Category Archives: Short Story

The great turnaround pt2

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Bible Study

Theme: The Turnaround

Text: 2King 4:1-4; Gen.1: 26-31

(Contd.)

This is a follow up of the earlier study on the above theme. In my initial write up, I tried to look at the definition of the term Turnaround and the Church’s perception of this meaning, looking at some Bible characters and incidents.

 I proffered then that turnaround means different things to different people depending on which prism of the term you are looking at it. 

However, I think the most ideal and acceptable form of turnaround should be the one knowing about Jesus Christ; His reason of coming to the world, his ministry as relating to drawing man from darkness and the brink of God’s damnation to the Light He represents; and bringing us to a new relationship with God as the chosen people.

We also look at the trend in society and how the church is unwittingly being drawn into the evils and pleasures of the world. (Rom.1:27-31)

 It is necessary now therefore that, the turnaround should start from the church by praying against this evil machination of men and turn them toward Christ.

God Expectation of Man in creation: Gen. 1:26-31

We are continuing from that point in the discourse today. I want to look at the reason of our creation in the book of Gen.1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God, created he him. Male and female created he them…28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth, and SUBDUE IT: AND HAVE DOMINION OVER THE FISH OF THE SEA, AND OVER THE FOWL OF THE AIR, AND OVER EVERY LIVING THING THAT MOVETH UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH’…..31. And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was good. And the evening and morning were the sixth day.”

Awesome, that is. Do you hear what I have just read? God conceived an enormous power and authority for man. He did not only conceive it, But He also did it and handed over to man such great power (Words in emphasis in the above text) to exercise over His creation.

So, what went wrong? Where did we miss the mark and got it all wrong? Why can’t we operate even the minutest power of what God has given to us? Instead, we cringe into our cell at the slightest threat of danger?

Our desire for turnaround should not deviate from this original concept of God in creation.

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The story of the Computer:

All of us reading this write up to have one type of computer system we’re reading this with. It may be your desktop computer, or a laptop, or even your smartphone. They are all a derivation of the computer invented by Charles Babbage.

 When Charles started with the Abacus to solve the arithmetic solution, he did not realize he was opening the door to a new era of IT revolution. He was merely concerned with a device to help him solve some complex calculations. Even at that, he had a reason for attempting to invent a new tool.

The Computer has since turnaround to become the greatest discovery of man. It has evolved from a mere calculating machine to military war equipment; from the mainframe gigantic machine to a minute device in our palm to solve all things: computing and logical operations.

The computer as a machine cannot function on its own; it will just be a piece of metal, plastic, rubbers, and wires. It becomes effective when sets of logical instructions are inputted into that physical configuration. These instructions are the programs that make the computer to become an effective and efficient device invented to solve all our computing, arithmetic, logical, and information needs.

The inventors and programmers invented the machine (the computer) to solve all complex human needs. When a computer system could not meet these expectations it is no more useful to the user.

When God created man from the dust of the earth, the man was just a mold of tissues without any life, or ability to function, or to execute God’s desire for someone to coordinate His creation in the world.

In Gen. Chapter 2:1-8. “…7. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man becomes a living soul….”

So, we see, man becomes a living soul, and in the image of God with all power to exercise dominion over God creation after He (God) had breathed life to him and he becomes a living soul, to executive God’s desire in the world he has created.

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The Virus and computer programs.

Every computer user knows that our system can sometimes become irrational and fails to executive any instruction we input into it. It can boot off at will, change its setting from what we intended it to do and refuse to comply with us.

What causes this is the invasion of our system by Virus. These are malicious programs that invade our system and disable the operations of the original programs we have in the system and making it irrational to our instructions.

A virus is like the operation of the Devil’s influence in the life of believers, or any human being, to disobey and disregard the instructions of God; for him to work in the precepts and order of God, to have dominion in everything He had created.

Man becomes filled in his own ways and a start indulging in acts of evil as the devil becomes his main operating System, having rendered him unworthy before God to exercise his potential, due to disobedience.

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The Anti-Virus and Reformatted system:

So, how do we get a system affected by a virus to work again? We install an anti-virus; this is a program designed to search out the virus from our system, so it will become responsive to our instructions and command; once this is done, the system will come back to its normal operational capability.

However, some viruses may be very stubborn that mere anti-virus would not be able to flush them out of the system. When this happens, we have to reformat the system; this is the installation of a new operating system to remove all the programs and applications installed in the system, and re-installing new programs and applications. This will bring the computer set to its default mode.

We now have a system that will work effectively to every command and instruction we input into it. Our computer has now got a turnaround; a reversal to an efficient and effective electronic device, serving our expected function.

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God Desires for our Turnaround: Gen.1:26-31; Deu.28, Num.13:23; 14:10-12; Eze.18:4; John 3:23;

Despite this great love and expectation God has for mankind, we allow Satan to influence our soul and control our actions against the love of God. Man becomes the computer affected by a virus that has become erratic to the control and expectation of the owner; in this case, we become repulsive to God’s word and direction, rejecting every move God made to restore us to our intended state.

All through the scripture, we discovered this rebellious attitude of man to God. We moved God to the point of declaring that “the soul that sinneth it shall die.” “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” “The wages of sin is death.” And so many terrifying condemnations and curses God placed upon man, yet man still walks under the control of a virus-infected heart.

The Great Turnaround: John 3:1:16; 2Chrol. 7:13-14; Joel 2:25; Rom.12:1-2.

But God still loves us so much, “He give His only begotten son, whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” How do we get to believe in the Son? “If I shut up Heaven that there be no rain…If my people which are called by my name…”

The first step is to understand your present situation as hopeless and points directly to God’s anger and judgment. We then humble ourselves to God and call upon his name. He is faithful then, to listen to us and turns us around to himself.

When Nicodemus visited Jesus Christ in the night, He made it clear to him that for anyone to comes into God’s kingdom and be endued in the old-time power and authority; he will be “Born Again.” 

How’s that possible? As Nicodemus asked the LORD that night, a lot of us are still asking the question today, or deceptively walking as “Born Again.”

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 It is meant to reformat our heart so that every traced of the old Adamic nature in us be flushed out, so we could regain our default setting; a new man as in the image of God with power and authority to have dominion over everything that walketh on the surface of the earth.

Paul also emphasized the point when he begged us in Rom. 12:1-2, say,”…2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

It is like saying it in another way, to reformat our thinking and thought pattern to what God expects from us, in accordance with His will. 

King David says it differently in Psalm 1:1-3. He wants us to stay away from the people that will corrupt our hearts with the virus of disobedient, but instead to “…delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law doth meditate day and night. 3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

This is the proper turnaround we need in this dispensation. And to walk in that newness, the Preacher gave us a guide in Prov. 4:23. “keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Whatever thing we turn out to be; whatever people reckon us to be; whatever God sees us be, is not the façade we display in public, or in the church. God sees the content of our hearts, the motive of what we are doing. Our turnaround must start from our heard and we should guide it diligently or else it will become corrupted with a virus.

Is your heart corrupted by a virus that you are not obeying His word and keeping His commandment? Pray for a Turnaround today.

(Concluded)

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5 Lovaves of Bread and 2 Fishes

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THE 5 LOVES OF BREAD AND 2 FISH (Fill My Cup O Lord)

John 6:12 “When they were filled, he said unto disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain that nothing be lost…

Therefore they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.”

I have always been fascinated by the events in this story. I would want to be very practical as I try to reflect on how five barley loaves in the hand of a lad would result into the satisfaction of 5000 people and still have a leftover of 12 baskets full of fragments.

For a little boy to hold five loaves of bread in his hand, would mean that the bread must be very small.

There is no record in the Bible of these bread packed in a backpack or a school bag; meaning, they must have been held in a polybag – most probable – for the lad to eat while listening to the Master’s teaching: the parents must have been very diligent people to care so much about their son.

These loaves were handed over to Jesus who thanked God and handed them over to the disciples to distribute amongst the people. The people were asked to sit in a group of, possibly five rows of a thousand people each.

The elasticity of the bread started from the distribution point down the chain; for as they were broken the bread to give out to a person, there was an addition to the part in the sharer’s hand and the bread was not getting any smaller in any way.

And as the people munched on the part given to the, it was not also reducing; every bite they took was filled back by the Divine elasticity until they were all satisfied.

So the twelve baskets of fragments left over when they were all filled was the cumulative of leftover from the 5000 people that had eaten and filled.

So, where is this story taking us to? There were a lot of instances in the Bible where there were inexhaustible supplies of the provision from the Divine Spring, or reservoir.

In the book of Exodus 16: 13-15, “And it came to pass that at evening, the quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning, the dews lay round about the host……And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, ‘It is manna: for they wist not what it was,’ And Moses said unto them, ‘This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.’”

So, throughout the long sojourn of the children of Israel through the wilderness, the Lord provided for them an inexhaustible supply of food and meal according to their desire.

This was however quite different from what Jesus Christ had intended for them and for us also who believed in his name.

I John 4:1-14, when he was discussing with the Samaritan woman in the city of Sychar, by Jacob’s well, as the issue of drinking water came up, the woman insisted that the water from the well has a high pedigree as being the well their forefather, Jacob, and his children had drank from.

Jesus drew her attention to a much purer and inexhaustible water he alone could provide; verse 10, “Jesus answered and said unto her, ‘If thou knowest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked him, and he would have given thee a living water.’” That is an inexhaustible water to drink.

That threw the woman off balance for a while, but as he concluded that statement in verse 13-14, “Jesus answered and said unto her, ‘whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; 14. But whosoever drinketh of the water of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give hive him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’” She concluded that this was much more than a mere flash in the pan talk. Praise God!

At this point, an understanding came unto the woman and she requested of him to give her that water to drink. FILL MY CUP O LORD!

Something also happened in 1st King 17: 1-16. Elijah visited a certain widow at the prompting of God in the city of Zarephath at a time when there was a great famine in that city. The woman barely had a one-time meal she intent to take with her son as the last meal; for she cannot tell where any other one would come from.

But can you imagine what the man of God asked her to do, considering her situation? Verses 13-16, “And Elijah said unto her, Fear not, go and do as thou hast said; but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth……16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the which he spake by Elijah.”

Here again, we see a link of the inexhaustibility of the Divine Spring upon a people, just like the 5 loaves of bread.

The significance of all these points to what the Lord told the Samaritan woman by the well of Jacob. He said in verse 13 of John chapter 4, that “Whosoever that drinketh of the water that I shall give, shall never thirst…….”

Our interest here is; what is about the water Jesus is alluding to? We will promptly return to the story of the inexhaustible feeding of the 5000 people with the 5loaves of bread.

John 4:1-26.

In verse 27 of John Chapter 6, Jesus told the people that he alone can give a meal that will endure forever; “labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life , which the Son of man shall give you; for him hath God the Father sealed.”

How is that possible, I can hear someone asking? But Jesus referred them back to the food Moses gave to them which was not an everlasting supply but was just a shadow of what Jesus Christ was coming to represent.

Let us check what the Lord said to us in John 6:32, “Jesus said unto them, verily, verily I say unto you, Moses gave you not the bread from heaven, but my father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from Heaven and giveth life unto the world……..

….I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst… And this is the father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day…

…And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son and believeth on him may have everlasting Life: And I will raise him up at the last day….”

At this point, I began to understand the meaning of the 5 loaves of bread and the 2 fishes. It is not about the bread or the fish per se; it is all about the 12 baskets that were the leftover of the 5 loaves of bread: It is about Jesus Christ.

If anyone believes in Him, he will become a part of Him and since Jesus lives forever. We that believe in Him will also live with Him in an everlasting Life.

The Conflicting Realities 2: My Guidance Angel 4

(Concluded)

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I looked back at the old man and continued. “What we need for the production of salt at the time of the war was a mere rectangular tin pot measuring about five feet long, three feet in width, and three feet depth. We then prepared a cooking stand with two big mangrove tree logs arranged side by side to make a fire.

“All the raw materials that we need were the salt water from the sea and a steady supply of firewood; the mangrove forest has an unlimited supply. One can prepare as many pots and fire as he is capable of managing.

“As the water dries up, the salt will be left behind as sediment in the pot. The more water one keeps filling the pot with, the larger the quantity of salt produced.

“On getting the desired amount of salt, it will be emptied into a large bamboo weaved baskets. The pot will then be filled with fresh water and the salt poured back into it.”

“Why do you need to do that?” He asked.

“The saltwater we got from the river carries with it a large number of residues,” I explained. “Though, we often collect the water when the river has stopped flowing in full tide or at ebb tide when all the muddy dross has settled into the depth of the river. We will still carry some along with the water to the pot; this gives the prepared salt a brownish color.

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“We, therefore, use the fresh water to wash off this brownish appearance to give it a somewhat brighter look.”

“This would be quiet a labor-intensive activity.”

“It was. The fire must be on, all day and all night until you have got the desired quantity of salt in the pot, and you want to remove it. You’ve got to have a regular supply of firewood to keep the fire burning and be filling the pot with the salt water.

“You would have to wake up in the middle of the night to make sure that the fire does not burn out, or the salt burnt black. There was also the additional labor of getting the fresh water from another fishing camp across the estuary where there was a bush, every time you need to clean the salt.”

“How do you sell off the product after this rigorous exercise?” he asked.

“There was a total trade blockade into the Eastern part of the country as a result of the war. This resulted in a lack, or shortage of the supply of salt, among other essential marine products.

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“Though the salt we produced was not of the grade of fine refined type, it was able to compensate for the total lack of the product and the resultant health effect on the people. We will then package the salt into the baskets which we take to the border market at Akpede for sale.” I concluded

“How’s that possible?” He asked.

We both turned to look away into the far southern end of the river where a flock of parrots was descending into the groove of the giant mangrove trees: their chirping sounds filling the evening air.

“After producing the salt, do you have to shut down production until after you have done the sale then you go back and start another round of cooking?” He turned to look at me inquiringly.

“You are only asking me to say how this is possible or do you truly want to know?” I asked with a smile.

“Well, you have been explaining the process, and I truly want to know how you concluded this salt production business at a time of strife.”

“While the men and the children are involved in the main working at the camp, the wives would take the finished product to the market. It was also a period when various trading activities were also going on.

“Some traders would come from the hinterlands to buy salt and other marine products to go and sell at the market; they also brought food items and other things to sell in the camps.

“Though I would want to accept your assessment to the extent that we were not directly in the epicenter of the war to have a severe effect, we, none-the-less, felt it in different ways. We exploited the situation to stay alive. Our life patterns were also greatly displaced.”

“If you have been listening to me since I came here, you would realize that is what I have been saying,” he looked at me. And now I can see the shade of weariness in his face quite plain.

“War is a dangerous adventure for anybody, people, or nation to undertake. Even now, I can hear the sound and drums of war very loud and clear all over the world.

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“It is not the sound that you hear from a distant land and would want to dismiss as tales by moonlight. I can hear it even in your country. The general meetings and assemblies of all the world organs are not meeting on global development, but about alignment, about wars, and about the production of the weapon of wars of the destruction of the human race.

“Are you paying attention to the news of the world? There is an alarming trend of events tilting into war. I am afraid your nation and the world are in the periphery of a catastrophic cauldron. And with the advancement of technology, the wars in the last century will be mere flake compared with what you will have in your hand.”

I could feel his eyes piercing into my heart as he was talking, his voice droning like a giant bird in the distance drawing my mind into a picture sometime in the past. I can see the flashing lights in the night like a dozen touch lights.

“What’s happening?” His voice cut into my thoughts. “Why are you looking as if you’ve seen a ghost?”

“I was thinking what we suffered during the war,” I looked at him as he raised his eyes inquiringly at me. “We left the village at dusk to travel to Owukubu on our salt production business.

“We were two canoes comprising the whole members of the family and some workmen of my father. He had mapped out the route we were to take as to fit with the flow of the current. His estimation was to take us to this camp at about the time when the water was to flow downstream.

“That would have given us a smooth ride down Sibokubu-bio to Juju point, then follow the current down the St. Barbara River to the estuary at Owukubu, and we would be home and dry. We would come out from that river, are you seeing that entrance upriver from here?” I pointed to the river that comes out from the midsection before the main river curves to the left.

“That point is called Okonikiri – named after a certain man that set up a fishing camp at the point.” From the fading light of evening in the distance, I could see two or three canoes returning to the camp. I looked at the old man. He was also staring at them.

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The Conflicting Realities 2: My Guidance Angel 3.

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(Contd)

Over the years, I kept on imagining the enterprising spirit of the people in those dire days of the war. The people from the riverine areas will bring goods like fish, salt, and other marine-based products to this border market to’ exchange’ for food and other product.

Exchange it was because most of the trade was done by batter system as the currency of exchange was not accepted as a legal tender across both sides of the border; that was long before the soldiers started converging in our villages and fishing camps, burning and destroying everything.

“Though you had a Childhood experience of the war,” he said to me patiently, “your experience could not be compared to those who lived in the epicenter of the war. For out there, it was a living hell,” he concluded, looking at me.

Though I was a little boy then, probably not more than eight years old, there were some incidents that I could still recall and shudder at the remembrance.

“Do you know that this camp is called Ikirika-kiri,” I asked him. “A name I think it derived on account of it being used in those days as a settlement for some people from Okirika; a tribe of Ijaw people that lived in the eastern part of the Niger Delta.

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“Across this river over there,” I pointed across the river to where the little canoe with the two persons had come out. “There is a river there. If you look very well, you can see the entrance from here.”

“I am seeing it,” he answered. “I think it is called Sibokubu-bio. It leads to St. Barbara River, coming out at the confluence of juju-point.”

“You are right,” I agreed, looking at him, wondering how he knows about all these things but continued instead.

“Alright, down that St, Barbara River is the estuary to the Atlantic ocean. There are some fishing camps in the area called Angbakiri, Owukubu, Akananga, and others. Angbakiri was some way up from the others.

“As a result of the war, all the fishermen in the camps up in this area have gone south to those settlements to take on any vocation that can sustain a family. Some were producing salt, hewing of the tall mangrove trees as firewood, and others for the traditional fishing.”

“How were you producing salt in a fishing settlement?” he asked,

“Do you want me to explain how we produce salt or you really want to know?” I suckled

“Do you mind telling me that without asking?” he smiled broadly.

“Okay, but that is not what I want to say. I just want to make the point that whether we were at the epicenter of the war or not, we had our fair share of it.”

He did not say anything to that, but just stared at me, so I continued. “It would take one about eight hours of paddling with a canoe to get to Owukubu following the current in an ebbing tide, and passing through Sibokubu-bio.

“It is also possible for one to go down-stream from here to get to the estuary of the Atlantic. It will take almost the same time to get there from here.

“It was in the middle of the war and the soldiers have taken over every camp within this area. We were under constant harassment in the village. My father, therefore, decided to take every member of the family to go to Owukubu to start a salt production business.”

“Did your father know how to produce salt prior to that time?”

“Em…you know that saying, ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’ I think there is nobody that had to have a primary school education to know how to start fishing. We were born here to picking up our net, or hook, a canoe, and you have got a certificate to go into fishing. The rest of the technicality, you will learn on the job.”

I looked up at the sky in the far corner up-river. The night like a velvet curtain was coming very fast, covering the earth. The wind blowing in from the sea was quite refreshing, tinting the air with the smell of fresh fish and sludge.

I looked back at the old man and continued. “What we need for the production of salt at the time of the war was a mere rectangular tin pot measuring about five feet long, three feet in width, and three feet depth. We then prepared a cooking stand with two big mangrove tree logs arranged side by side to make a fire.

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The Conflicting Realities 2: My Guidance Angel 2

Conflicting Realities 2; My Guidance Angel 2

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As I looked up, I saw the old man looking away to the far southern end of the river where the mangrove trees drew a thick pattern as a well-cultured flowering garden. There is another river coming out at that point to join the main artery which tapered off into the far end as it curves off to form another stretch.

I followed his gaze and noticed that the sun has gone under a thick grey cloud casting a deep reddish appearance over the river in the western horizon. I looked up to the east, as if on cue, and saw the water blending off into the tall mangrove, curving into the left, going far away into the hinterlands.

From that end, I could notice the eastern horizon bearing the night as a sheet of the dark velvet curtain, spreading over static earth.

“War is an ominous evil that mankind has invented to solve frail egos and gain position and authority, which left in its wake despicable destruction of the divine order,” he said breaking the silence.

“Whenever I hear the sound and drums of war being played, as is the case now, I sympathize with the man. They will never learn. You cannot settle your differences by trying to kill your opponent.

“War takes away the peace of man and visits him with pain and sorrow, grief and destruction beyond his imagination. In the frenzied atmosphere of the sound of the battle drums, and war-cry, only very negligible voices will cry caution; that will easily get swallowed up in the strident sound of the drums.

“Even now, I could hear the drums of war in the distance, and rapidly getting louder,” he finished with that far away look, seeing into time beyond our realm, I guessed.

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“Sir, there has always been a war fought in one part of the world or the other. Which one are you referring to here? There is already a war in Nigeria. Isn’t there?” I asked.

“There is a war being fought now which you hear on the News wave. They still consider it a distant tale from a fairyland. For those that have not experienced war first hand, it sounds like an adventure that one could pursue.

“But what they did not realize is that only a few come back to tell tales of their experience, and even those lives a nightmarish life for a considerable part of their remaining life. War bears in its wings tales an observer can tell that.” He looked at me sullenly with a suppressed grin and patted my shoulder.

“You had a childhood experience of your old war.”

“Yes I do,” I agreed, my thoughts going back to the first soldier I ever saw in my life.

A fat-bellied man, wielding a long rifle; he appeared from the corner of a building, looking grim and threatening. I have gone with my mother to Akpede market in the heat of the war to sell fish on a particular market day.

This fat soldier also came to the market with some of his colleagues to buy things. When I saw him, I exclaimed at his appearance. My mother had to slap my mouth shut with the back of her left hand.

Over the years, I kept on imagining the enterprising spirit of the people in those dire days of the war. The people from the riverine areas will bring goods like fish, salt, and other marine-based products to this border market to’ exchange’ for food and other product.

Exchange it was because most of the trade was done by batter system as the currency of exchange was not accepted as a legal tender across both sides of the border; that was long before the soldiers started converging in our villages and fishing camps, burning and destroying everything.

(To be continued)

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Nigeria: A Nation In The Precipice

Today, I was to continue on my serial story, ‘The Conflicting Realities 2’ when I stumbled into this piece I have written in the past. And since I am already gathering materials to write on the above theme, ‘Nigeria: A Nation In The Precipice,’ and the country is still in the fiercest grip of this Fiendish apparition, garbed in a Political Cloak, I dropped this piece here today, hoping someone would be kind enough to goad those in authority to rein us in at the edge before we plunge over .

Happy Reading.

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But somewhere over the stretch of our short history as a nation, we have missed the connection. The unity of diversity that bonds us together is cracking at the seams.

And as our great personality, Chinua Achebe, of blessed memory, would say, “They have put a knife in the thing that held us together and now we have fallen apart …….”

 

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However, in our case, ‘they’ did not put a wedge between us to set us apart. We surrendered ourselves to greed, selfishness, tribalism, nepotism, and a host of other extremism tendencies that have torn us apart. And now the center is finding it hard to hold together.

A new generation of Nigerians has emerged who polluted the original concept of what our founding fathers of the nation had for the new ‘wedded’ country, with an egocentric tribal aura geared toward plundering on the richness of the country.

They have turned our beloved country into a theatre of war and warmongering tribesmen. The sudden appearance of petrol Dollars was the icing on the cake to our enterprising agricultural prowess, halting the building up of the country into the global reckoning.

Our agricultural drive collapsed into a mono-economical rebirth, hinged in the crude oil sale. The groundnut pyramids in the North, the cocoa barns in the West, the palm oil plantations in the East, and other equally sustainable natural explorations all over the country have caved into the dependency on oil.

man hand fruit cocoa
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The resultant effect on the social-economic situation of the country was a strive by every citizen on the petrol dollars, a reminiscence of the Race to Nikki in 1894, and the Gold rush in America in 1849.

The sad tale about the situation in Nigeria was that, instead of the oil becoming the pillar of a masterpiece of infrastructural glamour, it became a scourge and a curse to the country.

The unity according to the dream of her founding fathers had turned us into a divisive people congregating along ethnic and geographical lines. The peace of the nation as entrenched in our national flag has become bloody and acrimoniously stained.

We have at several times come so close to the brink of separation. The greenish luster landscape as depicted on the flag now soiled with oily pollution and bloodletting. Our nation now immersed in a bloody oil configuration.

dirty industry stack factory
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I pondered here to ask if we are not playing a hypocritical game on the world stage, still fluttering our national flag of Green and White; telling the world we are a green naturalist and peaceful country; while the entire world has known us as an oil-dependent country immersed in violence: a country full of malicious hatred on tribal and religious line.

Could somebody wisely move a motion in the in-coming 9th Senate that would change the color of the national flag to reflect the new reality on the ground? We have also shown our strength and power as depicted with the Eagle and the Lion as reflecting in our Coat of Arm frequently.

However, I think we showed this against the wrong ‘adversary.’ We have become like the ‘Ebieseni,’ by eating ourselves with the institutions we established to protect and guide the territorial integrity of the country.

bloody flag

I am still considering what shape the Coat of Arm would now take to reflect the reality of our strength on the ground. However, it is still not too late now to turn back the hand of the clock. We can still become the greatest black nation in the world if we would be so.

Watch the flag when the  ‘Super Eagles’ are playing a football match and you will see the unity we all so much crave for.

The Conflicting Reality 2: My Guidance Angel Pt. 1

Still thinking about the beauty of nature on a lonely beach, I had an unexpected visitor who took me down memory lane. Mind sharing my thoughts with me?

maldives island
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I cannot explain what fancy this running water has to do with the way I think about life and the way the nature of things revolve and shape into one harmonious entity.
I was sitting at the edge of the jetty, looking out into the vast water flowing slowly down the river. My back turned toward the camp.
I felt his presence a moment before he touched my shoulder. He came so quietly behind me that even a cat could have made a scratching sound on the board.
I turned to see the face of an old man with a wolfish grin starring down at me. He wore a raffia woven hat that was almost covering his eyes.
“Can I sit beside you my son,” he said, his voice has a little quiver.
Before I could answer him, he has sat down at the edge of the jetty with his legs hanging down almost touching the water, just the way I was sitting.
“It’s you, Sir!” I exclaimed, almost falling off the edge of where I was sitting, recognition flooding into my eyes.
The last time I had met him was in the city and he has left me so mysteriously with a lot of questions I thought I have touched an Angel.
“Yes, it’s me,” he answered beaming at me. “it does not surprise you I could find you here?” he asked, his eyes sweeping over the river and the huts that made up this little fishing settlement.
“Surprised?” I asked with a giggle. “There is nothing about you that would give me a surprise after our last meeting Sir. You know, I was going around town asking people if I had touched an angel,” I said, looking at him enquiringly.
He saved his face clean, though showing signs of wrinkle considering his age,  just like the last time we sat together at the balcony. The eyes deep and shinning were showing his superior intelligence, which I now considered as divine.
“And what did the people say you have touched?” he asked, his eyes burrowing deep into my thoughts.
“Well,” I said, looking away to the far side of the river where a little canoe with two people on board appeared, bobbing on the waves, trying to cross over against the swift ebbing tide. I look back to him and continued. “something interested them in the story you told me; ‘Conflicting Reality’ and the examples you shared with me.”
“And what did you learn about the story yourself,” he asked looking at me.
He leaned sideways on his left arm, adjusted his gown with the other. I saw that he was wearing a white long-sleeved flowing gown that went lower than his knees, on a black trouser. His legs were bare; that is unusual. it was the reason he had crept up on me with no footstep being heard. I looked behind us to see where he has left them. But I could see nowhere he has left his shoes.
“Sir, how did you come to the camp?” I asked him. I have been sitting here for the past 2 hours and saw no speed boat pulling up here to drop off any person, or anybody come in with a canoe.
“As you can see, almost everybody has left for fishing, how did you come to this camp?” I asked puzzled.
“You will not want to ask that,” he said, flashing his white teeth at me.
“Sir,” I drew up one of my legs so I can face him. “I have thought about what you told me concerning conflicting reality in the world. That whatever action I take in reaction to a situation also has an alternative action that could also produce an acceptable outcome.
“You posited that spiritual reality is not in the tendon with physical reality.”
“The reality depends on who is asking, and who is accepting. It means what it accepts as truth. The reality of a situation or condition is what any rational thinking  accept as truth, and with no variation could view which.” I stopped and watched him smiling at me.
He clapped his hand together and poked my chest with his forefinger. “That is what reality is all about,” he said and continued. “However, in the real world, we have two types of realities. One is about the reality in the real world where one sees things naturally and physically with their attendance consequences; either positive or on the contrary.
“That is the first reality. The second reality is on a grey line. It is the Spiritual reality about the truth of certain Spiritual dogma. That if one believes that God is real and accept that He is real; that in Him there is no variable, that He is genuine, and not merely an imagined or conjured.
“So if one walks on this reality of God, if one strictly obeys and applies the Divine principle on any issue, there would be a manifestation of the intended outcome; either positive or on the contrary.

two men fishing on lake
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“That in both instances, the outcome is real if rational reasoning would accept the outcome—that is real.”
“That was your exposition of reality, sir. And that these two extremes of realities, you said, are constantly in conflict.” I concluded.
We were silent for a while. I could see that he was thinking of something else to say but before I could prompt him, he continued. “Why did you come to this camp?”
“I am not so sure why I came here,” I said factually. “I think I found the city becoming too crowded, and I felt the need to have a serene environment where I can readjust my life meter so I will not overcharge myself.”
“But why did you take the choice of a fishing camp?”
“Sir, I think that was obvious,” I said, standing up.
He also got to his feet, and we walked toward the other end of the jetty. I could just feel myself absorbing into this place. The quietness of the camp with all the fishermen out to sea, I could just sit around sinking into my books, feeling the serenity of the place.
Looking behind, I saw the little thatch huts nestled into the end of the mangrove swamp, a little plume of smoke coming out from their roof, the smell of drying fish in the atmosphere; I almost feel like the fisherman.
“When they are back from the sea, then you will see the hustling and bustling of this place,” I told him.
We were both looking at the camp. “You will then see the women cooking and the men breaking their firewood to make a fire to dry their fish. It is just like one big fishing departmental factory,” I added with a smile.
He was looking at me as I continued talking, throwing my hand about widely.
“My best moment is when everybody has gone out fishing. I would just sit around this jetty, watching the flow of the water and the rolling of waves as the wind blows in from the sea.
“And those canoes with their occupants, as if in defiance of the sea, struggling against the current, pushing their canoes from one point to the other.”
“But this place has always not been like this,” he said, drawing me back into the present.
“I know,” I agreed turning to face him, as we walked up the rest of the jetty to the end and sat down at the edge, resting my back on the railing. He also sat down beside me waiting for me to continue.
“I have lived in this camp with my parents since I could remember things. Then, this beach line was almost here,” I said, pointing to the end of the jetty where we were sitting.
“And as far back as I could remember, the waves and the current have combined to wash away the shoreline, and our huts, into the bowel of the sea. We have also moved up higher; pushing the mangrove swamp back to make room for our new huts.” I could see in my mind, the beach we use to play around naked when we were kids.
Crude oil was just discovered in the Niger and the oil exploring company led by Shell BP were coming over here with their Houseboats and drilling equipment and taking photos of us playing naked along the shore.

dawn drill dusk evening
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I smiled at the recollection. I looked at him and I caught a glimpsed a shadow passed over his face. Just briefly, but I caught, a sign of weariness. His voice carries none of the weariness if he has any.
“Your childhood days did not last forever,” he said, leaning against the railings.
“Yes,” I agreed. I could see the image of my parents hurrying us away to pack our things into our canoes on one particular day. We are going to the village; there is war in the country and it was coming rapidly to this part.
“You know there was a bitter civil war fought from the mid-sixties,” I said.
“I knew what happened in your country. I knew the destruction and deaths that the war visited upon the people,” he explained.
“And we have to move away from this camp to the village. Since then, things were never the same any longer. I was just about seven years old at the outbreak of the war. The soldiers later came to this camp and burnt it down with all our belongings we could not take away at the time we fled.”
“How was life like in the village where you fled to?” he asked.
“There was no respite from the marauding soldiers anywhere. They were everywhere, and the grownups were always running into the bush every time they hear a flying boat engine,” I winced at the memory. “Life in the village was not also easy. We have to stop our schooling and were always moving from one village to another fishing camps.
“We were a family of seven, and I guess it was draining on our unavailable resources. Initially, though, I did not fully understand the reason for our moving from a place to another, but in retrospect, I think my father was struggling to maintain that large family.” I stopped and readjusted myself.
The water has ebbed away, showing the floor of the river where the jetty ends. It slopped deeply into the dark depth of the sea bed from that point. I can see fish – I think mullets–swimming about just under the surface of the water, occasionally flopping over and diving in all direction when they sensed a predator in the depth close to them.
As I looked up, I saw the old man looking away to the far southern end of the river where the mangrove trees drew a thick pattern as a well cultured flowering garden. There is another river coming out at that point to join the main artery which tapered off into the far end as it curves off to form another stretch.
I followed his gaze and noticed that the sun has gone under a very thick grey cloud casting a deep reddish appearance over the river in the western horizon. I looked up to the east, as if on cue, and saw the water blending off into the tall mangrove, curving into the left, going far away into the hinterlands.
From that end, I could notice the eastern horizon bearing the night as a sheet of dark velvet curtain, spreading over static earth.

brown wooden dock over body of water
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