"What happened to the black people of sumer?" The traveller ask the old man. "For ancient records has it that the people of sumer were black. What happened to them?"
"Ah" the old man sighed. They lost their history, and so they died".
No doubt, Nigeria despite the unflowered state, has its own romance. How do you make fine soup of nationhood without the ingredient of history? How did we kick it out of our schools? Did all its teachers retire? Or did the students stop wanting it? Why is the university the only place history heard? Faintly even! it is funny because our fathers, who now claims we have failed never taught us about our past but expect us to respect, love it and move on. Well, it's clearer now than ever, we need a firm and an unbiased grip of history; family and nation. How did we get here? What have we tried? How have we failed? The easiest way to ruin a people is to make sure they don't tell their stories or to tell only part of it. To rise from this pit, we must tell all. Write all. Read all.
To all you visionaries who believe that to start afresh we must forget our history and also to everyone who thinks that the best shot at a perfect future is to deny the past; you are in the wrong. If you don't know what led to this moment, you will remain in it. Running from the glaring truth of the past is like a black lady applying blush; it's futile. We are who we are. Until we are courageous enough to learn about our history, we are not ready for the future. One chief factor why we as Nigerians can't effectively tackle trials is a thriving ignorance of the past. It is not enough to cram dates of obvious events and names of prominent forefathers. It is not okay to possess a detached knowledge of your root. How did all you've come to crammed come about? And why?
I think sincerely that one reason we don't tell about our history is because we don't have it. As a people, we have a very outdated manner of storing information. A terrible habit. We admit too much things to memory and chance. A historic happening is often undocumented and is left to the sparse mercy of hearsay. So, all the time, the truth of history is lost or often modified to suit the faction of the teller. It is almost always not correct. People forget, they die, they lie. Ben Murray-Bruce (the "I just want to make common sense" crooner) in his book A Common Sense Revolution wrote, "Nigerians may be surprised to note that if you want to get accurate records of Nigeria Civil War, of supreme military council activities, of leaders that were deposed (e.g Buhari first regime), of defining moments of Nigeria's history, you have to go to either the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC or the British ITV". Can you imagine! Those melancholic evenings were we sat at Baba's feet and laid on mama's chest while a a single-edged stories were shoved down our throat were surreal. But it's no longer enough. There whole truth should be told and so, should be properly documented.
History can have its own weight, but ignorance is worse…it could tear us into unimaginable bits. We all seem to know who to blame, but how would that help? In a few years, you'd become an ancestor. Then, someone would blame you. And the rat race continues. No more should blames can be bought and sold. We woke up like this. Let's bother enough to understand the past before changing it. Let's tell our story. Paint our it on walls our primary school instead of Scooby doo and Barney. How is a borrowed English language more important than our native History? Adamu Adamu , please wake our schools. Our children should know that our fathers did not only marry many wives and practiced subsistence farming, they also carved, painted and built empires. Take history back to our schools.
All over the universe, histories are the same! It contains a fair divide of both loathsomeness and loveliness. You must first embrace and understand it, then try to prune. Give yourself a gift this Democracy Day celebration, go buy yourself a bowl of interest on national history. Teach the young. Tell others to do the same.
Happy Democracy Day celebration Nigeria and Happy birthday Bridget.