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NATION IN VIEW: NIGER

 

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NATION IN VIEW: NIGER

The Sound of Liberty

There is a sound coming out of Africa. It’s a deep sound coming from the core of the existence of the heart of Africans seeking change, justice, hope, a new dawn, you name it. A sound that will shake the very foundations of how things have always been in the world. It is a sound that will disrupt the system that has ruled this world with impunity and cause people to begin to rethink what humanity is about. It’s a sound that says it’s about time things work in Africa and for Africans.

Africa has spent much of the past five centuries being the burden bearer for other nations of the world, even though those whom she has suffered for are mostly ingrates who are quick to call her a slave the moment she seeks her true worth and value. As the mother of humanity, she has borne on her back the burden and pain of nourishing her children for ages. Not appreciated and not even approved of as a mother by those she has sweated for, she continues to bear the burden of mankind.

She lights up Europe and America with her natural resources, while her home, town and cities are in darkness. She bears the brunt of the falsehood called climate change, which is nothing but the unintended consequences of the modern irresponsible use of nature and the wickedness of the hearts of men, while she contributes almost nothing to the menace. She is the river that feeds other rivers, and her milk is nourishment indeed to the souls of those who call her third world.

But the time has come for change to happen and for the old global narrative to be challenged. I see that change in the likes of the events going on in West Africa. I saw that change when the people of Niger Republic rose to say enough of Western and European imperialism and the corruption that was eating the very foundations of the motherhood of Africa. The main enemy is France and her dirty tentacles had spread across the land.

Somehow, out of the blue, Niger Republic has become an icon for the fight for the freedom of Africa and the emancipation of the “Black Race” from perpetual servitude to and the hegemony of the global north. Niger dismantled the hold of France on the people of Niger, sending French envoys out of the country and closing the various companies and mines from which the stealing of natural resources was taking place. And the same thing is going on in Mali, Chad and Burkina-Faso.

Am I surprised at what is happening in Niger? Not at all. I am just in amazement. When you take a look at the true meaning of the name Niger, you will see why I am not surprised but amazed.

From only God knows when I have always thought that the name Niger means “dark” or “darkness”. I think that also informs why many think the name Nigeria means “the area of darkness”. But this is not true.

The name Niger means “river of rivers”.

According to Wikipedia, the name comes from the Niger River which flows through the west of the country. The origin of the river’s name is uncertain. Alexandrian geographer Ptolemy wrote descriptions of the wadi Gir (in neighbouring modern Algeria) and the Ni-Gir (“Lower Gir”) to the south, possibly referring to the Niger River. The modern spelling Niger was first recorded by Berber scholar Leo Africanus in 1550, possibly derived from the Tuareg phrase gher-n-gheren meaning “river of rivers”. There is broad consensus among linguists that it does not derive from the Latin niger (“black”) as was first erroneously believed. The standard pronunciation in English is /niːˈʒɛər/, while in some Anglophone media /ˈnaɪdʒər/ is also used.

Also, according to etymonline, Niger was named for the river Niger, mentioned by that name 1520s (Leo Africanus), probably an alteration (by influence of Latin niger “black”) of a local Tuareg name, egereou n-igereouen, from egereou “big river, sea” + n-igereouen, plural of that word. Translated in Arabic as nahr al-anhur “river of rivers.”

No better name fully expresses the identity of Africa than the “river of rivers” which is the reality of Niger.

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The concept of “river of rivers” clearly indicates a source of all other sources. And this is true of Africa, for she is Alkebulan, which means the mother and source of humanity on earth. But why is Africa and, by extension, Niger in such a deplorable and weak state, even with all her resources?

The answer to the question of the so-called poverty of Niger is the same answer to the so-called poverty of Africa. Niger, just like Africa, is not poor, deplorable or unable to govern herself; she is just made destitute by the same hands that have kept Africa as their farm.

And not to sound like one is trying to blame others or to put the responsibility for the poverty in Niger on foreigners and foreign agendas only, but just like Africa, Niger is deliberately kept poor by those who profit from her poverty or, let me say, her wealth. So, when you hear of the decisive move of the Nigerien military junta to remove France from Niger by all means, it was the sound of liberty that was playing.

Let the river of rivers now flow

I pray for you, great people of Niger. You have taken massive steps towards ridding your land of the hands that cause desolation and death while sounding the trumpet of liberty for all other nations of Africa. May you be strengthened massively to complete what you have started and to create a better Niger Republic that is worthy of emulation by all Africans.

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