by Osho Samuel
One blissful day, as the sun smiled on the earth with all its strength and the winds strolled ceaselessly but peacefully, unleashing its refreshing bowels of warmth and comfort, the celebration was loudest in a lovely mansion crafted and molded by the gods. It was a day to wine and dine with a wealthy man among his ilk, and all roads led to the hilltop where clinking of glasses and clashing of cutleries sounded like a live orchestra. A renowned businessman and political stalwart, Chief Ebola Ikunjogede was having his fiftieth birthday celebration. The poor and the rich, friends and foes, men and women, soldiers and civilians, politicians and religious leaders, students and erudite scholars all graced the mansion to celebrate Chief Ikunjogede.
Chief Ikunjogede in his flowing and bulbous white Agbada with glistening black Gucci shoes exuded the lively romance existing between him and his wife as they danced graciously to the evergreen songs of King Sunny Ade who entertained the audience with his Juju songs. When it was time for friends to talk about the celebrant, they all marched out majestically to the podium and spoke highly about the celebrant, painting him as a man with a lovely heart, merciful eyes, intelligent brain, philanthropic hands, eloquent tongue and brave feet. These remarks were not alien to the Chief but the multitude and synergy of their comments made him ecstatic.
At the end of the party, after his egocentric mien had been flooded by streams of compliments and encomiums, he decided to do for the very first time what he has never done before – criticize himself and reflect on the overwhelming praise that poured in during the day.
As he reminisced, he could see the boulders of deceits enmeshed in the flowery compliments he received. He wondered why his best friends decided to deceive him.
“Why did Smith call me a kind man when he knows about how we diverted public funds meant for education? Is that kindness?”
“Capt. Hades approached me with the idea of killing Gen. Ricketts, and we did it together, why did he declare me as being a merciful man?”
“My longtime friend, Harry knows about how I forged my University certificate and he wowed the audience about my concocted acts of intelligence. Who does that? A friend or a foe?”
“The height of deceit was when Molly my wife told the audience about my lovely attitude when her children know that she is my punching bag. I even slapped her in the early hours of today when we argued over that small matter.”
Chief Ikunjogede wondered why everyone resided in the dinghy dungeons of cowardice and not audacious enough to tell him the bitter truth about his personality.
Just like the chief, so also, Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world rolled out drums to celebrate 54 years of Independence from British colonial masters. The inhabitants of the denizen called Nigeria celebrated with veiled faces which affected our sight from beholding the moribund state of the nation.
Why bask in the euphoria of a pointless celebration which will not make us a better nation? The truth most times is a bitter pill to shove down the throat but the fact remains that it is needed for any meaningful progress. Why call our nation a giant when our feet fit snugly into the shoes of a dwarf? Why christen our nation an Eagle when it can’t even fly talk less of soaring? We need not close our eyes to the overwhelming acts of corruption and nepotism that have clouded our daily living. Let us talk about the bad roads which serve as death traps for the users. Let us face our malady of unemployment which has turned our First Class graduates into wanderers on the streets. Let us rescue our future by catering for our educational sector. Let us head to the public square and have a frank talk with our dictators who parade themselves as leaders. These natural resources at our disposal should be used to drive our economy and not just focus on oil and gas as other resources decay in permanent abeyance. The law breakers in our corridors of power need to know what is expected to be law abiding. This is not the time to pamper our nation but to chastise her to change her words and deeds. When we are bold enough to accept the truth in a bid to be a better nation, then we are qualified to blow the trumpet of triumph and sing the ever sweet songs of victory required for celebrating our united struggle for success in all spheres.