Femi Fani-Kayode, a prominent thought leader in Nigeria, writes on the propensity to think and speak like slaves by historically oppressed groups in the West African country.
The most difficult challenge that Nigerians face is not the hegemony of the Hausa Fulani ruling class but the ignorance and slavish mentality of some of those from the Middle Belt and the south that they have conquered.
Ignorance, cowardice, and delusion is the language and practice of slaves. And it is typical of a slave to despise and hate those that seek to liberate him from his slave masters and his chronic bondage.
This is because the liberator or, if you like, the deliverer, reminds them of their slavish and pitiful condition and continuously urges them to try and break out of it and rise up.
The slave either accepts, rises up and follows this counsel with joy, pride and hope believing that God has finally answered his prayer and made a way for him and his loved ones or he violently rejects it and pours venom and contempt upon the one who offers it.
The question the latter asks in their hearts is “who made you our deliverer?”
Or “are you any better than we are?”
Or “we know you very well and you are not fit to be our deliverer or to liberate us”.
They cap it all by saying, “who the hell do you think you are anyway?”
They forget that the Holy Bible says “God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wisdom of the wise”.
God always uses those that humans view as the most unworthy as his weapon and tool for deliverance.
The Bible is replete with such examples from Jephtha and Samson to Paul and Jehu.
If the Lord chooses to so do He can use a madman, a village idiot, a comedian or even a monkey or a donkey to liberate His people.
The vessel or individual He chooses to use, no matter how unfit that person may appear to be to the human mind, is His choice and He alone knows why He made that choice.
Maybe He did so because He alone sees the heart of that person as was the case with David, who was an adulterer and a murderer or Moses, who was a killer and fugitive.
They both committed the most heinous crimes yet the Lord, who is perfect in all His ways, still chose and used them to deliver His people.
That is God’s way and it is marvellous in our sight.
They say that the most difficult slave to liberate is the one that has been so stripped of his dignity and sense of self-worth and that has been so subjugated and broken that he does not even know that he is a slave anymore.
Instead he erroneously and honestly believes that his pitiful condition is somehow deserved and that it is his lot and due in life.
He has been subjected to the most damaging and destructive form of mind-control and consequently he virtually lives for, and ONLY for, his master and to serve that master’s interest and do his bidding.
Such people are suffering from a broken spirit. They have lost their souls and have been blinded by their ignorance.
This is tragic but sadly it is the bitter truth. These are the type of people that would willingly fight and die for their slave masters in a war of liberation rather than to fight for their own freedom or on the side of those that are trying to liberate and free them.
They are the type of people that would support and vote for those who seek to continue to enslave them in an election rather than for those who seek to deliver and free them from bondage.
And sadly a few Nigerians from the south and Middle Belt suffer from that terrible mindset and affliction.
The greatest source of opposition that the liberator and deliverer gets is not from the Hausa Fulani slave masters of the core north but from such people.
I have never heard of a core northerner who has fought for or sided with a southerner that wishes to dominate and enslave him and his people but I know many southerners and Middle Belters that have supported, voted and fought for core northerners who seek to enslave them and their people and keep them in bondage forever.
It is a pitiful thing: a great evil under the sun and it is left to the rest of us to try and open their eyes and enlighten them. Freedom is not a curse: it is a precious gift from God. And ALL of God’s children are worthy of it.
May the Lord help us.
Femi Fani-Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th 2006 to May 29th 2007. He tweets from@realFFK.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.