Maybe not Maybe (Part 5)

A man is judged by his words
Whether he be home or abroad
Men who has ruled and have sown the seed of destruction
But only their words and results shall tell us their honest intention
I take a look at a man from the words spoken
And we all shall know his character from the actions given
A man who has had a hold of power for two republics
And helped Nigeria write a quarter of her chronicles

A General in the first republic and a Chief in the second
A man who promised us equity when he came on board
My guts feelings and my faith tell me that until God shuts the door, no man can shut it
Yet when in power he acted as god and whoever stood against him got shut out
I am a black man inside and outside and you are white men on the outside, but inside you are Africans like me
These words stand true for the Whites he invited to dine with him
Nigeria has no business with poverty
I guess he talked about a Nigeria unknown to our society

With our human and material resources, we shall strive to eradicate poverty from our country
But all that was achieved was wealth stolen from the country
Let me make a solemn pledge before all of you
A lie told again and again hoping we remain fools
Before the whole world and before God
As somehow he was always able to bring God on board
That I will devote all my energy and all I posses in my power to serve the people of Nigeria and humanity
This he has done in amassing wealth and property

My joy knows no bounds; I will devote all my energy and all the powers available to me to the service of Nigeria and humanity
I know not of which Nigeria he talks about or where the humanity was for that is definitely not this society
We will work to bring an element of stability to the price of oil
A mockery on men who toil
I believe God knew what he was doing when he put oil under our ground
For if it were permanently removable, Nigeria would be a bare land
It should be a means to an end
Unfortunately it is the bread to the leaders and the story of the commons’ end

If I am not above the law
Nobody in this country can then claim to be above the law
The givers of most of the corruption in Africa are from outside Africa
Same people he invited to help build on the demise of Africa
There is no part of the world where corruption is absolutely eliminated
But in this part it is totally tolerated
What happened to Oputa Panel?
How long will it take them to be done with their sabbatical?

We regard Americans and Europe as old friends
We keep old friends, but we make new friends
We make new friends in Japan, China, and India – which is good
So we can become the dumping grounds for below par and rejected goods
When I left office in 1979, I was about the only one who had left public office on my own
For he knew he would come back to reap in second republic what he had sown
Chief Gen. (rtd.) Olusegun Obasanjo – a hero or villain?
A dictator with the apparels of a civilian

To hold only ‘the Chief’ to his words will be wrong
For not him alone has done wrong
Another from Minna has given us his words
So remember his works while I recollect his words
And also helped us a great deal by leaving the country behind
Even now we make no apologies for the choice we made
The sacrifices we made were selfless
Although the masses remain in bondage nonetheless

The options we offered were patriotic
While the paths we chose were well thought out
A society that does not correctly interpret and appreciate its past
Hence today I take a look at them – our past
It cannot understand its present fortunes and adversities and can be caught unawares in a fast changing world
Especially that sown by past leaders who lived by the sword
Debate and divergence of views can only enrich our history and culture
As exile or death was dished out to those who didn’t support their structure

The work of Nigeria is not complete for as long as there is any Nigerian who goes to bed on an empty stomach
For today I wonder how many Nigerians have a filled stomach
No nation can base its survival and development on luck and prayers alone
With the meat scraped, like a dog we hold on tp the bone
While its leadership fritters away every available opportunity for success and concrete achievement
Except for IBB who gave his all for Nigeria’s advancement
Relax and understand the point of sarcasm
And give a chance to the voice of reason

For as long as our people are held hostage by controllable socio-economic forces
As our hope meet closed doors
We cannot afford to be indifferent to the ravages of poverty in all its dimensions and ramifications
But it is okay to siphon all of the nation’s funds for personal gratification
Informed by our sad experience of history
We require nothing short of foundation for lasting democracy
It is only through books we partake of the great harvest that is human civilization across the ages
But the common man has nothing to learn but obey or face your rage

Each one of us and indeed all of those who aspire to national leadership must bring their own visions
Views and styles to the business of reforming Nigeria and the search for solutions
The return of democracy in our land has indeed thrown the problem of development into bolder relief
As today we know not what or who to believe
If you ask me to summarize our mission, I will put it this way
An explanation for the way he managed Nigerian’s pain
We were a military regime that sought to lay the foundation for freedom and liberty in a complex society
So they did their best until they created a non-thinking silent humanity

I take a quick dash to the national conference
Before I get too involved with the past and forget to make reference
Reading makes a full man
Conference a ready man
And writing an exact man
But only honesty can give the perfect man
No idea was ever born in a conference
But a lot of foolish ideas have died there

Nigeria has never lost a war or won a conference
Neither has past leader made a positive forward difference
Leadership today requires far more than a large stock of gunboats and a hard fist at the conference table
It is more than men and women sitting to share fables
How do we believe that this will make a difference?
If any foreign ministers begin to defend a ‘peace conference’
You can be sure this government has already placed orders for new battleships and airplanes
For the delegates have in them their own selfish reasons for personal gains

The one held before brought forth nothing
A conference is a gathering of people who singly can do nothing
But together can decide nothing can be done
And don’t give any care even if the country burns
When they say they want a press conference to solve the nation’s issues
In their minds they have already decided on the outcome of the issues
What if Barack Obama established a Presidential Advisory Committee that would meet every couple of months?
Bringing together former presidents to discuss issues of the lots

That will do America a world of good become of the wisdom that resides in the past
Can President Jonathan depend on the leaders of the past?
How can he depend on men who have given the country nothing?
I never believe a conference will suddenly solve anything
Time is a great conference planning our end
And youth is only the past putting a leg forward
Have you ever witnessed someone become Nigerian?
When did it become a curse to be called Nigerian?

A land that acts as home to the most populous black people
Nigeria is a West African nation with over 100 million energetic people
It is endowed with lots of natural resources but lacks human resources
A land with many paths for opportunism but with locked doors
Now all and sundry in a frantic race out of the country for their dreams to be free
Emancipation from the bondage of the soil is no freedom for the tree
A race from the land that gave us life and home
To a place where we are but slaves as on their streets we roam

Equality, rightly understood as our forefathers understood it
Leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences
Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time and generation
It leads first to conformity and then to nepotism – a route to destruction
Liberalism, above all means emancipation
Emancipation from one’s fear, his inadequacies, from prejudice, from poverty and from discrimination
A point where everyone is allowed and made to think, dream and live
A point where potentials are unleashed to deny the grave

Until justice is blind to colour and caste
Until education is unaware of race
Until opportunity is unconcerned with the colour of men’s skin and the backs he parts
Emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact
For there is no emancipation without that of the society
True emancipation is that which gives the power of thought to humanity
Freedom is the emancipation from the arbitrary rule of other men
For a study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary to the emancipation if the mind

One thought on “Maybe not Maybe (Part 5)” by Ogbole Samson (@ogbolesamson)

  1. A nice piece. I, however, observed that instead of saying “Men who have ruled and have sown the seed of destruction…”, you said “Men who has ruled and have sown the seed of destruction”
    The ideas expressed are realistic thought. Keep on!

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