By Bayo Fasunwon
History is such an enjoyable subject as it shows you how people who lived in the past faced and overcame their challenges. It shows the foundation of animosities thereby providing adequate fact for resolving such in the present. History, though not judgmental reveals the strengths and weakness; right actions and errors; perceptions and realities and of course the road not taken. In history, religion finds its origin and politics finds its direction.
There can be no judicial precedents without history, many inter, and intra-community crises would have remained unresolved without the help of the subject matter of history. In the past, lopsided, myopic, and protective thinking made the Federal Government take a step against history. Possibly, they had thought that as long as we keep reminding our youths about the injustices of colonialism and the need for military incursion into politics thereafter, national integration might remain in the realms of dream in Nigeria. Therefore strangulating the source of information was therefore needful in order to achieve their purpose.
Government however seemed to have forgotten that history is divided into three parts namely: written, oral and archaeological. Prohibition of the teaching of the written history therefore does not hinder access to the other types of history. Unfortunately, access to history through oral traditions could be misleading, creating distortions and crises because it goes from mouth to mouth. Any oral tradition therefore could have lost the truth and transformed into another narrative entirely in the course of time. Could this be the reason for the faux pas, and the possible outbreak of religious crises in Ilorin?
So banning history creates more problems, than becoming solutions to national problems. However, many would have thought that there was no basis for learning history as it seems nobody learns from history, so we keep repeating the errors of our past fathers, though in different dimensions and explanations.
So why do history repeat itself? Possibly, due to the selfish nature of man and the unfortunate reality that many neither learn from nor imbibe the lessons portrayed in history. Cynics may however argue that the rotation of the earth ensure that since what goes round comes round, and the fact that there ‘is nothing new under the sun may explain the repetition in history. Is history being repeated in Nigeria?
Benin in history was a kingdom given to political intrigues and crises to such an extent that emissaries were sent to Oyo Kingdom for a technocrat to rule and put things in order. However, the technocrat King however left disappointed after so many years and declared that Benin, being the land of vexation can only be fixed with their blood being in power. Therefore, it took a crossbreed of Oyo and Benin to ascend the throne and began the lineage of those that would successfully rule the kingdom. The idea worked but the name still stuck on until today. Nigeria is like the old Benin Kingdom. Politically, one dynasty replaces another, and political crises still continues. In Edo State, the Deputy Governor is being locked out, while in Ondo (can you see repetition of the ‘do’ sound?), the Deputy Governor faces impeachment. Peter Obi and Abubakar Atiku are still angry over the decision of the election tribunal that Bola Tinubu should retain power. The PDP is angry that Wike is gradually porting to APC, and the red caps in Kano are vexed over their loss of the juicy seat. Therefore, instead of the news of infrastructural developments and discoveries in science and technology, the headlines of our newspapers only reel out news of political rage and vexations.
On the streets of Nigeria now, the youth ‘dey para’, showing their vexation over the premature death of Mohbad Imole. An interesting interview even showed one of the vexed protesters explaining his ignorance about what he is protesting against. Many of the youth on the street hardly knew Mohbad. Only now, is his music trending and retaining first positions on different sites. While his lyrics cried out his challenges, frustrations and even predicted his death, the youths, the Police, and those who should have rescued his soul kept mute. Even the mother, a beneficiary of the vexation, who abandoned him at a young age, is also vexed that a breadwinner is snatched away.
Now, vexation is shown at the irredeemable end of such a young talent. The truth however is that the national vexation is not just about Mohbad, the negligence of the Police or the perceived wickedness of the Marlians. Nay. As was expressed at the occupation of the Lekki tollgate, the youth are angry about the wretchedness and gloom future faced in the nation. This hopelessness had only been personified in Mohbad. He represents the economic oppression occasioned by the removal of the fuel, without adequate preparation and youth oriented palliatives.
Many youths are therefore going about the streets, vexed and are already to explode over trivial issues. He represents the political oppression where the interests of many are subsumed by the greediness of the few who have power on their side. He represents the low life expectancy where the struggles of many are cut short and the one seeking to excel is buried, possibly alive, with all dreams cut short. It is a vexation of the spirit, soul, and body.
Now, under the present socio-economic situation, the vexation cuts across all classes. Contractors are angry that rising costs have eaten deep into their expected profits, while the civil servants are angry that their cut is not flowing in. Parents and their wards are angry that fees are increased, while the teachers are angry that their entire salaries are not enough to transport them to work.
Before now, Nigeria was sitting on a keg of gunpowder, but right now, we are approaching the keg with a lighted candle. In this scenario, it is best to warn the government at all levels that these vexations have reached an alarmed rate. Seems that the people have been pushed to the wall and their resilience tested beyond limits. If, within a few days, national movements could be organized and executed, what would Nigeria see when the vexations are poured in their real colour and purpose. Mohbad movement is just a test case. Now, it seems that President Tinubu’s little finger is thicker than former President Buhari’s loins. We only hope that time would negate that assertion
Fellows, as we move around town, and seek our survival bread, let us know that there is vexation in the land. As much as possible, avoid skirmishes, arguments, and irresponsible behaviour. Let us apply decorum in all our relations with others. Those in position of power should understand that power could subdue the yearnings fuelled by oppression and poverty. Let us eschew peace and work together for the peace of Nigeria. Awake, fellow Nigerians and let us deliver this nation from vexation by our collective developmental efforts. No matter the vexation, let us endure a little more, and follow peace with all men and women.