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Painful Reward of Peace and Conformity
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
2006

 

 

A popular Reggae singer by the name of Peter Tosh once said in one of his songs that he did not want peace but equal rights and justice.  At first, I had to wonder what the difference was.  It did not take long for me to realize that where there is fairness; there is almost no quarrel.  So a peaceful society is a result of fairness among its citizens.  It is when a society has chosen to live in a system that is fair and just to all that we can truly achieve some level of peace.  Can there be any form of peace in an unjust society?  What do you call the peace that is in place where the government oppress their citizens, or a place where only a certain gender, race, ethnic or religious groups is allowed to rule and get all the benefits at the expense of others?  That form of peace is called ignorance or the lack of purpose.

 

It was said from times of old that if you are quiet and mind your business, no one would know that you are actually very stupid.  It is a man or a group of people who keep quiet when things are going bad for the sake of peace that are actually stupid.  They keep quiet not because they like it but because they not know what to do, they do not know what they want, and they do not know where to go.  All this is equivalent to ignorance and lack of purpose.  I remember growing up in UNIBEN, Nigeria in the late 80s to early 90s.  Whenever the Military governments at the time would make any serious political and economical blunder, the students will come out to riot to get public attention to the injustice being done.  Instead of the masses to join them by matching on the streets, closing all businesses and highways, or even matching to the government buildings to show that this is not their purpose or vision as citizen; they will turn around and label the students as irresponsible elements that do not want to go to school.  Many of the students would get arrested and some killed, and the government would still go ahead with their unjust plans.  This happened many times and the market women, the farmers, the businessmen, the police, and all forms of people will just sit back and watch.  Some will say that they do not want to die for anybody, others will say that their life is just for them and their children; many would say that only a fool argues with a man with the gun.  This was the spirit of conformity.

 

 

 

It was not too long, a country that once had one of the strongest currencies, it not the strongest, devalued its currency in the name of structural adjustment.  Many of the children that were the reason why parents refused to fight the government or support the “irresponsible” students’ riots became economic slaves in foreign countries.  The women of a certain majestic ethnic group whose neighbors were pleased to have as one of their wives became the symbol of prostitution. A group of people who spend more time with cattle than humans and always have the lowest grade in any human exam began to say that they were born to rule human beings.  Soldiers and civilians of low mentality, who are not worthy to lace the shoes of grade school children in America, became Nigerian presidents.  The Europeans have said that you only go as far as your leaders go.  Leaders are a product of their followers.  If your leaders are inferior and unworthy; so are you and the entire group they represent.  I read of a certain period about the Roman Empire, where the emperor is assassinated and his crown is offered to anyone that can meet the demand of the citizens.  This meant that, if you do not have what it takes to represent us gloriously, and lead us to our destiny and purpose, please stay clear of office or die.  Even in Bini history, there was once a king who ruled badly. The entire people left him, including his wives and servants, and the kingdom was broken into various states and was ruled by their chiefs.  He had to apologize and offer a huge sacrifice before the people came back to him.  It is the people that have always had the power and not the leaders.  When you do not change your leaders who are misrepresenting you, then you have accepted that leadership to represent you.  In a place where they is no established or enforced law, you may be killed for trying to change your leaders, but it is better to let the police and soldier know that you (the masses not one person) are so serious that if they do not join you, you two may die together. 

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A European once came to Nigeria at night for a Christian convention.  He was so impressed with the way we worshipped, sang, and prayed to God.  The next day after going around the city, he had no choice but to ask why such a praying and spirit filled people with so much resources where living below global poverty levels and had no reliable infrastructure in place.  As a student of the Bible, this visitor was right.  How can you say you serve God and you have no adequate water supply or constant electricity? How does God live in a place where illiterates rule the learned? What has God got to do with a people who rejoice in recycling old trash that enslaved them and hid their resources in foreign banks?  Master Kunfu Tsu (Confucius) once said that the highest human is not the one born into royalty, possess great wealth, nor the one that has titles, but it is the one that seeks knowledge to serve his fellowman.  This knowledge is not degree.  It is the divine knowledge of understanding your purpose on earth towards your service to your fellowman.  Knowing how, when, and where things should be done for the benefit of all.  It is making rules and enforcing laws that enhance all and not a few.  It is the vision that fulfills a destiny and purpose based on a common interest and not the misguided interest of external parties.  Despite the fact that he died poor (materially) because no ruler will hire him because of his honesty, and he had only about 3000 followers, the entire China nation’s ideologies of today is based on his teachings.  Today, China is a political and economic force to reckon with.  Do you know that the United States is currently in debt to China in Billions of dollars?  What about the Jesus we worship in the whole of the educated (colonial education) southern Nigeria?  Do we even understand who He really is or are we still meditation and preaching from a colonial mentality?  If there are any Christians in Nigeria who are friends with the leaders, can they please explain what the Holy Ghost and Jesus have got to do with the condition of the nation?  Jesus was a learned man by education, religion, history, and custom, and he had a purpose.  He taught his followers determination and purpose that took his teachings from a persecuted sect to the world’s dominant religion.  Even the Romans that persecuted his followers are now 99% Christians with Rome as the capital of Christianity.  A Rome Jesus never saw. 

  

Unlike colonial misunderstanding, Jesus taught his follower to fulfill their purpose at any cost (Luke 9:57-62).  He told them to carry their cross all the way even if it leads to death (Matthew 16:24-27).  It was their responsibility to seek satisfaction and contentment no matter the obstacles (Matthew 5:1-10).  He told them to walk two miles if forced to walk one, turn the other cheek if slapped once, and to give up their hats as well, if forced to give up their cloth.  His message was never to submit to hindrance, dissatisfaction, and conformity (Mathew 5:38-48).  This is because when you submit to these evils for the sake of your children, peace, and the joy of life, the evil becomes a norm.  Now in Nigeria, it is okay for girls to sell their bodies, use public office to steal money, and children no longer see value in education in a country where illiterates call the shots.  The civilized nations understand Jesus’ teachings very well because their parents where the Christian missionaries that helped to enhance colonial rule in distance lands.  They are prepared to fight their government to do what is right for the nation and their children.  Last week, the Almighty President Bush was humbled with the fact that his party has lost control of the Senate and the House of representatives.  He is now respecting opinions he never cares about before, and had let his Secretary of “War” go due to the people’s demand.   Even the Muslims live by this principle.  Without warplanes and tanks, they refused to be colonized or oppressed by the world power to the point that America is deciding how to withdraw from Iraq without appearing like defeat.

 

 

 

Until Nigerians, Africans, and the entire Black race uplift their knowledge to have a vision of fulfilling their purpose and aligning it with God’s destiny for them, they will forever be under a cause of political irrelevance and economic bondage.  Their daughters will be prostitutes in distant lands pretending to be students, their sons will be the cheap labor force for other races, they will call others “sir” on their own soil, and their illiterates will govern them and ignorantly give up their resources to foreigners that did not sow.  We will have leaders who cater to foreign needs with the hope of being liked by them than fighting for our interest.  To know the Lord is to acquire knowledge and understanding.  He who has knowledge will always have a purpose because knowledge is acquired through disciple, meditation, and study.  No matter how powerful God is, He will always use people on earth to bring change.  Some will talk, some will write, some will stand on highways, some will be killed, other will be imprisoned; but all of them have the divine knowledge to pursue a purpose that will bring God’s destiny to their fellowman.  This destiny is happiness, fulfillment, excellent health, long life, global respect, justice, peace of mind, and the faith to accomplish anything for the betterment of man and his environment.  Can these people ever be Nigerians or the Black race?