‘Jos is the wound on Nigeria’s knee’:Letter To Jim Pressman -By Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher
My brother,You won’t believe this.I spent four months in Nigeria trying to make sense of the chaos into which my country has sunk in the seven years I had been away. It is as If had I stayed back,perhaps the house would not have caught fire.I have this guilt feeling,and wish I could help,but everybody is yelling at one another.I can’t even hear myself .Iam shouting but I am shouting to a wrong crowd, a lynching mob,that won’t listen.
I read your piece about our book over and over again, as I am doing today and I thank you for the uncanny discernment of my unwavering love for my country Nigeria. I am on my way to the United States to take up permanent residence. Please don’t look at it as exile. I need to step away so that I can rehear myself and regain my voice and conscience.
While in Nigeria I saw the biggest threat to our democracy is corruption and ethnicity. Corruption is endemic, pervasive and its corrosive effect has become a metastasis.There is distrust and disrespect of other people. Tribalism is the reigning deity. I hate armed chair intellection so when I returned from my duty tour as diplomat,I went to Jos,which made me cry. Jos is the wound on Nigeria’s knee.
Jos needs to heal so that Nigeria can walk again. I was shocked to see that in Jos the Christians stay in exclusive reserves and Muslims too in theirs. I grew up and worked here.It is so painful to behold the agony of a city in the throes of death. So I rallied my friends and colleagues at the leadership Institute to rebuild peace. There is no substitute for peace and without peace we can do nothing.
The people in Government are dancing to distant drums and chasing the rats–money and power, while the house burns.
As a writer Nigeria will always be my inspiration but its environment is hostile to intellectuals especially those who seek to uphold the mirror of truth to drunken power.Please pardon me for not replying you on time. I have been brooding over my country.
I love my country and will hate to see my country die of this preventable diseases. Disunity and greed.