AFRICANGLOBE – It is said that a people generally have the government they deserve. In this light, cowards get dictators and courageous persons get democratic leaders.
No one else can give people a democratic government; only the people can give themselves democratic government. Why so? It is because those who want a democratic government must fight for it. No set of rulers ever voluntarily gives the ruled democracy. The tree of liberty is watered with patriots’ blood.
Nigerian leaders are essentially criminals; they seek political offices so as to rip off their people. These people practically cart their people’s money to their personal bank accounts. Nigerian elections are rigged and all Nigerians know it. Nigerian leaders, from the president to legislators and local council members are rigged into office. In other words, Nigerians are not led by those they chose to lead them. Yet Nigerians tolerate this situation whereby imposters and thieves lead them.
This suggests that Nigerians are a cowardly people; they are cowardly because they tolerate oppressive regimes. Like cowards every where they then turn around and want you to respect them. Folks who do not deserve even a dog’s respect want you to respect them! Their whole lives are geared towards seeming important; to be seen as very important persons is practically what they live for.
It seems the more cowardly a human being is the more he demands respect from other persons, and if he perceives that you do not respect him he attacks you (Nigerians make life difficult for those who do not respect them).
Those who have courage seldom seek other persons attention nor do they spend all their energies trying to seem like they are very important persons; they assume that they are very important persons. It is those who know that they are not important persons, cowards, that want you to see them as VIPs, and you see them as nothing despite their efforts! Does anyone outside Nigeria take a Nigerian seriously, seriously for what accomplishment?
These days Nigerians have discovered the Internet. On it they fight their ethnic battles; the Igbos rave and rant about what other Nigerians did to them; they want you to be sympathetic to their course (of separation from Nigeria) and would verbally and physically attack you if you are not. They make noise about their course yet they have not answered a basic question: why are they not fighting for that course if they think that it is justified?
It takes decades to successfully fight liberation wars. Ojukwu fought for less than three years and then fled to the Ivory Coast. He ran to go protect his skin. He should have gone to the bush and fought a gorilla war for decades (thirty years of fighting is not
uncommon for such wars).
Wars of emancipation are not fought in only 30 months; these people made skirmishes and failed and then ran and from safety make noise about how they are valorous. If you are valorous then stake your life on what you believe is right, fight for what you believe in, don’t just make noise about it, don’t just abuse other people, don’t come to the Internet to curse folk out and when push comes to shove you cannot stand up like a man and fight for what you believe in, and fight to death; like a chicken with its head cut off you run all over the place!
Africans were so cowardly that they tolerated slavery. Arabs and White men enslaved them and instead of fighting to death they opted to live and live as cowardly slaves.
Contemporary Africans are continuing their ancestors’ cowardly path of seeking life at all costs instead of deciding what seems to be the truth and fight for it and if needs be die fighting for it. They want to live at all costs.
It is true that to live in body is to live in some fear, for fear propels folk to do what protects their bodies. There is no way one can live in body and not be a bit fearful, a bit cowardly. but nevertheless, to be consumed by fear due to desire to live in body to
the extent that one does not do anything to make ones society just is to be a coward.
Nigerians are folks who so want to live that they tolerate abuses by their criminal leaders.
These people are a shame, a disgrace to humanity. When you hear them make noise about this or that subject you would think that they are willing to stand up and like men fight for them, but, no, point a gun at them and like cockroaches they run and go hide in the dark; they go live but live for what they have not said. Until Nigerians are able to posit ideas on what is right or wrong and show willingness to fight to death for what they believe is right they would not be respected, they should be dismissed as rats. It is time that these people are told what they are, cowards rather than babied and seen as real human beings.
Real human beings stand for something and fight for it or die fighting for it; they do not prefer living at all costs even if it means living as second class persons.
As I wrote recently, George Cloney, an American actor who has taken up the course of fighting for oppressed Africans in Darfur, is talking about the International Criminal Court’s order of arrest warrant for the president of Sudan, Omar al Bashir. I do not see Africans showing concern that Africans who call themselves Arabs (they are often as black as coal; Bashir is as black as charcoal yet the animal identifies as Arab!), fighting for the welfare of Africans in Sudan. No, they keep quiet and have White folk fight their wars for them.
These people do not have expanded egos to talk about Africa wide issues; their egos are regressed, at childish levels, thus they only concern themselves with their tribal issues (even here one is giving them too much credit, for, in fact, they are only concerned with their little ego needs and could care less for the survival of other members of their ethnic group; they are too ready to rip off their fellow brothers while making noise about their ethnic patriotism).
It is only when the issue is how their ethnic group would benefit from the national cake come up that you see them come out in full fury and fight among themselves. They fight over who is going to get the lion share of oil money coming from the Niger Delta, oil that within a decade will be rendered useless as the White man discovers another source of energy to plunder, hence making their country poor. Then they would have no resource to steal from and pretend to be running a country and their country would collapse; they would become another failed African state.
It seems that all we have in Nigeria are egotistical leaders, men with little intellect but with big egos.
The Nigerian politician is a little napoleon egotist who sees his people as nothing, a man who uses his people to satisfy his little ego needs for deluded importance and easily sacrifices them in senseless wars…he does not mind that they died!. The criminals do everything to stay in office and their minions come to the public square to make noises about their phantom merits.
Clearly, until Nigerians prove able to stand up and fight for what is right rather than run when the going gets tough, until they overcome their egotism and self centeredness they are not going to amount to anything significant in the world of politics. They are
going to remain a third rate country, a people others understand and pity but not taken as equals despite their wish to be seen as respect worthy.
All people are born equal but those who choose cowardice make themselves less equal than those who choose courage. Those who choose cowardice are not born that way; they learn it and can unlearn it and learn courage and become heroic human beings.
Until Nigerians choose courage one does not expect good governance in Nigeria. Nigerians must overcome their cowardly desire to live at the expense of justice.
Cowards are inconsequential human beings; they are not worth a second of any ones time, as are contemporary Nigerians! Finally, I know that this essay made sweeping generalizations about Nigerians and that there are exceptions to those generalizations. There are courageous Nigerians. However, in as much as many Nigerians are mere talkers, not doers, I feel justified in stereotyping them as cowards. Prove me wrong!
*It is a psychoanalytic axiom that what the individual sees in other persons is what he sees in himself; that, perhaps, he denies and projects it out to other persons. I am a Nigerian. Logically, therefore, what I see in Nigerians must also exist in me. So, let us
not quibble about projection or lack of it and get on with doing what we need to do, fight for our political liberty and, if needs be, die for it rather than tolerate the rule of criminals that has been our fate so far in our unimpressive history.
By: Ozodi Thomas Osuji