By Nnaemeka Oruh(email@example.com)
It was within the first six days of January 1996 that they left. About fifteen young men, bubbling with energy and of sound health. If they had stayed in their tiny village of Obuohia Ibere, they would have at least been useful to the largely agrarian community. But in the country, money defines who is man, and who is a watered down version of man. There were no opportunities to make the desired money, for the country was firmly tucked into the pockets of one man who had an obsession to see everybody reduced to walking corpses. Unfortunately for those kids, cybercrime had not become a popular means of aggrandizement. Otherwise, that would have been an opening to riches.
They saw no opportunity in their motherland, so they decided to leave the country in search of greener pastures. The country had rejected them, and they decided to go and seek for an opening for definition in of all countries, Gabon. So what is the ferry to Gabon? At a token, canoe owners stationed at Oron, AkwaIbom State were willing to invade the Atlantic Ocean, with their human cargoes. About seven days later, we heard the expected news! The canoe had capsized and out of the about fifteen young men, two came back alive to us.
That was not the first time. In 1990 a similar thing had happened. About seventeen young men from that village of Obuohia had also lost their lives through the same process. Nigeria had refused to be HOME for them, and they had risked leaving her in search of another home, and got consumed by the Atlantic. This was to be expected, "KPAKO CANOES" couldn't be assured ferries through the turbulent Atlantic. All these happened during military regimes.
But the situation remains the same even at this democratic dispensation. Thousands of Nigerian youths daily, get disgruntled with the situation of things in the country, and desire to seek for escape to other countries. It does not matter if the other country is poorer than our darling Nigeria. The truth is that the bosom of mother Nigeria has become too hot to be comforting-fires lighted by greedy leaders. Yet when they leave home, these youths do not find the desired comfort in those other countries. They suddenly find out that they are outcasts. Dreams are frozen into unrealization, and with eye sockets hollowed by desperate thoughts of great misfortune, these youths roam the streets of foreign countries with no aims, and no hope of succeeding there. They cannot return HOME because there is no HOME ÔÇô nobody calls an industry run by a greedy cartel HOME.
What happens to most of these young men? Agents of law enforcement, in those countries, pick up most of them. Handcuffed and slammed against the walls, they are charged with sometimes real and most times imaginary crimes, many of them rot away in jail, while some are injected with poisonous substances, repatriated and left to die slowly. I know particularly of one lady (name deliberately withheld),who was convicted of trafficking cocaine (in all truth, she only went for prostitution), injected with something poisonous and repatriated to Nigeria. I was sixteen then, but I had the misfortune of watching her die painfully, after turning from a plump young woman, to a broomstick. It was not AIDS; I have the information of an insider.
Nor can one count the number of our young women who have become afflicted with many STD's, at home and especially abroad, as they prostitute for a living. There are no other alternatives. Better to be a straight-out prostitute, than be a prostitute disguised as a company secretary, sales representative, or banker.
I am particularly touched by what I see in Nigeria. The streets of this great country (I do not know why I have refused to stop referring to this wobbling giant as great) are littered with young men and women with dead dreams. They do not know where to begin from, in their quest for the actualization of their dreams. Remember, most of them do not have anybody to give them the much needed start in life. Gradually, they see themselves as doomed. Tempers become too hot. Then fierce fights with bottles, daggers, machets, and even guns, and many die. What again is their trademark? Excessive alcohol consumption, and an unrestrained immersion into the smoky ocean of hemp and cigarettes. Lungs are burnt, cancers erupt, and crime directed at their fellow less privileged, escalate. Dear Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye, do you now see why the 17 Billion Naira poison house at Ibadan must be built? With a seventeen billion dollar investment, the youths are destroyed, and the masses too, whom the youths drag to destruction. The gains? More than $100 Billion! When these people wither, the country becomes that of the blood sucking cartel, and what should be for the many, is shared just among a few.
I must draw the attention of everybody to this basic fact: those kids have died, many more dying. But the supreme question is; who killed those kids? Who is gradually killing the many others? I will tell you.
Once, in the land of Iduu, there lived a great man. He was polygamous, having married about 450 wives. This man has many children, and as customary in Iduu, the leadership of the land was entrusted into the care of the eldest sons at the death of the man. Now these eldest sons had selfish interests of perpetuating themselves in power, and totally destroying the younger ones, so that the riches of their father will be shared among themselves. In alliance with other foreigners, they commenced their leadership of destruction, destroying the younger ones, and the land itself so that the resilient ones among the younger will have nothing to fall back on, when they come of age.
Now, let me remove the garb of metaphor, and be more plain. Those kids were killed by that cartel of bloodsuckers and destroyers that call themselves Nigerian leaders. Those yet dying, are being gradually killed by the same clique. But how long will this continue?
In his reaction to my article "The Man DiesÔÇŽ", Segun Akinyode had asserted:You are very forthright and apt in your summation.The problem however is where do we start from?The people who should start the battle with their hands have all been conscripted into this destructure cult of debauchery;those who are yet to join them in the Temple are hopeful to win elections one day or be made assistants or deputy senior assistants or something like that.Nigeria is doomed (my emphasis)Nigeria is not doomed.Segun Akiyode had reckoned without the Lumpen proletariat. This group ( the Lumpen proletariat) is made up of people especially youths, whose dreams have been squashed by the harsh forces of Nigeria's leadership. But remember, this group lives close to affluence. They see daily the contradiction inherent in their lives, when placed side by side with the lives of the so-called leaders. They will not watch for long, but will be forced to react sooner or later. A revolution is therefore what I see as imminent. A great revolution that will belittle the French Revolution.
I do not agree with those who feel that there can be no revolution in Nigeria, because the average Nigerian is ingenuous, and will continue to look for other means of survival, outside the scarce opportunities allowed by the clique of robbers (leaders?). One day too soon, they will wake up to the realizations that most of their brothers have been killed, and that they themselves are being gradually exterminated. The human instinct is that the man who is being fought to extinction will be forced to fight the survival battle.
Those who killed those kids, those who are gradually killing these kids will one day too soon, have to fight for their own survival. It is the human thing.