There is this seemingly obscure housewife in a seemingly obscure corner of Kuje, one of the six Area Councils of the Nigeria Federal Capital Territory, who is now bedridden and in pains as a result of her commitment to her matrimonial home, and by remote extension, Nigeria.
It all began with a spirit in her, of not wanting to hear that her husband, and for that matter, her children, were hungry.
And on Sunday, at around midnight, her husband whispered to her that the food he ate before going to bed did not satisfy him; that he was still hungry.
The woman; his wife, cut short the sleep that enveloped her, strolled into the kitchen to boil water with which to prepare tea for him.
The woman discovered that there was no hot water in the flask and decided to quickly boil water on the gas cooker. She was full of joy because another opportunity had come for her to display her love, commitment and devotion to her husband, her matrimonial home and the project she believed in.
Just as she was about to strike a match, the gas exploded, burning her face and most parts of her upper parts.
The husband, who was still on the bed, staggered to his feet and rushed her to Kuje hospital.
Because of the high degree of the burns, the hospital authority quickly referred her to specialist hospital in Gwagwalada.
“If I had known, I would have managed before daybreak,” her husband kept on wailing innocently.
Of course, this is not a fiction, even though the names of the victim and her husband have been carefully skipped.
Insignificant as this incidence may seem, it has the ingredient of attracting the attention of patriots who have the ability to see beyond the ordinary.
The case of this dutifully housewife which should not be seen as only a domestic or matrimonial affair story is worth placing in the context of the nation building.
Indeed, the story shows that with similar commitment of individuals to their homes and offices, the overall upliftment of the Nigerian project is assured.
We Nigerians really need to rise above ethnic, religious and regional pettiness. We appear to have been so enmeshed in the attempt to dismember this nation; some of us have turned it into a project: the project of dividing the country along some primordial lines.
The drum of war been beaten these days around the country has brought out the sadism and even animalistic traits in us. We easily forget that there are even misunderstandings in individual homes across the country and that dividing Nigeria into hundred parts would, and can never solve whatever problems we think we have now.
We talk about war and division as if such situation would automatically favour one part and disfavour the other part.
An African proverb says that when the trouble or war starts, you may know how it starts but will certainly know when and how it would end. It is better we all wake up, like the dutiful housewife receiving treatment in specialist hospital, Gwagwalada, to tend to Nigeria so that together we would all find happiness, satisfaction and peace in living together.
There is no escaping the fact that in the collective effort to make Nigeria work, you are a player either as patriot or rebel. It costs virtually nothing to belong to any of the two diametrically opposed divides. The choice is ours.
Meanwhile, please join me in sincerely wishing this dutiful housewife of Kuje quick recovery and the abundant reward for her from God, as He promised.
The same wish, of God’s reward, goes to the patriots who stand on the side of peace, unity and progressive of Nigeria, for, God has promised too to reward this category of people.
Read More Articles From This Author: Yusuf Ozi-Usman