Say No To ‘OKPETU’ For A United Nigeria

Can you imagine being in a twin engine airplane that’s running on one engine because the other engine is bad, and the one that it runs on is having a serious ‘Okpetu’ – and the passengers onboard are fighting to prove their supremacy, notwithstanding the near destruction of the plane? Who’s that person that can guarantee his safety in a plane headed for crash-landing?

Just the other day, I was traveling from Bonny Island to Port Harcourt in a boat. It was raining and we had a bad engine, with the captain trying all he can to rectify the problem. We were on the troubled part of the sea, or should I call it river, for you oftentimes, get confused what to call the Bonny waters. Then all of a sudden, one of the passengers onboard the boat, for whatever reason I’m yet to fathom, said he was going to beat up the captain. This chap, as I learnt there and then, was a leader of one of the frats in the universities and notorious for trouble making. I said to him, “what sense would it be to beat the captain in this situation we are faced with?” I made him understand that if he must fight, beat, or do whatever he decides to do to the captain, he has to wait till we get onshore.

It would amaze you how people think. Whether with their head or with their balls, only their actions would reveal.

What necessitated the foregoing is the recent violence in the Northern part of Nigeria, erupting out of a purported insult of Prophet Mohammed of the Muslim Faith by a Christian.

Nigeria is presently at our crossroads, a decisive period where whatever we do can either spell doom or otherwise. At this juncture of our nationhood, it would be utter foolishness and an endemic ignorance to fan the embers of hate and disunity. We are going through a lot of okpetu (problem) that’s threatening our unity as a nation. Ideally, one would expect Nigerians to avoid escalating the okpetu to a point where the Nigerian plane would crash-land or the boat capsize.

Let met take this opportunity to call on my fellow enlightened compatriots from Northern Nigeria, to rise up to the occasion and reach out to their fellows in the North that are easily provoked to perpetrate and perpetuate violence without a justifiable reason. It’s time we acted rightly, if we must together sail in this boat called Nigeria to our preferred destination. The task before us is not an easy one, but it is achievable if we act consciously and deliberately to enlighten our fellows to the point where their stereotyped notions would be disabused from their mindset. We’ve got to show we truly believe in the unity of Nigeria and Nigerians, irrespective of regional, sectional, ethnic, religious or whatever divide.

May God bless Nigeria and all well-meaning Nigerians.


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