Today I’m 51, it should be a privilege. I’m grateful to all who made it worthwhile, particularly my Matriarch, my wife & kids. It should call for celebration but I’m afraid not.
For the first time in my life I’m enveloped by frustration and genuine fear for my country, Nigeria. I’ve lost most of the liberties I took for granted while growing up.
I remember growing up with Fulanis in my backyard & rearing cattle with them, the moonlight adventures in the village that sometimes lasted till down with no fears whatsoever. I remember as a student how many times we slept on the way to Maiduguri due to vehicular breakdowns with no fear whatsoever.
I remember when as fresh graduate we looked forward to night trips to the North from Lagos. We would leave Lagos at 4pm, have a stop at Hotel Labamba at Oyo town and Jebba to arrive Kaduna in the morning. I remember running my tank dry once on the Abuja express during the infamous fuel scarcity era at midnight with my whole family in the car. Helpless & exhausted, we just slept in the car till morning but we’re woken up by commercial bus driver in the morning who stopped to offer help.
But things began to go wrong.
The Fulanis in my backyard have all left, I cannot visit Maiduguri. In 2011 our flight made a stopover at Maiduguri airport & the passengers onboard almost beat the crew up. In 2012 I escaped a bomblast narrowly in Yola and few weeks after i was arrested with many others & detained for 9hrs because I went to collect items sent from Lagos at the Jambutu motor park not knowing the police station next to the park had been bombed that night.
Today my home is on fire & I can’t even visit.
I spent the whole night asking myself what did we do wrong? Do we deserve this? What can we do? Nigeria is degenerating & will continue on a downward spiral unless everyone of us realises that we are all in this together & reaches out to his neighbours, colleagues, friends, enemies etc for reconciliation, confession, forgiveness & restitution that brings healing.
Together we can make Nigeria great. Thanks.