Piece de Resistance
Nigeria is sixty-three (63) now. There are so many things I want to yell at her for not doing at her big age, but I won’t age-shame my mother. Of all the heartbreaking and stupendous things that have happened, nothing has brought me so close to breaking as the events that transpired during the 2023 general elections. If I’m being honest, it did break me.
I’m not even talking about the scandalous candidacy, the secretive announcement of results, or the daylight robbery of citizens' voices. No, I am speaking of the appalling bigotry and ethnocentrism. This vile and bitter hatred for fellow citizens, simply because they did not descend from the same lineage as you. And the shameless weaponization of this disgusting rift. Nah, it did me in. Like what really are we fighting for then? As a people. Are we even a people? Are we truly ready to have a better nation if we are unprepared to be better people? To build a nation, the humans within have to be built first. But what this episode revealed to me is that we have a long way to go. Because what we think we are fighting above us(in our leaders) is within and among us (citizens),
I remember how empty and forlorn my spirit was. It has never been so because somehow, my heart beats to the rhythm of hope no matter what. That rhythm never stopped until this time. Not even on the night I watched the blood of my brothers and sisters shed on the streets, soaking up the national flag. Not even when I heard of the train attack. Not when I saw the people of Jebbu Miango displaced. Somehow, I always had hope. I always mustered some dregs from somewhere deep within my soul. But in February through March, I was like a haunted house. Empty and quiet, save for the subtle creaks and hollowing sounds when the wind blows.
I told God, Sir, no offence but Omo, me I’m done believing in this your country oh sir. If you’ve watched the Lego movie, you know how discouraged Emmet was and how terrifying Lord Business seemed. But the prophecy had to be fulfilled.
While I was deeply rooted in my confusion and tiredness, I was simply done, done, done. This happened. This question popped into my mind and I wrote this down in one sitting.
How do you break the Spirit of resistance? Do something horrendous. The kind that does not even give vocal cords the privilege to shriek in horror.
The goal is to shock their senses with the unthinkable. Give doses of equal parts of fear, grief and an extra helping of the knowledge that justice will not be served
Do not let them know that Revolutions start and end with the blood of believers - no matter how peaceful their cause.
Do not let them see that their United Voices are causing your camp to quake in confusion.
Let them not understand that this stomping of their matching feet, demanding justice is fragmenting your old foundation. The one built on the skulls of innocents with their flesh and blood mixed with the earth as mortar. This is how you break the spirit of resistance. This is how you create a people without hope.
Now, I don’t attempt to encourage anyone to love Nigeria faithfully again because more often than not, when they open their mouths and describe what has been taken from them, I’m left weeping. So for you, whom our nation has hurt repeatedly and taken no responsibility for at her big age, I’m sorry. For you who have fought the system so gallantly and fiercely but were eventually swallowed up like a hot ball of pounded yam and white soup, I am sorry. I am sorry for you whose dreams and ambitions have been crushed and trampled underfoot.
We have lost so much as a nation. But yet, I have found hope in the prophecy of the Piece de Resistance. The good news is that it has been found. It’s now our duty to work as a team to secure it and cap the Kragle. To stop Lord Business from freezing us all. The most amazing thing about the Lego movie is that the ‘Special’ they were all waiting for was not a master builder or Batman. It was just a regular construction worker, an ordinary guy called Emmet. At some point, we learn that though the prophecy may have been some made-up nonsense in order for Vitruvius to be a Dumbledore, the hope of that prophecy was so potent it actually led them to the defeat of President Business.
Love, Ballie 💖
If you enjoyed reading this, please help make this post more visible to those who may like it or learn from it by clapping as many times as you can. I would also love to hear from you on this. If you’re a Nigerian, how does this month make you feel? I know I now enter October with anxiety. If you’re not a Nigerian, does your country inspire confidence in you? Let me know in the responses.