Life as a young girl was full of blissful episodes. The love that streamed from the bossom of my parents’ heart especially from my dad was unquantifiable. Being the last of five children; I was indeed feted by all. What my father did not give to me was what he hadn’t and couldn’t get. Like Joseph of the Bible, my father gave me several coats of many colours, every one he provided, he did with every piece of love. The inestimable love made him call me several fond names to reflect the affection he had for me; such names include: Nnennaya, (her father’s mother); Akubugwu (wealth is respect), Nwaogbaadum (a child born with so much vigor). Onyeomam (my beautiful one). My chubby face, bright round eyes, elegant frame coupled with my intelligence all bear witnesses to the affection he showed. I was so comfortable in my world with my parents and siblings that I cared less about other worlds.
Sometimes in my sober moments when I recount my childhood experiences, I feel very great. At such times, I wish I could turn the hands of the clock. Some of the experiences I remember and miss greatly include my primary school days when the headmistress will line us up at the assembly ground where teachers and head girls will inspect our nails, hairs and school uniforms and prices would be given at the end of the week to the neatest chap of the week.
I remember what was then called “morning information” where a child’s knowledge of current affairs was tested and that was where I did my best as I had always come first in that regard. I still remember the days of Bazoka chewing gum with all the cartoon games in Bazoka chewing gum; the days of Nasco Biscuits, Trebor and Kwuni-kkwuni. I cannot forget the days of iced-coloured water wrapped in water proof bags called ice-cream, the days of goody-goody sweets and the days of the popular television programme captioned “ Children’s variety” which comes up every Saturday, I remember the days of “the plantation boy” a song by Bonny ‘m’ and his team. I remember the days when the best sandals to school; were the Curtina and Simbi brands.
Oh! I won’t forget in a hurry those days when one Naira is a whole lot of money. With it you can buy Nasco biscuits, coloured ice-cream, Kwuni-kwuni and you would still have change in your pocket. The days we play hide and seek games. The days when we dramatized and quarreled over who become Mama and Papa in our sandy homes. I cannot hurriedly forget the days when we build houses with sand and used our feet as our mold; the days of “shekeleke give me white nails and take the black ones” and the days when we cooked food with sand and leaves and would not dare eat it even in a state of hunger because it would be poison if we ever tried taking it through the mouth. I very much remember the days of Uncle Zeb. and Ovularia his wife in the popular television programme called “the masquerade!; the days when Television set were in Black and white colour and the days of moonlight games, at such moments, we usually sat at my groundmother’s feet and listened to her interesting folk stories. Time and space will not permit my going on and on because there were many interesting memories to recount. Do you really appreciate all that I have re-called? If you do not understand what I am talking about, it means you do not belong to my generation. You may belong to the generation before mine or probably you belong to the new age – the jet age where everything is computerized and people are moving on a fast lane.
As an adult, situations have changed and realities of life are gradually unfolding. The developments around me have shown that our beautiful National anthem which captured Nigeria as a great Nation is no longer as sang. People are no longer faithful to the country they pledged their loyalty and faithfulness to. Instead of serving their father land, they are destroying the labours of our past heroes. The defence of our unity as one Nigeria is a stale story because some groups and even tribes have decided to make the Nation ungovernable once the Head is not from their quarters. Through greed and selfishness the glory and hour which God has blessed us with have been rumpled and trampled upon by the groups that should protect our great Nation.
Nigeria is a country that naturally flows with milk and honey. Our green vegetation, large land space, mineral resources and our arable land, all attest to the fact that we are blessed as a country. I attended a conference some time ago in the U.K. and a co-participant asked me which my country was, and when I said “Nigeria” the white man said “oh! Nina your country is blessed” I asked why and he said “your country has the finest weather”. He went on to tell me that if the whites had the option, they would have bribed God to take away the winter season from them. I then smiled and asked: But “I thought you guys enjoy the cold weather?” He answered: “Not in winter when the snows are felling down like bricks” you feel numb and dead”. Smiling at me with a pat on my back he said “Nina, I love your weather, you are blessed”.
Believe me, if the same man should come to Nigeria as we are, other weathers that are not the natural ones will set him running away. Such encounters like kidnapping, stealing, the Boko Haram, lack of adequate electricity supply, and their likes will scare the man to his marrows. If after such negative encounters and one dares ask him if he still loves Nigeria? Your guess is as good as mine what his answer will be.
Frankly speaking by my own calculation this country needs serious deliverance or else why is it that what works in other countries die in Nigeria A recent research showed that Nigeria as a whole make use of three thousand mega wax of electricity to power the entire nation as large as it is. The same capacity is what an International Airport in Japan uses to power its facilities as a singular Airport. And that still is what is serving our big country Nigeria. Little wonder why most cities in Nigeria hardly have regular power supply. How can they have regular supply when what powers them is so small? Sometimes, businessmen run huge losses as a result of power failures. Every night most cities are in perpetual darkness. The sad aspect is that we have all it takes to produce adequate power supply but alas! an individual’s greed will not let it be. I heard recently that the man who generates power supply in Ghana is a Nigerian. The crude oil we produce in Nigeria are taken to other countries, processed effectively and such countries have regular power from the very resources God has blessed us with. When shall we ever learn?
When I look at the evil developments around me, the question I constantly ask myself is “could there be any other hell different from Nigeria? Is Nigeria the Devils own Hell? The security situation which is poor and porous attests to this feeling. These days people hardly sleep with their two eyes closed. Who knows the night the dare-devil’s will strike? Do they even wait for the night to come before they strike? The answer is no! Because they strike both in the morning, noon and at night. There is no restriction as to the times and seasons. The country has graduated to the level where citizens walk on the streets of their own very country filled with fear of being kidnapped, killed or their property stolen.
A friend of mine recently lost his car which he parked just to relax in a pub in Owerri to hoodlums in broad day light. Call it a joke or something, the man who came to relax in a cool spot in the evening, in his car, went back that day in a “Keke” what a country!!
All these developments, Hatred, intrigues, greed, selfishness, deceit, murder, Lack of trust, bad governance, lack of job opportunities, non payment of workers salaries, lies, kidnapping, stealing, killings that trail the path of Nigeria as a country have set me wondering if Nigeria is really “The Devil’s own Hell? A friend once quipped that a sinner in Nigeria do not need to worry about what Hell may look like because the state of Nigeria how depicts complete Hell! And that is true. Compatriots arise and let us all follow the path of righteousness that leads to life because where we are standing now is not a holy ground and definitely not leading us anywhere other than destruction.
I love you all that believe in goodness!!
God Please Show Us Mercy!!