When Hope Dies, Faith Loses Courage

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By Ekene Anselm Alita


“The promise that was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger, nothing ever comes out for the poor” – Pope Francis.

A panoramic view of the Nigerian situation shows that the above statement is strongly reminiscent of Nigeria situation, where the people live in a boulevard of misery, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  This vicious cycle seems to be unabatingly spread out in the endless sheets of eternity, for each day picks up its own story.

One of the evils this country has committed against its citizens, is that it has robbed them of one of the essential human qualities and that is wonder. Nothing sends the eyelids scampering to the foreheads any longer. Why? because knowledge robs us of wonder, it kills curiosity. What is it that can happen in this country that has not yet occurred, what is still left for our ears to hear, what still shies away from our cold pallid jaded eyes, for we tread on absurdities, and the only normal thing in Nigeria is that things are always abnormal.

Once we heard of the monkey that made away with millions of naira and the snake that swallowed a whooping sum of N36m. This place is indeed a joke. So in a situation where monkeys abandon bananas for the naira, snakes leave the rodents for our naira, what absurdity can beat one’s reason as that. Yet a human being, supposedly a homo sapiens came up and with unwavering eyes announced this, and expected people to believe it. What more then can be as cruel as that?

With absurdities such as this, how then do we manage to keep a straight face and tell them that the future belongs to the youths that they are the leaders of tomorrow. So, how do we expect them or the rest of the masses to have faith in a country that has unrepentantly failed them, or expect them to be patriotic enough to die for a country that long forgot them.

If there is anything that seem perpetually lost in this country, it is what to die for, there is nothing in Nigeria at the moment worth dying for. This is because the hope of some of the masses has been brutally cudgelled to a comatose, that fire has left their eyes. When hope dies, desire dies along with it.

An anonymous Nigerian poet in a poem titled ‘hope defines what hope is’ said –hope is not hoisted like flag in the air. It is in the potholes and the starlits nights. In the abandoned four walls, where dusty seats wait for pupils. It is in the empty pharmacy with stench of drugs clouding the air. It is in the streets with hands donned with files. In the yawns that leave the stomach caving in like the broken walls of Hiroshima. It is the site of ugly regurgitation of nightmares best forgotten. At the shore of the Mediterranean where fellow countrymen are vomited and flushed away by the waves. It is in these places that hope is hoisted, where it is knitted like mosaic with its allures. It is in the people, in their hearts, and not in the air’

The above poem points out the many places that hope can be built, for things as this actually lights up the fire of faith of the people in their country and in their government.  It is when the government do the lot in their plates that people will begin to have faith. Nigeria is not progressing because there is no hope to kindle the faith of the people in their country.

When around November 2017, Libya was brutally enslaving most Nigerians who wanted to cross the border at all cost to enter into a supposed ‘greener pastures’ it was a march of desperation of a people who have no faith in their country. When millions of Nigerian youths do all sorts of things just to leave Nigeria, it is a rebellion, of a people who have lost faith. When Nigeria top in the least of most corrupt countries and Nigerian youths rank highest in cybercrimes and yahoo activities and other horrendous acts, it is the calm protests and rebellion towards a government that has given them little or no inspiration, who have betrayed them. These and more are many instances of people who have lost faith, who have not seen any ladder of hope to boost their faith.

No great nation ever rose on its own without the faith of its people constantly tightening her bootstraps. No great nation has ever been short of patriotic citizens who are ready to give their lives for their country, because they always leave drinking water cans of hope at the threshold of her citizens. No nation ever progressed when it has flat tires of hope and faith.

Why has Nigeria remained a staggering giant, one step forward and four steps backwards. The answer is simple and it is found in the words of the Roman pontiff, Pope Francis-‘The promise that was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger,—nothing ever comes out for the poor’. That Nigeria is where it is now, it’s not as a result of what she has done, but the chain reaction of the many things it has left undone.

So the pulsating influence of the dark yolk that have been split in the hearts of the populace is evident in the apathy, unpatriotic attitudes, crimes, lost of faith and hope, that have like lead settled into the bloodstreams of most Nigerians. Thus, they say that an average Nigerian is corrupt, for what yam is to a goat, corruption is to an average Nigerian. Thus, when that which should have legitimately gone to the people is denied them, they device means to take it at all cost. As they say the violence takes it by force.

The only way forward is to go back to the drawing board, and given luck, the faith of most Nigerians would be awaken. Else it would remain the war of all against all.

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