to take back our land from the last colonists. We must build the boldness of that conviction.
This is not a socialist rant. I firmly believe in the right of people to work hard, earn whatever they are motivated to earn. And keep what they earn. But we must prioritise our communities. I do not believe that national budgets should be annually stolen while the true owners of the money die like beggars because they are afraid to die.
What To Do:
We have been mentally colonised into thinking that this is our lot. It is not. We have a great destiny. As a country, as a continent, let us get over this crippling fear in the name of God. This fear that keeps a tribe of a thousand thieves lord and master of a hundred million. For even the brooding hen will fight for her chicks. However futile the battle against the eagle, she will fight for her young. Spunk is the outstanding attribute of the African spirit.
Let us rediscover it.
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