The Intimacy of Nigerians With Their Woes -By J. Ezike

Filed under: Global Issues |

Late in December 2015, precisely on the 21st, I had arrived India from South America and the Caribbean shores after seventeen months spent in over seven countries within both continents as a student, an immigrant and an adventurer.  In Bangalore city I intended, as a foreigner, to study. A crowded place, about twelve million people, somewhat a relatively diverse city, spiritual at the heart of its base and a completely unique world of its own.  Of course I had slung on my shoulder bags of the past and motile dreams racing down the road upon which my spirit and the foreign dust had fused and my footprints embedding its survival on the timeline of Indian history. My hope for a soul-lifting experience leaped to my command. And I was certain in all honesty that the incredible land I had occupied and planted my young being had in its store a chest of surprises.

I knew little about India but perhaps much about Gandhi. And what posed as the opening cultural shock was the very essence of the people’s collective pursuit of the ascetic, the sacred and the ecclesiastical. In Bangalore, to be spiritual is to be human. Such epiphany gave me the immediate, inside-view grasp of an aspect of “humanitarian mentality” that secularists with their conformists normally do not get. And, perhaps most importantly, it carved me into a rebellious sculpture whose breath reeked of a volatile combination of explosive emotion, abiding temper and philosophical inclination of central significance to a violent country like Nigeria whose federal conscience I deemed a rotten corpse and whose colossal wickedness I desired to conquer!


J. Ezike


The disvirgining of the pliant-self came to the fore, when in Bangalore a popular indignation of overwhelming magnitude took hold of me and in the literal sense stole the vestiges of my gentlemanly demeanor, leaving me ideologically naked on the graceless path of righteous insanity and one would be terribly mistaken to interpret my innocuous smile and phlegmatic exuberance as gentility.

My arrival in India was the turning point so far as my revolutionary journey was concerned. Bangalore had opened up its deep-seated mysteries to my soul, probably more than any country within the six continents that played host to these two exploring feet of mine. And in each country I graced, I met people, a motley crew of zealots, trendsetters and explorers. From an up-close rally for a venal President in Guyana, to a brief spiritual encounter with a Satguru in India. From a one-on-one trial with uptown music producer of Warner Bros in England to thousands of five-pointed brass stars on Hollywood Walk of Fame in the United States. From an impromptu date with politically-charged Rastafarians in Antigua and Barbuda, to a sporting session with hero-inspired footballers of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Oh yes, I met “people” of all kinds, of all levels, of all fields – all through the six continents and over fourteen countries where I had asserted my footprints.

To anyone who identified himself as a Nigerian and had left the purview regardless the length of time and place of embarkment, the deep psychological bias of the passport is unmistakable. Today, the word “Nigerian” is used metaphorically to mean “criminal,” “looter,” “scammer,” “terrorist,” or “big fool.” A population of prideful simpletons whose false sense of patriotism could be comparable to a flock of sheep braying a pledge of commitment and eternal friendship to a jungle lion.  With minds shadowed by foul hope, malarial and thoughtless, in a cesspit burrowed deeper into hell’s canal. And the repercussive consequences designed to inform us of our sheepishness, yet, we had failed to listen but to live in pretense of a life cropped from an intense, long nightmare.  And so we wandered in that piteous cycle, unconsciously extending the electricity of suffering and misery to the unborn generations who in their distant place of waiting, had their mouths cursing the organic stupidity of their ancestors and protesting to be left isolated, away, from the hell they seemed foredoomed to know as Nigeria.

In every country I visited, in every foreign city I transited, in every continent I occupied, “Nigerians” poured out from all angles to represent the tragedy of their ill-fated, serf-driven nationality. For them, and to a certain degree, heaven was made in abroad and hell was made in Nigeria. And so they became intruders, unwelcomed visitors who styled themselves as survivors of economic and political blows and found no better resolution to their maladies than self-removal from the hell they had inherited from their ancestors who couldn’t develop the spine to roar across their innermost convictions and dispute the reality of their fate. And by biological principle, they became the genetic products of their timid progenitors.

I don’t know which is more disgusting; the self-denial of our hopeless existence as Nigerians or the hopeful exuberance for a better Nigeria.

I had always said that I wasn’t BORN to write. Rather, I was MADE to write. The society of my childhood conjured THE WRITER out of me. The silence amidst the consuming wickedness had become a slow death. But death would be sweeter in the tongue of the corpse that spoke his truth.

Everywhere else I had been in England, in Scotland, in India and more latterly in the United States, I saw a Nigerian presuming a privileged occupancy. Living away from the mess offered a sort of relief, especially to the passport bearers of the space they had occupied and thus, carried the triumphant air of the Olympic champion with his medaled chest and a trophy clinched to both plinths. But no matter the degree of their citizenship, they can never be more American than the Americans, they can never be more British than the Britons.

The whole complexion of Nigerianhood was apt to take a microscopic examination outside its local purview. Of course we did not deserve such perfect, stereotypical scrutiny of character or the judgmental description of morals however, what we surely deserved was the federal abuse of our citizenry rights. For we nurtured the trend of injustices with a certain kind of stupidity that would fit into the fabric of a Tragicomedy.

Imagine a Nigerian runaway, a foreign passport seeker and a privileged occupant in a foreign country still chanting “One Nigeria!” but when nudged to return to his “One Nigeria,” lost the rhythm of his heart beat in a rapid speed viable enough to provoke cardiac arrest. And most foreign-based, “Nigerian” intellectuals were complicit to this line of logic that reeked of hypocrisy, if not outright stupidity!

The popular notion: “There is no place like home” did not apply to Nigeria – I meant, not the Nigeria in West Africa.

In Nigeria, to be alive was to live in man-made hell. And even the pompous patriots relished the fantasy of wonderland. The praise of everyday mediocrity was in line with the typical Nigerian mentality that sought to contract their consciousness into pathetic slumber. And these irrational efforts to preserve and to serve the Ordure World of the Unspeakable were what baffled their gods.

How could a marriagble young man still full of life and endowed with a long promising future pledge to Nigeria through an initiation into Rambo cult – a death by military service? Why would anybody in his right frame of mind be eager to make a good impression to a country that was determined to make a living corpse out of him, to damage the cosmology of his fortune?

This intimacy of Nigerians with their woes was more than imaginative. My son, it was real!

In the dozens of “people” I met in Bangalore, a decamped, Russian-trained Igbo-Nigerian soldier of the Special Forces was in the mix. Of course, his identity shall be ghosted in this piece. This is not an intention to submit his “long confessional truths” of his grave experiences in Sambisa Forest and the Calculus of Complicities from the High Command, but to grant his wish by offering a brief proverbial counsel to the sheepish troops of Southern Nigeria.

They say; a word is enough for the wise. Therefore, I will make my submission very short and simple.

The premeditated open butchering of unsuspecting Nigerian soldiers of MOSTLY Igbo and Yoruba extraction at the infamous Metele military camp in Borno was simply a coordinated, orchestrated and manu-scripted jihad.

Question: Who are complicit to the butchering of these young officers?

Answer: Brutai and his Fulani military are complicit.

Now, if after knowing this fact of criminal collusion based on a “reliable source” and yet still rock-ribbed in the compulsory duty of service to the Nigerian military and with an Igbo or Yoruba or Christian coloration to your profile,  and within the age of conscription and retirement, then, know it that your early funeral is in the offing.

To pledge to Nigeria is not by force. To be faithful and loyal to Nigeria is not a duty. Being a Nigerian is what, stampeding for survival in a jungle of carnivores and herbivores exemplified.

And yes, my son, the “focused dissenting” by a set of groups (IPOB and LNC) engrossed in a common flow of language and belief was the only reasonable duty of civil proportion.