TROJAFUIT is a latin word that means “Troy was, Troy is no more”.It illustrates a city that once was but is no more. Troy is a city according to Greek legend that was captured by the Greeks under Agamemnon after a ten-year siege.
Historical Troy was discovered by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann at Hissarlik in north-western Asian Minor,a few miles inland from the Aegean Sea. The excavations conducted by him from 1870 to 1890 and by others since then,have revealed ten periods of occupation of the city,which was destroyed and rebuilt each time.
The first five settlements at Troy belong to the Early Bronze Age, ending soon after 2000 BC. Troy II in particular was a flourishing community, with impressive fortifications and domestic buildings, but was destroyed by a major fire.
Troy VI saw an influx of new settlers who introduced horses, but an earthquake shattered their city in about 1300. It was followed by Troy VIIA, but this phase did not last long before being destroyed by fire.
The indications are that this was not an accidental disaster, but accompanied the capture of the city by enemies. The date of destruction approximately by 1250,coinciding with a flourishing Mycenaean civilisation in mainland Greece, indicates that it was this event which lies behind the iliad, and that the conquerors of Troy VIIA were Greeks. Troy remained unoccupied for perhaps 400years before Troy VIII was established. Troy IX lasted into the Roman period.
But today inspite of all its beauty, Troy is no more.
In fact, when we refer to Troy today, it’s all in the past tense.
There is a drink in the modern day world served at social events for celebrations and anniversaries by the very privileged, rich and powerful in the society. It is called Champagne. But the name Champagne was once a province in the Northern east France adjoining Lorraine.
International trade FAIRS were held there in the Middle Ages. In 1284 the marriage of Jeanne, daughter of Henry III, the last count, to PHILLIP IV (the Fair) led to union with France. The discovery of the method of making its celebrated sparkling wine, champagne, is attributed to a Benedictine monk, Don Perignon (1668-1715).
Not only Troy and Champagne that are no more but for lack of space let me limit myself to some specific provinces and empires.
There was an Ottoman empire, Persia,Prussia,Tripolitania,Catalonia,Bengal, Corinth-a province in the old Greek, Daaphine-a former province in France, East Anglia of East England, Saragossa-a province in Italy, Herlots in the ancient Greek,Chempa,Corsica,Gran Colombia,Cilicia-a province in the old Turkey,Pergamum, Northumbria, Funj empire in the old Sudan, the Frisians of the old German territory, Byzantine empire, Anjou-a province in the old France and even the Roman empire.
These were cities or provinces or empires that once existed.
Now,let us turn to the present, let me cite a few nations that have fought civil wars.They include Georgia, Guatemala, Rwanda, Sierra-Leone, Liberia, Nepal, Ireland,Haiti, and Yugoslavia.
Countries like Kashmir are still in a war just like Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen. There is civil insurgency in Laos today, Moro uprising in the Philippines and Islamic insurgency in Thailand, drug war in Mexico and civil disturbances in Uzbekistan.
In the Global Peace Index compiled by Mr. Jeremy Nester,he listed only 10 countries in the present world today as safest countries. They are Slovenia, Finland, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Austria, Iceland, Norway,Denmark and New Zealand.
According to him, “attitudes and demographics determines the safety of a country,the index include the number of homicides per 100,000 people,the potential for being the target of a terrorist attack, level of hostility to foreigners,educational attainment and unemployment rates and several other factors.
Of course nobody can predict the future, and by definition travel involves some inherent risk. These include both statistically improbable occurrences like plane going down in the Andes Mountains, to more likely events like being pick-pocked on a crowded bus. Travelling to the world’s safest nations does not guarantee an incident-free trip however. In travel as in life,there are no guarantees”.
Unfortunately today and very unfortunate indeed, Nigeria is listed among the twenty dangerous countries in the world by the Global Peace Index (GPI).
The listing raises a concern whether this country can break up or not. In short can Nigeria glass ceiling be shattered? The answer is that it can but it is not desirable. I do not want to contemplate a situation where Nigerians will part ways among themselves.
It is true we are facing serious challenges like other nations, but divorce is not the best solution to a troubled marriage. I want to believe that no matter what we are passing through at the moment, we shall overcome.We shall survive. For, the best comes out of us when we are down.
And why should this country break up and for what? We should not even contemplate it at all. We have been together for long and we shall continue to be together. And there is no easy way to part. Let us think of the on-going war in Afghanistan, Syria, to teach us a lesson.
Let us also think of whatis going on in Burundi,Congo, East Timor and the Central African Republic.
This brings to mind to the pre-civil war meeting that took place,when our military rulers had to proceed to Aburi to solve a crisis on 4th and 5th January, 1967. Aburi by the way is a town North-East of Accra,the capital of Ghana. From Accra to Aburi will take 45 minutes’ drive and it will be less when the dual carriage road from TettehQuarshire circle to Adenta Barrier is completed by next year.
At Aburithe Nigeria military rulers including Yakubu Gowon, Robert Adeyinka Adebayo,David Ejoor, OdumegwuOjukwu, J.E. Wey, Mobolaji Johnson, and TimothyOmo Bare all assembled.
After much discussion in Aburi, the deputy inspector General of Police at that time Omo Bare, stood up and told the meeting that” We cannot sit here…. and divide up Nigeria, because the way things are now moving is towards regionalisation of everything, and I do not think it is safe or that we are right to divide up Nigeria at this table”.
No leader, tribe or group of people has the right to break up this country. And the present political class must be reminded that they cannot escape if Nigeria should degenerate further into a major crisis.
This country must be saved. Nigeria must not go the way of Troy or Champagne.
ERIC TENIOLA, a former director at the presidency wrote from Lagos..