Sunday, 18 June 2017 23:09

What Does It Matter Whether President Buhari Is Alive or Dead?

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This essay is a tribute to all Nigerian fathers on Father's Day

I am afraid to write this essay on death and dying. To me, life is more consequential than death.  A thing is consequential if and only if  it is important, significant, momentous, far-reaching or substantial. Life is consequential in that we prefer life to death, and we do a lot more when we are alive than when we are dead.  We accomplish little or nothing at death or when we are in a vegetative state, such as in a coma or when our brain is dead.I

Sensible people pray for life and seek to shun talks about death whenever possible.  The uneasy purpose of this essay is to spark a dialogue about my country Nigeria. I am perturbed, troubled, and uncomfortable to write this essay,  This essay takes the view that no one life takes supremacy over "Nigerianity". The wellbeing of a nation like Nigeria is far more significant than the "brief candle" of any mortal.

To me, it matters not whether my President were dead or alive, although we Nigerians are praying for Buhari and wishing him a  rapid recovery and swift return to health and  to his return to his  Presidential  job. Life of one man such as this writer is important to a certain point beyond which insignificance sets in.

Life of this writer (James Agazie) is not all that important. What is life, anyway? Isn't it  like unspent money in the Bank of Utonkon. Like money, this writer's life is useless so long as it not spent to  improve something?

Again, and by the way, what is life? Our hero, Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. captures the essence of life  when he said: Like anybody, I would like to have a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will."

Fellow Nigerians, let's worry less about life or death of Buhari. Don't even worry about the life or death of this writer. Let's worry more about doing good to someone in my country, about completing Buhari's unfinished work, about laying indelible, ineradicable, or permanent footprints on the sands of time.

Those who worry about Buhari's death are persons whose paramount curiosity is personal, selfish , self-centered, self-seeking, egotistical, or egoistic, rather than altruistic. Similarly, those who are concerned with Buhari's health have an interest centered on their wallets. Altruistic is defined as unselfish, selfless, philanthropic while egotism is onwe gi (Igbo for yourself).

Fellow Nigerians , our lives, though important, cannot come before the life of our nation. If you are unwilling to lose your life for Nigeria, then Nigeria does not need you because  you are merely dancing to tom-tom of a drummer that is unsuitable for my country.

I am nothing but a retired or retiring teacher who has taught at several secondary schools and universities in Nigeria and America. I have not held any significant  political appointments My only accomplishments are graduate degrees in education, and law. with some interest in expressing my views in writing.

I may not like you, but I would die, defending your right to express your views unhampered in the committee of citizens in my Nigeria. Free speech, irrespective of the staunchest opposition is what Nigeria needs now. Nigerians can no longer continue to live in fear. There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

I am asking myself: What type of life am I living? Am I  living a stupendous, breathtaking , or ostentatious  life of eating, of travelling or of filling my garage with never-used toys like auto automobiles and several women, or just stuffing my bank account with Naira, Dollars and Pounds?

What type of life we are living is a question each Nigerian ought to ask self. What does it matter if this writer, or  Buhari, or Fani Kayode or Pastor Moshood Ifayemiwo  lives or dies? We ought to be in joyous mood  of M. L. King in singing:

Like anyone on earth, we would like to have a long life, enjoy our children, and retire to our farm at old age. Longevity is good and has its own place. However, this is not our concern. Doing what God wants us to do is our concern. Being good Nigerian citizens and governing our nation Nigeria aright is a job God wants us to do. All other considerations are frivolous, playful, frolicksome.

On a serious note, while we are alive , we ought to help complete Buhari's unfininshed tasks which include but not necessarily limited to these:

Securing our borders to ensure all persons within are bonafide citizens paying appropriate taxes and sharing in civic duties

Giving minorities fair chance to participate in governance without marginalization, or intimidation.

Guarantying full voting rights, uninhibited expression of opinion, freedom of religion and association,   access to water, light , housing, and health management,

Going to war against any section of the 36 States of Nigeria where there is violence, or tribal animosity based on tribe, race, ethnicity,  or national origin.

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James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.