(NOTE: This post was already published on July 7, 2013, on http://www.yarfulaniaturai.blogspot.com the blog has moved here. Though I have made some edits from the original text in the blog, the subject matter is still the same)
July 7, 2013
Spending time cleaning at the City Park in New Orleans; Louisiana really made my day, because I finally discovered the answer to my first question. It’s “the spirit of love, peace and unity” that helps the people of New Orleans to rebuild their city after Hurricane Katrina.
I couldn’t hide my joy, and what remains now seems to be even more difficult than I thought. The challenge now remains how to adopt “the spirit of love, peace and unity” to solve situations in Nigeria, especially with what is happening nowadays and all the divisions among us.
“Oh I am so proud of Nigeria”; and you will believe me when I say I am because I truly am.
If you could recall, at the room window of Hotel Monteleone, my prayer was “how I wished I had all day to spend, having a good view of the Mississippi river; perhaps I might get answers to my nagging questions. The first question is now answered, but I still have a big challenge ahead of me; and that is how to adopt the answer I got from New Orleans to situations in Nigeria, because I want my country to be better, if not the best.
If I can be granted a chance to commit a crime in the United States without having the law enforcement right at my back, I would have stolen one thing for my own people in Nigeria, and that is the “Spirit of Love, Peace, and Unity, that I witnessed there.
Even though I wasn’t there at the time of Katrina, but the people told us stories that were very touching. Everyone was trying to save the other, to shelter one another and to share what they have with one another, and after the hurricane, they came together and helped one another in order to rebuild their city.
I still recalled a poor dog I saw struggling to survive in one of the Hurricane videos I watched at the Louisiana State Museum-Presbytere. Each time the thought flashed, I get goose pimples, because an animal as he was, he knew disaster; he knew what it is to feel the pains of death, how more of those children that drowned to death, and the men, the women that were all lost?
Nothing was left, not the structures, not the homes and what’s inside, but all that put behind, the courageous people of New Orleans picked up the pieces, rebuild the city and are living again, and again, and again, ever ready than before to face anything together.
At a “home hospitality dinner” organized for us, our hosts narrated all what they’ve gone through during the Katrina, and how they were able to survive, buried that behind them and continue living. I so much respect them for this courage. It’s the kind of courage we need to have in order to take Nigeria to where we hope it to be. The journey is a long one, but I believe we will be there someday.
Katrina was a big problem to the people of New Orleans but they managed to overcome its effects. Yes, I know in terms of technology and resources, we are no way near them; but the same spirit they used in overcoming their challenge is equally in us too, just that we ignore ours and pretend it never exists. I seriously think that the problems we have in Nigeria, big and small; can be overcome if we unite and forget our differences and love one another again, like before. This is the time for us to put everything behind and rebuild our Nation using “the spirit of love, peace, and unity.”
Problems know no tribe or religion; and as we continue to hate ourselves for no justified reason, so we continue to make things worst….and the least many in suit like ‘Yar Fulani a Turai can do is to chase the cattle away to some mountains far for greener pasture, only to return the next season and find the problems that were left behind still exists. Its either we fix it now or live the rest of our lives regretting and hating.
As corruption continues to eat deep down the roots of our Nation, so we continue to face unemployment, poverty, poor education, poor health, poor infrastructure…you name it.
Terrorism, kidnappings, robbery, drug addiction, prostitution, killing one another, and many crimes; “who are the employees of such establishments”? It’s none other than the Youth! Nigerian youth!
The question always remains what are we doing about it? The earlier we face the reality that no one can do it for us, the better, and this is where my dilemma starts; “How can Nigerian youth adopt “the spirit of love, peace, and unity”, and act to make things right?
How? This has forever remained a question whose answer I am yet to find.
What I know is we have no time to continue the blame game, it’s time for us to unite and find solutions.
Unfortunately, until this moment I have no answer to my second question; “How can Nigerian youth adopt “the spirit of love, peace, and unity” in order to make things right? You help me with this.
Now to my third question (to be continued….)