By Pat Amobi Chukwuma
Mister Anger was born with stone face in Grievance City of Nigeria. His boyhood days were tortuous. His parents died when he was only eleven and half years old. Thus he was left to the care of his grandmother called Madam Sadness. Both of them living together were like cat and mouse. Laughter and cheerfulness were scarce commodities in their home. Due to the strange living between the son and the grandmother, Miss Love, the sister of Anger, got married early to a man from Liberia. She vowed never to set foot in her fatherland Nigeria again. Madam Sadness later died of sudden heart attack. As a result, Anger was compelled to live alone. He was a wheel barrow pusher by profession. His life became more miserable after the demise of his grandmother. To say the least, he began to live in a lonely and miserable world.
After about two years, Anger decided to get married. To find a suitable bride was for him as difficult as finding a saint in hell. All the girls he approached turned him down. Their reason was because they do not want to start living in hell from this world. After several trials to get a wife, Anger approached a powerful priest for miracle prayer. The priest told him that grace works on nature. Therefore he must get rid of the bitterness in his heart before any miracle begins to happen. He told the priest that even if the vulture bathes seven times a day, his ugliness remains. Indeed, an incurable disease has no medication.
Having tried and failed many times to find a life partner, Anger decided to remain a perpetual bachelor. He concentrated his effort in getting his daily bread. For him life is a primary value. Marriage can wait. The local he-goat is short by nature. It happened that his (the he-goat) kinsmen came to pray for him to grow tall. The he-goat pleaded with them to pray not for his growth but rather for him to live, because anyone who lives must grow. When all hopes seemed to have been lost, Anger suddenly fell in love with a lady whose name was Hunger. They entered into courtship for about three months. Then the dowry was paid. Their wedding card read: “Anger weds Hunger.” They shared ‘ger’ in common. Whoever received the invitation card exclaimed, “God forbid!” There was a turbulent wind and a heavy rain on their wedding day. Many saw it as an indication that their marriage would be turbulent and tearful. The church minister asked them at the Altar on that special day: “Anger and Hunger, do you promise to love each other all the days of your lives?” They answered one after the other, “I do.” While exchanging ring, each said, “Take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.” They were happy because if love eludes them, they will find solace in Fidelity Bank Plc.
After rain comes sunshine. The taste of the pudding is in the eating. From the Altar, Anger and Hunger went home to consummate their marriage. Instead of enjoying honey moon, they ended up in having a bitter moon. They had a serious quarrel on the first night and fought on the second night. On the third day they disgraced themselves in the public by telling themselves off. From that day till one month they were not in talking terms with each other. They communicated only by proxy. Despite their strange relationship, they were blessed with three sound children. The first was a male. His name was Jealousy. The second was a female whose name was Hatred. The third was also feminine by gender. Her name was Ugliness. The three children rarely agreed among themselves and with their parents. Indeed their home was always on fire. They were looking forward always for Peace to pay them a reconciliatory visit. Food was also lacking in their home. Thus a hungry person is an angry person. An angry person has no peace of mind. Someone who is hungry and angry is somehow comatose.
Marriage devoid of happiness does not last. Patience makes a house to be a home. Since happiness and patience were lacking between Anger and Hunger, the marriage broke down after five years of hide and seek. They divorced themselves violently. They shared their children at the ratio of two is to one. Anger got the son and the second daughter. Hunger took the first daughter. They also shared their property at the same ration of 2:1. They parted ways and vowed never to see each other’s face again. Their characters were incompatible.
The evil that men do lives with them. My humble opinion is that children should never suffer for the sins of their parents, unless they are accomplices. Anger and Hunger did not live long after their divorce. Both died miserable deaths in mysterious circumstances. The vulture was extremely happy on the days of their demise. The three children of Anger and Hunger namely: Jealousy, Hatred and Ugliness, were innocent of their parents’ sins. Hence they prospered. Jealousy got married to Happiness. Hatred married Love. Ugliness exchanged marital vow with Beauty. Before ascending the Altar for the solemnization of their marriages, they publicly made change of names. Jealousy took the name James. Hatred was called Herrietta. Ugliness changed to Euphemia.
Marriage was ordained by God for the good and happiness of a man and a woman. The purposes of marriage are companionship, procreation, upbringing and education of children. On the other hand, the essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility. A diriment impediment renders a person incapable of contracting a marriage. Such impediments include consanguinity, adoptive relationship, impotence, previous bond, crime, deceit, lack of consent, lack of love, force and mental disorder. Any marriage contracted under any of the above impediments is intrinsically invalid.
In 1914, Niger got married to Area, which gave rise to Nigeria. The Minister was Lord Lugard. Economic reasons motivated him to marry the parties and bind them together without seeking their consent. It was a polygamous marriage. The various entities and tribes around the Niger area were married together without their consent and controlled by the British Colonial Masters. Through the efforts of our founding fathers like Great Zik of Africa, Obafemi Awolowo, Abubakar Tafawa Belewa, etc, Nigeria divorced from Britain and was given Independence on 1st October 1960. She became a Republic in 1963. At the time of Independence Nigeria begot four children known as Northern Region, Eastern Region, Western Region and Mid-western Region. These four regions later gave birth to twelve children otherwise known as 12 States.
Because of the corrupt attitude of those at the helm of affairs at post Independence, greed set in and things fell apart. The center could not hold again. Thus, the Military struck in 1966 and took over power from the corrupt civilians. There was a counter coup in the same year which produced another military leader. Due to the incompatibility of the ethnicities that got into forceful marriage, a pogrom arose in 1966. This gave rise to the civil war which began in 1967 and ended in 1970. Today, Nigeria has 36 children (states). These children still find it difficult to live together due to the forceful marriage of 1914. To solve the persistent problem in the marriage, a National Conference was held in 2014, after 100 years of existence. Some vital decisions were made on the way forward. Those decisions were documented and kept in the archive without implementation. Hence our marital problems as a Nation continue unabated. As a way forward, philanthropic Nigerians are calling for the implementation of some or all of the 2014 Confab decisions.
There is an urgent call to go back to the 1963 Constitution which stipulated the tenets of true Federalism. The current 1999 Constitution (as amended) was hurriedly tinkered by the Military and forced on us. It lacks true Federalism. It does not ensure true democratic principles. Hence there are agitations from different ethnic groups. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) agitated to go their own way without any violence. They were stopped and proscribed by the present Federal Government. The Islamic Movement of Nigeria protested for the release of their leader, El-Zakzaky, who has been granted bail by competent court. The Federal Government proscribed them recently. There is urgent need for the Federal Government to dialogue with her agitating and protesting children. Proscription or clampdown is not the solution. The husband, wife and children need to dialogue in order to settle their differences and find a lasting solution.
Insecurity is the worst problem Nigeria is having now. Since terrorism started in Nigeria few years ago by the Boko Haram sect, we have fallen from frying pan into fire. Thousands of innocent civilians and soldiers have lost their lives. Many have been displaced from their homes and are yet to return. Property and houses have been destroyed. The Buhari government still insists that Boko Haram has been defeated. But what we hear and see prove the contrary. The terrorists have regrouped and are fighting to finish. Our soldiers are doing their best.
As we are complaining that the rat bit someone to death, the lizard went to sharpen its teeth. The bloody Fulani herdsmen are terrorizing Nigerians here and there. Many lives have been lost so far. They are armed with Ak-47 and freely go about shooting and killing farmers, villagers and passers-by. Presently, the herdsmen, kidnappers and bandits have occupied the bushes near the highways all over the country as their base. The daughter of the Afenifere ethnic group was shot dead few weeks ago along Ore – Lagos road. Last week, a Catholic priest from Enugu was allegedly killed by suspected herdsmen as he was driving home around 7.30p.m. Traveling along lonely and bushy roads is now a nightmare. They attack from the bush. Are the attackers, ghosts or human beings? Sunny Okosun sang many years ago: “Which way Nigeria is heading to?” Indeed, Nigeria is dying as he predicted long ago.
To crown it all, most Nigerians are hungry and angry. A hungry man is an angry man. The dividends of Democracy have eluded the citizenry. Poverty has crippled many Nigerians. Millions of Nigerians are jobless. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. That is why crimes are increasing day after day. The government in power seems not to feel the pulse of the people. You cannot beat a child and order him not to cry. Suppression is not the answer. The wind of Revolution is blowing seriously now. Only good governance can pacify the people. A stitch in time saves nine.