Today was an unusual Wednesday. It was not spent in the office, with us cracking brains to churn out articles on really, REALLY PhD-like topics. We went to the Local Government Secretariat for clearance. It involves each of us placing our thumbs on the thumb scanner, so one must be there in person to be cleared and if it is missed, one gets no allowance for that month. That should explain why the place was crowded today. Enyi and I were one of the last to have our thumb prints taken and it’s nobody’s fault but ours. Because, make-up. Do you know how long each of us spends on make-up? And after it all, I would still look like this:
After it all, we managed to hitch a free ride to our junction. The people here are nice like that. They do not mind stopping to carry Corp members going their way. The man that took Enyi and I last week apologised for not having wanted to stop earlier and mentioned that it was due to the atrocities people have carried out “with this una uniform.” And I cannot blame many who do not for not giving Corp members rides. Nigeria is no longer safe. Nobody knows what the other is planning for them. It is only normal for people to want to secure themselves. In fact, I was a bit unsettled with getting on today’s ride. He looked too much like those cultists in Nollywood movies do. It was scary!
Anyways, the man dropped us off at Oyeagwu Junction. It is very close to our place so we trekked the rest of the distance. As we approached the massive gate of our beloved PPA, we noticed how the cars going past us were going unusually fast for that road. They were soon joined by speeding motorcycle riders, all decorated in the colours of the Biafran flag while also holding the flags. One of the passengers that sped past us, because we were dressed in Khaki screamed at us, “Ndizoo.” In Igbo, this means “People of the zoo.”
How more patriotic ought I to be? I was insulted for my country for goodness’ sake!
This reminds me of something that happened a while back. I had gone to buy milk and milo at a provision store nearby. As the storekeeper and I spoke, he looked at me and asked where I was from. I refused to tell him. Then he said,
“Ok, you are Nigerian?”
I said yes, comfortable that I woud not have to tell him where I come from. He said,
“Ok. But I am Biafran, not Nigerian.”
“Because Nigeria is a zoo.”
I must confess, my heart was pierced. It just felt so bad that someone was so hopeless in Nigeria that they had completely disconnected all ties with it.
Today, these feelings just came back. I could not help but notice that all of them were young men below 35 years of age. People that will be forgotten as soon as the big men behind the agitation get what they want. These people are strong and vibrant and still have voices loud enough to pierce through dark souls. They are effervescent and have strong wills. So the big men use them to stir up hate and animosity. And there ever comes a time to fight, they will be sent to the battle fields, and willingly so. Their heads will roll. Their bloods will flow. But the big men will live to grow old.
I am Nigerian. But, no, I am not saying Nigeria is without her flaws. In fact, I would leave to someplace with better prospects had I the opportunity. All I am saying is that this thing be done peacefully. When I look at the state of affairs in Nigeria, I understand why they would want to leave. What, with constantly being made to feel like they do not matter. I understand why they feel Biafra would be a better home. But please, let it be done peacefully. The bloods of these young ones are more important than the desires of greedy politicians and chasing winds. Let it just be done in peace.
Besides, I look forward to the day when I would need a visa and passport to come to Anambra from Abuja. At least then I would be able to say I have been abroad before.