(“Harmony of Peace”: A reflection for Nigeria’s Independence Day culled from the September 30th 2018 published brochure “Sounds of Melody: Celebrating Our Heritage”)
In a land carved under the 9.0820° N and 8.6753° E of the Equator, richness and blessedness was pleased to dwell. This cannot be compared to that of other nations: do you want to boast of Oil? She is richly blessed with it, in fact she is the 3rd Oil producing nation in the world. What about cash crops? This is a no-go area, as she even exports her produce to other nations. Let us not even mention her fresh and arable lands, food crops and other natural resources. This indeed is a nation that other nations wish they were. That’s not all, she is also blessed with great minds, peoples and cultures, trying to live in peace and harmony amidst their differences.
But “She” is “Nigeria”.
The mention of her name is accompanied by a great sigh of pain, like that of a woman who remembered how she lost her child via still birth. Certainly, we’ve lost it. We have lost our dignity; the dignity of the human life is looked down upon. Look at how lives are being lost on daily basis, all in the name of religious or ethnic sentiments. We have lost our pride; what do we have to show as the so-called “Giant of Africa”? Is it how porous we are based on security or how our standard of education is worth less than a cup of honey beans in the market? We have certainly lost our respect; by the mention of “I am a Nigerian”, our brothers in the European countries have been stained with the fraudsters-guilt, and they need to baptize themselves to remove the “Original Sin”, that accompanies being a Nigerian. We have lost our financial status; do you imagine that this richly blessed country is among the top ranking poor countries in the world. We have lost it.
This looks like a hopeless situation. But No, there is still hope. “And as Nigerians we will surely get Fried Rice to eat before the end of the party“, hehe, this will serve as a replacement to the famous “there is light at the end of the tunnel”.
Well, for sure, One who doesn’t know one’s past won’t be able to understand what is happening presently and, by extension, won’t be able to predict the future.
Let us take this journey into knowing our past. Let us know our heritage. Let us know how the people living in this geographical land mass, now called Nigeria, came to be.
We shall not believe the proponents of the Strange Bed fellows’ Theory, who claim that there is no basis in Nigeria’s unity and hence the best decision is to divide. Owing to the fact that the forceful marriage between the Northern and Southern Protectorate, by the British, was for economic reasons and not for the purpose of unity.
Let us believe the silent and still VOICE of the Fundamentalists, who believe in the fundamental unity of the nation.
As the bow is drawn backwards before it moves forward to strike the string(s) of the viola/violin/Cello/Double Bass to produce a soothing and melodious sound, so also we will see that when we go back to our past, there’s enough basis for unity; ranging from the commercial activities in the areas and the similarities in our languages.
While the trumpeter/Trombonist applies enough energy to blow his mouthpiece, the saxophonist/clarinetist blows air through the reed of the mouth piece with less energy, but both focus on achieving their aim. Same way, we should learn to focus our energies not on the faults or diversities of the nation, but on things that bring us together. And when we do this, we’ll achieve our aim of being together.
The rhythm created by the percussive instruments, is based on different/individual focused sounds. By extension, when everyone perform their individual duties towards the growth and development of the nation, the rhythm, in form of unity, will be felt.
The message of the harmonious sound produced in the strumming of the strings of the acoustic guitar is more than what we hear to the acoustic guitarist. In the same way, God sees above the economic reason that motivated the marriage and He willed it to happen. Hence it happened.
And the combination all these will bring about HARMONY OF PEACE.
The fundamental theorists who opined that there is basis for Nigeria are certainly not wrong. Indeed Nigeria can be great again. We were configured by the British to fail, if only we could press the factory reset button and try to get connected to our root/heritage, Nigeria would surely live up to it full potentials. And we will be great again.
No doubt, the harmony produced by the instruments of an orchestra, shows how unity can be created amidst diversity. Hence, Nigeria can truly attain peace and unity amidst our diversities, in terms of language, culture and peoples.
Kalu Samuel Chukwudi (Ksam)