So much talk about rising up, a revolution and some say outright war getting everyone all riled you, and make lots of gullible folks feel, it’s all going to be fun and games, running into the streets, throwing rocks and bottles, and chanting a liberation song, yes in a movie with a script, it would be a very glorious scene, but here is where I burst that bubble, because it’s never a glorious scene when it comes to a confrontation.
Let’s take for instance, the little street protests that have been occurring in various parts of the country, although most of them have been relatively peaceful, they have not been without their mild confrontations from law enforcement agencies ordered by “the man”, and the protesters simply embarked on a peaceful movement, chanting and simply making their demands.
Now picture this, an angry crowd, with sticks, rocks, and petrol bombs, running in the streets, chanting a bone chilling mantra, against a so called oppressor, armed with guns, bombs, well in short armed with an army, a police force, an air-force, and a naval force, I really don’t think you need a soothsayer to tell you, that scenarios like that never end well.
Oh sure, asking for a revolution or war, sounds quite easy, you have a laid down plan, it starts with getting people on the streets, making a uniform demand, for things to get better, then there is eventually a standoff, but no one ever knows who fires the first shot, and most times the instigators are never in the fore front, they always give words like we are staying back on the base so we can be strategic for an effective outcome, so when the shots are fired, and the tear gas canisters are released into the crowds, they are conveniently absent, but also available to release press statements condemning their so called oppressors of inhumane treatment, but at that point it is already too late, the death toll now steadily begins to rise.
Let’s go back in time, let’s take a moment and remember the Nigerian civil war, and don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to trivialize anything, I am only trying to make a point, some groups felt they were being marginalized, treated unjustly, and decided to walk away, there was a standoff, and an eventual war broke out, at first the ideology was shared, the people stood behind their “Moses” who had come to lead them out of an oppressive system, but gradually, the realities of war began to take its toll, the hunger and strife, the homelessness, the destitution, the less than humane circumstances, the broken homes, the widows, the orphaned children, and death, whom in all cases takes a front seat to any gun show, while children with protruding stomachs were forced to eat lizards and mothers were forced to watch their children die of hunger, while women were raped and defiled, and while men/women/children were murdered, based on ethnic sentiments, the heroic generals were hulled up in a tent, conveniently tucked away from the front,being strategists, or so they claimed, and when the center could no longer hold, they went into exile, leaving those they claimed to love and were fighting for, to face the bitter realities of what they had been dragged into, and this has always been the course of war histories, an ideologist rises up to a presumed oppressor, and drags hapless citizens into the mix, who bears the brunt of the casualties, and almost all the time, the ideologist exiles himself, and claims to continue the struggle, while he is safely tucked away in some foreign country, claiming asylum.
Now let’s go down memory lane one more time, and this time it will be quite brief, the devastations of war can never be totally described, unless you are made to see it for yourself, but I assure you, it’s never a site to behold, if you really want to see the after effects of war, look over there, yes just by oji river, and take a good look at the war veterans, whom after 40 odd years, are still feeling the effects of war, to some it might mean nothing, but to most it means a whole lot.
I won’t bore you with my ramblings, but I will tell you one thing, war has never solved anything, it only brings more problems, and more scars, I know the feeling of anger and frustration is rife, but we must consider the after effects, Rwanda still tries to heal years after, imagine having a public holiday just to mourn the victims of a genocide, and what started that war, a particular group claimed to have been poorly treated and proceeded on mass ethnic cleansing, we all know how it ended, our brothers in parts of the Arab world, started a revolution, it was welcomed, it had the appearances of a solution, but years later, they are seemingly back to where they started.
Those clamoring for a revolution, will never lead you like a gallant knight or general, they will only instigate and withdraw to their strategy rooms, they will flee at the very signs of a breakdown, and leave us to lick our wounds and bury our dead.
Go ahead, ask around, ask those who were old enough during the Nigerian civil war, raise a battle cry around them, and see how they stare at you with fear and pity in their eyes, go ahead and ask those who have been in the center of ethnic and religious clashes, tell them you want to fight, and watch then silently walk away from you, the bottom line is this, you only clamor for war, if you have never witnessed it firsthand.
Now, before I leave you, I just want to say a little something to those who keep throwing this sentence “let the nation split up” around, my question is this, do you really know what it takes for a nation to split up? What part of this nation of ours can beat its chest and say, this is what I have, and I can comfortably generate income from this, including the Niger delta, they are the oil providers, and yet, well let’s just say, over there, you can’t spot the difference between blood and crude oil, because both have been spilled so much.
Let’s go ahead and ask the soviet union, how the split up is working for them, or hey I know, let’s ask Yugoslavia, oh that’s right, there is no Yugoslavia, because they split up based on ethnic differences, and we don’t get to hear much about them anymore, or why don’t we send an email to the Sudanese people, let’s ask them how the split up is working for them.
I don’t want any wars, neither do I want this nation to split up, because both options will cause more harm than good, so before you get swept in the euphoria of revolution, do a little research into history, and educate yourself.
Oh, and one last thing, “beware the Greeks, when the bring gifts”.
Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)