The childhood shows the man as morning shows the day, John Milton says
And as a young shoot, childhood is marked by memories, littleness and curiosity.
Many say that history is made up of people who do not learn from it, and like the truculence of childhood, it is marked by lessons, forgotten warnings and elements of growth.
“On this day, a country stood
In the middle
Split the cities into factions
The calabash was broken
Before it ever had a chance to be intact.”
Nigeria my country found its independence on this day, the 1st of October, 1960, 60 years ago today.
Through the lens of a child she saw freedom, and wanted it. And indeed got her wish.
And while indeed it was a blissful time, Nigeria an infant, still learning how to crawl with two limbs instead of four, was ushered into a world of economic bliss with little or no political knowledge of how to rule her diverse populace.
A child, tender and naive, she struggled for the same power she had fought to attain and would seven years after, a child in diapers, request napkins from the very masters she sequestered herself from .
Nigeria should have learnt from this. As we all should from our mistakes.
But the jars of freedom are usually free and wide open and like a hungry child, she scooped up the tendrils laid scrupulously by her founders. Tendrils of political power eclipsed by self serving outsiders more concerned with the weight of their pockets than Nigeria’s newly found political puberty.
Well, I’m still learning as is my country, Nigeria, to avoid plays with green snakes.
To be diplomatic and wise.
I’m learning, how to not borrow, how to be more stable, how to encourage indigent manpower, how to react to trouble with urgency and not rehearsed speeches.
I’m learning like my country Nigeria how to share power equally among the members of my family, how to care for my elderly and not punish young children for speaking up.
I’m learning to not tear myself apart useless budgets, to be concerned for my extended family, to take loans, if I must and pay them. And remember to pay my children’s tutors.
In my dreams, I see the lips of a boy offer libation to a dead tree, as his mother suckles another man’s child. Nigeria my country should not do this.
In my dreams, I see Nigeria standing tall, an oak, rooted deep and strong.
Oh my Motherland, blood and spittle flow unfettered in the roots of your land!
I want to, like my country Nigeria, learn to clean my wounds and punish offenders.
To be merciful, to be kind
To be free, just as I try to be.
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