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RETURN TO YOUR ROOTS

Kenneth Amabipi

As usual, the Parliamentary Hall of the People of the Waterfronts was full to capacity well before the appointed time to begin the deliberation for the day. Engrossed in their thoughts, the People of the Waterfronts sat down on their seats, waiting for the appointed time to begin their deliberations. The ways of the People of the City are getting worse and worse. The People of the Waterfronts have been proffering solutions for the intolerable silly ways of the People of the City, but it was like pouring water at the back of a duck. It simply slids down without impact.

It was not that the People of the Waterfronts have much time to spare. No, every night to they go out for fishing and naturally they would love to sleep throughout the day time. Yet, the silly ways of the People of the City would not allow them to have a deserved rest. Injibabo, the Fisherman of the Waterfronts, for example, have never let darkness catch him at home. He leaves the house very early in the evening for the sea, unmindful of the feelings of his frustrated wife. She sleeps alone every night, wondering if fishes could not be caught during the day, except at night. She has protested profusely, but her husband who has reversed the order of nature, has made the day his night and the night his day. Now the silly ways of the People of the City have deprived him of lying beside his wife in the day, which is actually his night. There was even a day this deprivation of sleep because of finding solutions to the evil ways of the People of the City made him to dose off as he passed the third promontory, making him to fail to pour a drop of the local white brew to solicit for the help of Odumodu, the great ancestor of the People of the Waterfronts, it was a painful day for him, caused by the deprivation of sleep during the day which he has turned to his night.

Steeped in their thoughts, the People of the Waterfronts did not know when the appointed time came. It was the rising up of the Oldman of the Waterfronts that brought them to reality. They watched him stretch his left hand, picking up the bottle of the local white brew, while his right hand went for the little glass cup. He filled the little glass cup and began his call on the ancestors.

“Odumodu he who dwells at the domain between the land and the sea, great ancestor of the People of he Waterfronts, we greet you. We have always acknowledged your presence and in-turn, you have never forsaken us. Take, drink and let us always find favour in your eyes. A woman’s tender care can never cease towards the child she bears. We cherish your care. Take, drink and guide us. Let the People of the City return to their roots. Let them remember their ancestors. Let them remember the ways of their great grandfathers, the ways of their grand fathers and the ways of their fathers. That is the only way to return to their roots. It was said that all must remember their creator in the days of their youths. So must all remember their roots before they become stultified with their silly and nauseating ways.

“Otumogugu, Favourite of the Maidens, he who goes in and out of the Maidens, take and drink. We need your help. The People of the City must know their roots. That is the only cure for their silly ways.

“Osokolo, another Favourite of the Maidens, he who pursues the Maidens out of the Waterfronts, take, drink and join your co-ancestors to redirect the footsteps of the People of the City”.

The Oldman of the Waterfronts emptied the little glass cup, refilled it and gulped it down his throat. He allowed the bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup to go round the hall and they all took a glassful, each.

The Lady of the Waterfronts was the first to indicate her intention to speak and she was allowed. She sat down and made her contribution. The People of the Waterfronts respect womanhood and so would not have them standing while speaking in a gathering of men and women.

“People of the Waterfronts, I greet you all. Grandpa has actually got the solution for the silly ways of the People of the City. They must return to their roots. That is the only cure. They must retrace their steps. Of course, I will not be surprised if they misunderstand this call for them to return to their roots. Their warped minds will not see the simple meaning of the message. They will think it is a curse for one to be told to return to one’s roots. It is not and we must educate them.

“Grandpa, you offered the solution at the right time. The world has just celebrated the World Tourism Day. The theme was “Tourism Linking Culture”. The People must understand that they are just being told to return to their culture. They must return to the ways of their Forefathers. What is culture, if not the way you do your thing, the way you eat, the kind of cloths you wear, the way you behave and even think? If the People of the City will go back to the ways of their fathers, they will not carry out the atrocities they now perpetrate every day. It is this lack of respect for culture that made some insane students of a University to gang-rape a girl and even video it for others to see. It is an abomination. The silly boys must be fished out and taught a few lessons. If they are allowed to go free, others will imitate their horrible steps. It is an abuse of womanhood and must not be allowed to be swept under the carpet. They must find their roots”.

It was Angaladikibo, the Watcher of the Mangroves that got up to speak when the Lady of the Waterfronts ended her speech.

“People of the Waterfronts, of a truth, Grandpa has hit the nail on the head. The People of the City must return to their roots. It is only by imbibing the positive ways of their grandfathers that the People of the City will behave like normal human beings with conscience. Our Lady here has just mentioned the shameful act of some ill-breed students, but there are adults among the People of the City that must be told to think less of themselves, especially when they are placed in positions of authority.

“Take for example, the recent action of the members of the House of Representatives. These honourable legislators never think twice before increasing their welfare packages. However, when issues concerning the welfare of the masses come to them they dilly-dally and give several reasons why immediate action should not be taken. A motion to reduce the high rate of rent inAbujawas tabled by their fellow member. Just because they are the owners of the houses charging the terrible rentage, They would not hear of it. The gentleman wanted his colleagues to prevail on the Federal Government to construct massive low income houses in partnership with the private sector. The idea was to make houses affordable to the residents. The motion was entitled, “Unbearable High Cost of Rents on Accommodation in theFederalCapitalTerritory, (FCT)”. Of course, they would not hear of it. If they had learnt the ways of their fathers, they would not have been so selfish”.

As Angaladikibo sat down, Okolobo, He of the Creeks, got up to speak.

“Thank you Grandpa for advising the People of the City to go back to their roots. It is very necessary. Now we hear daily of the menace of the dreaded Boko Haram. The audacity of the group is unimaginable. Despite several atrocities committed by them, their leader said they would still continue unless severe punishment is meted out to the killers of its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, their destroyed places of worship rebuilt, their detained members released and compensation given for their destroyed properties.

Can you imagine that after several atrocities carried out by this group, they still demand for compensation? We now hear that they have foreign backing. The Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika has just stated that ‘involvement of foreigners in Boko Haram’s terrorist activities in Nigeria is certain. It is definite that the group receives training and possibly funding from some foreign elements. This is evident from the type of weapons we have captured from them, from the type of communication equipment we have captured from them and from the expertise they have displayed in the preparation of improvised explosive devices. These are pointers to the fact that there is foreign involvement in the terrorism going on in Nigeri’. The only solution is for the People of the City to return to their roots”.

Silence fell on the Parliamentary Hall. The Oldman of the Waterfronts swallowed a glassful of the local white brew and allowed the bottle of the bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup to go round.#####

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