Lost of Glory in Ebiraland
We seem to have forgotten too many things so soon. It’s like too many errors of our present have overshadowed the legacies from the past. If we want to analyze the way of life of an average Ebira man now, it may seem like an insult. Most of us still have a myopic view of existence. We refuse to learn from the mistakes of the past which have wreaked havoc all over Ebiraland, yet we are getting ready for a better tomorrow.
There is always a hidden lesson in every mistake of the past, and unless we admit and learn from these mistakes, then we will still be far from the solutions. We must collectively admit our mistakes from the past and correct them now because later may be too late. Hard work, self-esteem, and humility were what our ancestors were known for.
In the ancient days of Ebiraland, it was taboo for an average Ebira man who was physically fit to beg for food. Laziness was far out Of their lifestyle. Our forefathers cultivated the land far, so far that some eventually migrated from home to other areas, all for one course- to maintain dignity and self-respect. The great Ita’azi was a man of honour and respect.
He suffered to pioneer the great kingdom of Ebiraland, through pains and stress; he made available a place for us all that we can call home. Now, what justification will you give to the generation yet unborn for destroying a place that is a joint birthright?
All from the past seem to be fading away because we have lost one great thing that strives for positive thought and smooth co-existence of brotherly love. We have refused to respect the primary course of existence- fear of God. In a place where these two things are lost, there is always a dilemma. People of such habitant always go astray and only act within their selfish interests. This is exactly the imminent situation in Ebiraland.
All the sweet scenes of the Echane festival have disappeared, Echori festival has almost become history. Gradually, Ekuechi festival is going extinct. Tales by the moonlight always said by the elders when I was a child is no more as all our elders have been murdered one after the other. The then-hunter day, where all hunters converged to display their efficiency has become history.
The usual joy and fun that come with the end of the year are no more. We are often gripped by fear when approaching the end of the year now, as it has almost become a tradition that a person must be killed on festive days in Ebiraland. Almost all our moves are now monitored by security personnel when we are not mentally disturbed.
The sweet relationship that used to exist between Okengwen, Idoji, and Idozumi, Ozuwaya and Iruvucheba, Apache and Iruvucheba, Idanuha and Inorere, Okengwe and Obehira, Adavi and Ihima, etc is no more now. Now movements are restricted to a particular area. Honestly, what led to all these is just superiority. There are so many misinterpreted issues that have misled us. These include moving:
From Laughter to Tears: If it is said that we are cursed, one would hardly doubt it, because there is almost enough evidence to prove it. Part of our most painful lost glory is our sudden transition from laughing and smiling faces to sad and crying faces.
If what used to make you laugh in the past is now the same reason why you cry now, then little will you still have to ask questions if anything is wrong or not. Our source of joy and happiness has now turned out to be our greatest nightmare.
We no longer seek happiness from the feasts that made us happy in the past; rather we source harmful charms, buy thousands of bullets, and get ready approach to them. For instance, the Ekuechi, Echane, and Ebe festivals that were celebrated by our forefathers served as a mark of achievements throughout the year.
After a long farming season, they all returned home to rest, and these festivals gave them perfect relaxation. These festivals always come with fun, and they provide avenues for interactions between members of different clans, thus serving as a major tool of unity.
During these festive seasons, foods and drinks were always in abundance, and the ripe brides were given out for marriage. In the past, preparation for this season had nothing to do with making available weapons, as the season was for resting not for hunting animals in the talk less of our own brothers. We have eventually lost glory as we ascend the modern times.
So, the former purpose of the festivals has been lost. All that matters to an Ebira man now is which masquerade is more superior and powerful. He does not mind if he employs all his resources to prove his stand. Whenever we are approaching the festive seasons now, the devil himself smiles for an opportunity well given. At every junction of our roads, you will see terrible sacrifices offered to the gods for the honour of the victory.
Guns and bullets are made available, as the main actors in this course traveled far and wide in search of potent charms. Though those in the act are often tormented by what may happen, they are in turn deceived by charms and the tokens that come with it.
The result of these whole situations is simple, if you study medicine, you will become a medical doctor upon graduation, if you study law, you will become a lawyer and the same thing is applicable to the other courses. Similarly, if you chose to study courses like a hoodlum, thuggery, etc, graduation is an untimely death.
As the said preparation for the festival continues, the innocent ones take to their heels, and those who do not have anywhere to get ready for tears and their ears warm for gunshots. That source of joy that strived unity among us then has now become our source of pain and because it doesn’t show that your gun- it’s just a sign of hatred and intellectual blindness.
From Dialogue to Violence: As I have said, as an Ebira child grows up; he is taught violence from childhood. He is taught that anything is possible if only he can apply violence. These are the common orientation that almost all of us had during our upbringing. On the contrary, experience in life has thought me that whatever dialogue cannot solve, violence will not solve it.
Life taught me that in everything I do, I should always remember that when an act is committed, history has been given birth to and it can never be erased. Has your mother ever told you this? I am sure that if she hasn’t, you will have gained enough experience as you grow up to understand this. What is it that we are fighting for in Ebiraland that dialogue cannot solve?
How many times has violence ever solved any problem? If we are through with our gunshots, one thing I know for certain is that we will all come back to dialogue. What is the gain if I do not have peace and you do not also have peace- it’s baseless.
When we dialogue, we learn from our mistakes, we have a clear understanding of other people’s intentions towards us, and it provides an avenue for peace and thus, a basis for development. Any settlement that does not have peace cans never develop.
We have all misinterpreted the fact from the past that an average Ebira man was fearless and strong, but fortunately, it wasn’t displayed among us. All the battles that were fought then were only out of necessity, and we sang the songs of victory each time we counter our enemies.
What kind of victory do we achieve by killing our fellow brothers who are only differentiated by clan, forgetting that these clans are names answered by brothers to our forefathers? I do not know how some people reason, but at least the possible negative consequence of their actions should act as a source of caution to them.
If you kill your brother today, and in the end, you are also killed, what sense does it make? How does it assure you of heaven? You and I know that nobody has ever killed another person in Ebiraland that was not also killed in the end. As for those that haven’t been killed, they are only enjoying the privilege of time; because they are nothing but waiting for destruction.
If you are logical about this, you will agree with me that violence does not solve any problem, it rather expands it. The most effective Step that can sustain everlasting peace in Ebiraland is mutual dialogue. With dialogue, we will certainly overcome all our daring challenges.
Dialogue is a very cheap measure, it cost you nothing, unlike violence which costs a fortune. The solutions derived from the dialogue are everlasting, and in no situation can violence ever be compared to it. So, it’s so true that the brave dialogues while fools fight.
From Struggle to Hustle: Hustling is almost like an everyday language in Ebirland now. Almost everybody is hustling; meanwhile, they have no specified jobs. Mostly when you hear them say now that they are hustling, be sure that they are dependent on the token from the politician for their livelihood, and later they are bound to pay in return with their precious lives.
They all have the will to succeed as you and I do, but they are not ready to feel the pains of success. Their intentions are to hit success within and become rich, and these intentions are often guided by cruelty and do-or-die conclusion. They often create a line of enmity between them and those in the path of struggle; they believe that those in the path of struggle are prey to them.
Even though they are aware that success only comes with hard work, they are not ready to utilize their energies towards the right course. Hustle, according to the Advance Learner’s Dictionary, is summarily the act of obtaining something in an illegal way. Automatically, a hustler is no less than a criminal.
If you really desire to be successful, I don’t think it wise to cause others to pain in the course of being successful. All youths of Ebiraland must understand the misinterpretation of this concept of hustle versus struggle.
We must therefore stop hustling and get back to struggling. When you take part in the struggle, only one thing is sure the end achievements. Your level of achievements may not be in excess, but it gives you a sense of fulfillment that your success is the product of your hard work.
From Dignity to Humiliations: From the information made available at my disposal “Adayi Itaazi” was respected for his hard work and dignity. His early descendants were known far and wide as humble, intelligent, courageous, and fearless people.
Their occupation in the Stone Age involved farming, fishing, and hunting. They were not beggars. Then it was an abomination for an average Ebira man to beg or be dependent on others for his livelihood, the insults will rest upon the whole members of his family.
One of the major occupations from the ancient days has turned around. Our modern hunters now hunt their brothers in the streets of Ebiraland. We now jubilate when a fellow brother is shot dead. We have almost lost our conscience and sense of reasoning.
Knowing full well that Ebiraland serves as a link to the whole states in Nigeria, we openly hold guns on major roads during battles, and houses that are along the major roads are set ablaze; maybe to prove to all commuters that we are actually cruel and wicked like we have been referred to outside.
The burnt buildings during riots along the major roads do not only act as an eye-sore on the roads, it also disfigures our land completely. Chiefs are killed like chickens, people are beheaded and some are pieced into parts and later burnt. May God have mercy on us.
What form of humiliation can be bigger than this? The most humiliating part is that all these wicked acts are carried out among the brothers. The culprits still roam our streets freely without justice. Please, what sense does it make that the whole Obehira and Okengwe burnt down over a little issue resulting from a motorcycle?
just a little issue that can be solved by mutual understanding? If next time, someone tells you that he is ashamed to identify himself as an Ebira, will you ask why?
In the end, after all the atrocities were committed, we still resolved back to mutual dialogue, but our hearts; was filled with regrets and had-I-known. Please, what sense does it make? How much does it pay into our accounts?
From Trust to Betrayal: We find it hard to sleep in the company of our brothers now with our two eyes closed. Whenever you are in the midst of your friends, you tend to be very conscious. The search for shortcuts to early riches has taken over our whole conscience.
Brothers kill themselves over tokens these days in Ebiraland. This wicked act has almost taken over the whole of our being, from the old to the young. It’s the same betrayal that caused us the seat of governor some years ago.
We should not forget that we cannot climb to success using the ladder of betrayal. What is important to an average Ebira man is his self-satisfaction. He doesn’t want to know if people feel hurt by his act of betrayal, as much as there is enough payment for it. It’s only a cursed child that will say that everything has a price tag, including the life of his own father.
Unfortunately, this is the intention of these illiterates that referred to themselves as politicians. If it was within their power and capacity to sell Ebiraland, they would have done it a very long time ago. They do not regard the ordinary man as a brother anymore; they only see them as money and power-making tools.
This is actually one of the major causes of violence. We have lost our sense of reasoning and trust in pursuit of money and power, now all we have left is a sense of betrayal to fulfill our selfish desires, we must correct our orientations about the Paths to riches and climb into posts because this life is vanity upon vanity.
The only material you will leave the world with is a piece of white cloth. This is enough evidence for us that there is a purpose for living, that all worldly things are brief and temporary, for the only thing that will abide with you forever is your conduct during your days on earth.
From Development to Destruction: The development of Ebiraland has been in a stagnant state. For a very long time, no effort has been put in place to further develop what our forefathers laid before they passed away. Unless the renovation ‘is carried out as an answer to an emergent need, almost all the indigenous structural development is still in the state that they were left over fifty years ago.
Our leaders have only been driven by the desire to meet their personal needs, attaching little or no interest to the things that will benefit the general interest of the people. They only seek for posts to loot public funds and enrich their immediate family members, then provide funds for weapons and bullets.
Instead of our so-called leaders focusing on the things that will transform Ebiraland into the beautiful home of our dream, they only begin to look for ways, unnecessary reasons to victimize their opponents. what has been supposed to be focused on developing what has been done, their focus is rather always on destroying the little that our forefathers suffered to pass on to us.
The resources and public funds are often drained and channeled towards vengeance. The consequent products of this are the burning of houses, the killing of innocent citizens, and destroying a long-standing relationship between clans.
We have a very wrong notion about political posts and power in Ebiraland. We believe that as political offices are rotated among the clans, and power is shifted, so does the room for vengeance accompany it. We often believe that if a leader from the Agada Clan lineage emerges, he should employ all available resources to avenge all outstanding issues with the Okovi Clan lineage.
And they said Okovi Clan lineage should be enduring for their turn to take leadership so that they can also revenge.
If eventually, this continues, then we are not employing leadership rotation for the actual purpose, which is the strive for development, but rather, we are only rotating leadership to act as a tool of destruction. What sense does it make?
If the past chairman “burnt” Obehira down, then this present one “roasts” Okene, only for the next to “fry Okengwe? It’s only a sign of stupidity. We must change this concept if we really have the interest of the people at heart.
When a leader is elected, the interest and protection of his followers are vested in him. The lives and properties of the people he is leading are under his care, and as such, it remains his responsibility to ensure their safety.
So what sense does it make, if that leader turns out to be the follower’s nightmare, and he now buys arms and provides petrol to kill and burn their houses to ashes, it is still a sign of stupidity- may God have mercy on us.
We may see clearly the possible consequences of our actions now but we should be sure that by the time we are through with our madness, there will only be a few houses standing, few followers to lead, and no visitors to co-exist with. If we start to reason considerably, we must understand that everything in the world is transitory, and the only thing that matters is the legacy you leave behind.
We must learn that after our generation, there is another generation to emerge, and maybe even another again, these thoughts alone should be able to shape our sense of reasoning and give us a good sense of direction.
Ask yourself, what efforts have you to contribute to the development of this land, if you are not buoyant enough for now, what are you planning to do positively when you are? Whether we like it or not, the responsibility of developing this land is on all of us, and together we will develop Ebiraland for a better tomorrow.