Column

I Shall Fear Not Evil

The greatest appetizer critics and fearless writers have are the empty threats of idle men who believe that the only way to survive in this negligently driven State called Nigeria is by sycophancy and slavish loyalty to unconscionable self-serving politicians. Indeed, threats have become our blood tonic.

Nothing strengthens me to write than when one idiot calls me to say, why did you write against my ‘oga’? “You go see”, we will deal with you’ etc.

One of which came into my phone when I wrote on the topic, ‘MUCH ADO ABOUT ZONING: WHO IS AFRAID OF DR. GOODLUCK JONATHAN? Two weeks after that article was published, those fools who called me to say that they were or are northerners and that they would teach me a lesson do not understand that their threats are my courage. The latest is coming into my phone after my article of last week entitled, “A government in the wrong hands” The Bible says ‘FEAR NOT for over 350 times and these are the scriptures I read so much. Why then should I fear? Fear faceless illiterates? Not G.K. GIRIGIRI. I shall rather play an Oliver Twist for more threats. So let them continue to threaten, while I continue to write. Writing is my vocation; it is my calling; it is like advocacy or teaching. I can’t leave this trinity of writing, advocacy and teaching. I pray they too should continue to threaten since that has become their own business and stock in trade. But one day perhaps, they shall end up threatening to fall the heavens, since they are idle.

I have stated before that I started writing since 1995 in my Secondary School days (SS3) and it is too late for any blunt headed foetus to stop me or stop the flow of my pen. I have crossed the go-slow of threats or call it fear.

If people like Gani Fawehinmi, Wole Soyinka, Tai Solarin, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Dappa Biriye and their likes were barricaded by threats we would not be where we are today. We write to liberate the people from the shackles of poverty, slavery, political blindness, economic oppression, social misdirection, ethnic marginalization and cultural retrogressions. Our aim is to achieve socio-political cum economic regeneration, political rebirth and over-all, national transfiguration. We in the pen industry are not comfortable with the way things happen in this country. A country so endowed with men of courage, abounding in intellectually sound human resources is now led and controlled by social misfits, political riff-raffs and morally bankrupt individuals. Those who are ready to sell this country by their lust for wealth.

You can imagine a politician who claims to have the peoples’ mandate siphoning the peoples’ money into his own private or family business, whereas the people die of hunger. Is that not madness? Our so-called leaders do not have conscience or their consciences could be likened to that of a rat or tiger. They are heartless and wicked. In some Local Government Areas since 2005, there has never been a flash of electricity and the Chairmen are busy telling the world that they are the Messiahs of the people. Meanwhile, all these Local Government Chairmen and infact, they have abandoned their people in the villages to live in Port Harcourt and built mansions while the people die in silence. The people are actively living in celebrated darkness but so fearful to complain so they would clap their hands for the Chairmen in their pains wondering who will bell the cat. The enlightened class in the Local Governments cannot talk because they are begging for a contract or getting their returns. The youths cannot complain, because they are used as thugs during elections, the women cannot say anything because they invite them to dance for a big politician’s wife anytime she comes to praise the Chairmen. My people are really suffering.

All the welders and other technicians have gone to the creeks because of lack of empowerment to help them practise their trades and a general dearth of infrastructure. Imagine a situation whereby we buy common water even in the villages. My brother, the world has changed for evil. I was born when pipe-borne water was running in my village, then we had good desks in my Primary School. Teachers were most revered and respected. Then teachers enjoyed their profession and both pupils and students alike enjoyed the benefits of their teachers.

I was born when Pastors preached unpolluted gospel, when cultism was unknown, when prostitution was not common, when assassination was not heard of.

I met life blooming, when there was no crime as kidnapping and when the city of Port Harcourt was a beauty to behold. I met my village full of life and splendour where one was 100% safe.

I met life in wild lives. We were always going to fishing during holidays and then one could use bare hand to catch a fish at ebb. The creeks were communities of fishermen and dealers of fishes. Then the fishes were not weary in the mass production of their kinds because the waters were fertile not sterile.

Then, we would greet our elders and assist them whether or not we knew them before. Our elders would send us on an errand and we would go because our parents have taught us to respect our elders. Our teachers too have taught us in civic, our civic responsibilities and our duties to the entire community.

Then we would wake up about 4am to sweep the school compound and surroundings and we would do this gladly. We were taught to maintain a hygienic environment and remain neat. No wonder our teachers would conduct a routine check of our body, our shirts, our teeth, our finger nails, our hair etc.

The respect for our teachers was the beginning of wisdom.

Good morals were taught not only in the B.K. which was a core subject but as a virtue.

But today things have changed. Politicians have decided to use the youths as instrument of oppression, rigging, thuggery, violence etc. So all these virtues have lost their values. Things have fallen apart.

Politicians now initiate the youths into cultism, giving them guns, matchets, knives, axes, and other lethal weapons to take over power by force.

Our economic lives have also been destroyed; it is now a case of, “No Longer At Ease”.

All the don’ts have now become the rules. Brother now kills his own brother in the name of politics; in the name of communal crisis. Our entire ecosystem has been destroyed and communal life banished.

Even the villages are no longer safe. Kidnapping is now a big venture and militancy has dovetailed into a great company. Children now kidnap their parents to get rich. Pastors now preach adulterated sermons to win money and not to win souls. Pastors now ride in very expensive Jeeps and cruise around with party girls in the name of God. So churches and political parties now adorn every street.

Young ladies now give birth for sale. Fathers now sleep with their own daughters and girls sleep with dogs. Mothers and their daughters now sleep with the same men as a lucrative business.

Landlords now sell a single land to two purchasers and some judges and Magistrates now sell justice in the open market. Merit now goes for Federal character and whom one knows and not what one knows.

Parents now write promotion examinations for their children and threaten teachers to ensure their children pass. Indiscipline has taken over the polity. Students kill their fellow students.

Electoral malpractice and examination malpractice have become our culture and the virtue of honesty and patriotism are given to dogs. Inflation, corruption, nepotism, tribalism, favouratism, gangsterism, voodooism, and jujuism are now celebrated in high places.

What a world? These are the reasons we continue to write. This is why we lament with our pens everyday to see whether there can be any change. But all we receive from the society are threats. Anyway, from very few decedent and recalcitrant elements who are doomed as slaves to unconscionable politicians.

How do we now change? I have been saying it that Nigerians are a bunch of very difficult people. Only Nigerians live with their misfortunes with a fortitude that all is well when infact, they are dying. The same people we write to liberate and expose their corrupt leaders are the same people that resist civilization and liberation. We behave as if we are under a spell in this country. This is madness indeed.

Does it mean that Nigerians are comfortable under modern slavery? A country that is buffeted with photo insecurity. A country that parades security agencies who are but agents of insecurity. A country that politicians steal the people’s mandate in broad daylight and commit crimes with impunity.

May I sound it loud and clear to all good and bad people of this country that threats cannot be a hindrance to the flow of my pen. I shall continue to write until there is a great change, and in doing so I shall fear no evil. ###

Barr. Gideon Kpoobari Girigiri

08036784327

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