- LETTER TO THE NIGERIAN
Don’t misunderstand me I am not referring to criminals. Last night I was researching the root word “conviction”, in the course of my investigation I made a couple of startling discoveries. The word conviction is a Latin word pronounced, ‘Convincere’, it means to Conquer. It also relates with the word, ‘Vanquished’. A much later meaning in the middle ages, included the word “belief”. Studying that word its easy to understand its etymological progress.
It wouldn’t be illogical to say, you can’t conquer a thing unless you arm yourself with an overwhelming degree of self belief in the task ahead of you, that is conviction. A liar has enough conviction to sustain a lie if it’s the only exit from telling the truth, it takes conviction to do that. When a judge hands down a sentence he’s telling the world he needs no further evidence and his belief like the earth’s tectonic plates is impenetrable regarding the accused guilt, that is also conviction.
However it is important to note that the purpose of the judge’s sentence goes beyond the resolute sanctions prescribed by law. Its ultimate goal is aimed at bringing the convicted person to an alter of epiphany, a contrite realisation that leads to his self conviction, his own personal sentence from within him, a final resting place where the convict embraces his guilt faces his shame and seeks restitution within the ascetic bars of solitary confinement, where he finds his ultimate freedom and glory.
For Nigeria to be free, Nigeria needs political convicts. Nigeria needs leaders who feel condemned at the brutal and shameful state of our Nation. We need leaders who through the furnace of self conviction will morph into convicts assailed by guilt and ready to give restitutive justice to our once proud Nation. Until we have such leaders, our country will continue to walk the edge of this growing apocalypse. Fellow Nigerians, we have just this one country and no other.
The urgency in this age and time warns of perilous days ahead, the gravity which cannot be ignored. Sister States such as Ghana, Gabon and Botswana have left us behind. Just a few days ago we began the humiliating process of feeding our oil refineries with crude oil from Niger Republic, a country that hasn’t got one tenth of Nigeria’s oil deposits and the question I keep asking, where is the once proud giant of Africa? We can’t keep playing regional and religious politics with the destiny of our nation.
Nigeria as the biggest black nation on earth, was created as the empire to herald the glory of the Black race ;with abundant resources matched by an unrivalled abundance of the most educated people on earth according to a recent study by Rice University USA, commissioned by the Houston Chronicle. Our leaders must embrace the conviction of where Nigeria has fallen from, immerse themselves in her shame, be convicted like felons and with the patriotic fervour of our founding fathers, nurture her back to Greatness and Glory. This is our humble charge, from Headline News Nigeria!
Barr. Ata Ikiddeh
Editor-in-Chief, Poet, Human Rights Activist.