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This Ramadan, Amnesty For Our Enemies: Anomie, Anaemia, Amnesia - The Cry Of National Dissolution In Nigeria

01 August 2012

By Abdulwarees Solanke

It cannot be denied that there is anomie in our land. When a nation, more than 50 years of attaining nationhood still thinks of national dissolution, rather than rebirth; when citizens see more of their differences rather than what unites them; when those who should proudly declare themselves as the future of the nation are already seeing themselves as a wasted generation; when yesterday's  leaders who should sit back in the comfort of their retirement to mentor new leaders still see themselves real players in the polity, then it becomes difficult for us to have a new beginning or the fresh start out of our national malaise.

This unfortunate situation has resulted in some discomfiting development rightly manifesting as anomie: a condition of hopelessness, according to the chambers 20th century dictionary, which is caused by breakdown of rules of conduct, and loss of belief and sense of purpose. The implication of this definition is that we have lost vision and direction in our nation. In a situation like this, drums of war are beaten; hate prevails in the land; there is mutual animosity and transferred aggression; everybody becomes an opportunist trying to cannibalize the carcass that the nation has become; the economy becomes the grazing ground for some deadly mercantilists; nobody cares to plant any seed, infinite as a mustard again; the best saw is found for the mighty oak on the field to strewn into pieces; the Gamji is uprooted not to be transferred or replanted but for its leaves to be plucked to make some tea; the fattest milk cow is butchered and roasted for suya and asun; the goose that lays the golden eggs is slaughtered for some saucy and spicy soup. Everybody comes to the slaughter slab of the nation with some shaka and bagco superbag to share the last bull that pulls the harvester on the farm. Pity all in the land! Nation builders become funeral undertakers. Infants and toddlers  who should be crying for breast milk are turned mourners in the cradle. It is a national tragedy!

In this misfortune of the rape of the nation and the economy mercilessly bled by those who should be its saviours and managers, everybody becomes anaemic, jaundiced, dishevelled, depressed, distressed, sick and gasping for breath. On death throes, can there be hope for such? Even if they manage to survive, it is not impossible that they cannot be recovered to their full senses; they suffer from an uncommon amnesia. They lose memory of the finest traditions and values of the past; they lose memory of the best practices and best examples from the immediate past and from other climes; they lose memory of the bright vision of the nation and the great prospects the nation had in the beginning.

When there is a collective amnesia in the land, hope is lost and right purposes are defeated. The beauty of nationhood is obliterated while the evils of diversity are magnified. The recipe for national collapse are collated and highlighted for everybody to cook the nation's downfall. In this anaemic state  and collective amnesia, more enemies of the state are sired to set the stage for war of national dissolution. But this resort is really not profitable for any nation.  

At a time China, a colossus, still romanticizes on the Chineseness of Taiwan, Hong Kong and even Singapore, a time South Korea dreams of the Korean reunification and when the history of Germany still plays out as a worthy example of unification, it is surely mad to advance the cause of Nigerian disintegration. Today, Europe celebrate its union, while the United States, a richly diverse continental shelf is proud of its oneness, yet vastness. Indonesia offers a very good case study of nationhood and diversity. An archipelago comprising more than 300 islands with diversity of languages and culture colonized the Dutch, Indonesia  had found its national bearing ever before its independence with the resolution at a Youth conference, declaring Indonesia as one indivisible and indissoluble nation with one national language, Bahasa Indosnesia, and not the language of the Dutch which colonized them.

The problem with Nigeria is not peculiar. What is peculiar to us is the lack of faith in ourselves. What is peculiar to us is our arrogance to one another. What is peculiar to us are our complexes, unfounded phobia and misdirected hatred towards ourselves. Nations are not built or reconstructed on phobia and  complexes, but on shared values, despite diversity, and common purpose despite differences.

It is the enemies of the nation who latch on differences and diversity of tribes, ethnicity, language and religion to play up centrifugal tendencies in the country. They sing the songs of war and speak the language of separation;  they remind the citizens of  the past odious wars of attrition. They are the funders and financiers of destruction of national assets, human and material causing distraction from the pursuit of national development.

Somehow, they may have some justifications from what they have suffered. But these are not sufficient to compromise the essence of unity and brotherhood of humanity. Nationhood is one of the paths to achieving the unity of mankind. As a student of the Quran, this is why I am always enthralled by a particular verse which suggests that the essence of the diversity of mankind is not for unnecessary competition and despise, but just identity. The best of you is he who fears God most, that verse concludes. This verse is amplified by a prophetic saying that the Arabs have no superiority over the non-Arabs, nor do the rich over the poor. There is an illustration of this  reality in the position of Bilal, an African of Abyssinian being the preferred muadhin in the time of the Prophet. When an Arab denigrated him because of skin and the incident got to the attention of the Prophet, the Prophet excoriated the Arab, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari for still possessing traces of jahilliyyah, ignorance, in him.

Celebration of tribalism and arrogation of ethnic superiority are all indications of ignorance. Liberated and enlightened beings discount such ignorant attitude towards one another. We are all the same. It is the enemies of the nation who call to and support disintegration. But they can be forgiven because they are acting on ignorance and not of enlightenment.y So, in this Ramadan, we should think of amnesty for all the enemies of Nigeria who by errors of omission or commission, have being responsible for the anomie in our land, anaemia of our economy and consequently our collective amnesia responsible for the cry of marginalization and campaign of national dissolution. Perhaps when they see the beauty in our diversity, they will lead the call for our continuity and stability. There is grace and power in the unity of  our nation, Nigeria.  There is beauty in our diversity.  

Abdul-Warees Solanke, Head, Voice of Nigeria Training Centre, Broadcasting House, Ikoyi Lagos studied Mass Communication and Public Policy and writes via korewarith@yahoo.com

korewarith@voiceofnigeria.org

 

  EsinIslam.Com

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