By Livy-Elcon Emereonye
If open hatred would lead to needed self realization, let it be and possibly in legions. If it would take the attack of an enemy to make me wiser, stronger, bigger and better, I need more of such attacks and may even beautify the scares years after the healing process, may be for a memorial. Welcome anything and everything that will advance your cause even at very expensive, painful price – and when it happens, be encouraged, seek the poignant message and grasp the essential lessons therein. Life is not a bed of roses so things might get very tough and worse but always look for the brighter side and you would get gains from pains.
There is nothing more dangerous than the use of brute force in a democratic setting. There is nothing more criminal and dehumanizing than the use of live bullets on unarmed civilians exercising their fundamental human rights. And the killing of man by man under whatever guise is but a show of barbarity – it is callous and wicked!
People will always have reasons for their actions and inactions which could be defended and justified by others based on prejudice, interest and conviction but sometimes ignorance. This is the tale of Python Dance (1 & 11) in Southeast, Nigeria. Both the initiators and executors have their reasons likewise the supporters and those against it. Though it has come and gone but the memory lingers.
The show of power just to intimidate and brutalize those with opposing views is the worst abuse of power. But it is one of the ironies of life that those with the penchant for destroying others end up in more painful destruction. Yes, one cannot be up by keeping someone else down. By pulling others, they might be pulled away from the state of indecision and indifference for a possible total rebirth.
And one of the worst things that can happen to any man, however highly placed, is for his enemies to come together and unite in pursuit of a common goal – self-preservation. This is one of the things Python Dance 11 achieved. The aftermath of the dance is that things assumed to be very strange or even impossible before had happened and many more will follow. This is because no one is free when someone is in bondage. Those who keep quiet in the face of evil because they are not involved may be the next victim thus the need to revolt against injustice, and resist evil, of whatever magnitude and form.
The socio-cultural implication here is that some people are perceived to be more Nigerian than others and as such different laws are being used for different people in a supposedly “One Nigeria”! But every attempt to stigmatize, marginalize and exclude a people often ends up as empowerment factors for invaluable self-realization and self-fulfillment. Yes, when a people realize covertly or overtly either by commission or omission that their existence is perceived as a threat such that every attempt is made to subjugate and eliminate them, they must rise up for self-defence that can come in variant ways – Python Dance in Alaigbo made most Igbo people feel not wanted and protected in Nigeria by the Nigerian government. This feeling, and belief, has lots of psychological implications whose effects may last longer than imagined.
Politically, Python Dance put a big question mark on the current Igbo leaders (sic) especially the Southeast governors, probing the real essence of their existence and the interest they serve. It also questions the type of democracy being practised in Nigeria today based on the amended 1999 Constitution. Why must so much power be at the centre? Why must a state governor who is purportedly the chief security officer of the state watch helplessly while the people were being harassed, abused and killed? Or was it a pure act of connivance and partnership in crime against humanity for selfish reasons on the part of the governors? Whatever the case, this must stop – and the best way to stop it is by active political participation that will ensure the election of bold, just and selfless people-oriented governors and office holders in Alaigbo not selfish-wicked rulers that are only after themselves, families and friends at the expense of the masses.There is also an aspect of economic sabotage and strangulation to this dance. Yes, the Python Dance was meant to make Southeast a dead economic zone or what manner of investor will like to do business in an “unstable-crisis” place? But contrary to the plot, the people have looked beyond the nose and seen the advantage in the economic sabotage and resolved to turn it around for good by making Alaigbo an Economic Hub Centre that will create wealth and employment opportunities for everyone. To do this better and in time, we beckon on people of goodwill especially serious and international business moguls to come and invest in Southeast for absolute business growth and quick return on investment because the Southeast is not only the safest zone but it is also the one with the highest growth potential in Nigeria today despite lack of meaningful federal presence in the zone!