TODAY I’m in the Kingdom of Solitude where the King of Solitude has hosted me. I’m in the Kingdom of Solitude where I have drunk the wine of solitude and of esoteric dogmas. I’m alone, all alone, in my abstruse world. My alert and wakeful thoughts comb everywhere they can comb for the right keys to open the perceptions and hearts of our compatriots who govern our lives as political leaders in ways and methods they ought not to govern us by. How can I lead them to the classics that have rightly been described to contain the “noblest recorded thoughts of man”? Will they not be the good leaders we want them to be if they can be mended through the right books of the right thoughts that would inspire them to see the anguished hearts of the masses of our people they are misgoverning?
Ah! I remember Alexander the Great who was always in possession of Iliad “on his expeditions in a precious casket.” Was this treasured monument of thoughts not his most precious relic until his death-day? What is the choicest relic of President Buhari? Is it Arrow of God or Death and the King’s Horseman? What books does Mr. President read? What books do his cohorts and lieutenants read? And our governors and their acolytes? What books are they reading? Do they really read? Do they ever read? Do they ever create time to read? If they do, will our country be what it is now?
Oh! Oh! Oh! How do we metamorphose them to make the feeblest attempt to tip-toe to a book-shelf in any library of their choice to pick one or two books per week or per month to read in the interest, at least of the masses of people their governance modus operandi has wearied primitively and primitively? My fellow columnists, and pen-persons and all compatriots and lovers of our dear country should kindly join me to address, to appeal to our colourful and illustrious people in power to have perfect attention and affection for books in order to improve perfectly their knowledge of the heart of governance for the sake of mankind which the Nigerian masses are an enterprising part of. Our leaders must metamorphose to species and patriots of Nigerian “noveldom” in this wise. They must surprise us by changing their collective colour today. They must re-breed their image.
Why must we quarrel needlessly? Why must we fight needlessly over Muslim hijab and Christian robes and garments to be worn and not to be worn to our schools and colleges? How low have we sunk? And how low in our rating is that judge who curiously gave the ruling she gave on hijab-wearing of our Muslim girls to school? And on what grounds did she give her ruling that could birth chaos in the land of Osun? Was our judge of a sharp legal mind bereft of legal wit and humour that she would have employed at the material time to give a ruling that would have soothed and sweetened frayed nerves? In any case, by the time your eyes espy my present words, Governor Aregbesola would have rung his gubernatorial bell to halt and quell what he must rightly halt and quell to our collective joy. May his ringing bell not stir the aggrieved to burn down everywhere in Osun land of peaceful peace.
We all are aggrieved in the land today. We all are aggrieved in our country today. We all, for this reason, are erecting walls against one another instead of us to be building bridges of oneness. We must grow hearts, we must erect hearts that are accessible to all hearts. We must remember:
“Though tongue(s) and tribe (s) differ,
In brotherhood we stand.”
Of course, we also stand in sisterhood even though our tongues and tribes are dissimilar. Our feminists are happy with this line, O dear! O dear!
Now tell me, tell my anguished eyes, tell my burning, boiling heart, why we must not talk the Ijaw Avengers of the Niger Delta out of their curious war of unholy and unwholesome vengeance against Nigeria? Yes, the foundation of Nigeria is faulty, the foundation that is the source of our national predicament is precarious, but is there no other way of redressing justly what needs to be justly redressed to the satisfaction of our different nationalities? Must we burn down everywhere from the Niger Delta to nowhere to make our impact felt? Must we always want to solve a problem with a problem? With collaborative wisdom we shall see the birth of liberation that is liberation. In the long run it is Niger Delta denizens and citizens who shall and who will bear the brunt of rapidly orchestrated wars. We may boast of getting this and that through rapid strides of war (that always benefit a greedy, rapacious few), but these rapid strides will ultimately not advance the Niger Delta. Mark my words, mark my lips of mystical and poetic prophecy – as I remember now the impeccable solitary prophecy Primate Theophilus Olabayo, Prophet The Great, gave me some time in the purple past. I won’t reveal it now.
Now I must leave public subjects, and enter my personal, private, solitary world of solitude. I have tasted the familiar liquor of anguish: the loss of my mother – whose preference for simple, austere living was legendary. My anguished eyes are boiling and burning for the loss of my mother who, at slightly eighty-nine, is now dancing to the arresting beat of the drummer in paradise – away from the disdainful music of our madding birth-country. May her principled insistence on principled simple living steady her well in God’s kind Hands. I utter this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ she believed in – in her long, austere journey here. I hear a loud chorus of “AMEN!!!”
I must hurry home to do my last filial obligation to her – Mother Rebecca!