Sunday, August 1, 2010

Our success depends above all on our unity

Ghariokwu Lemi, Ikoyi Blindness, (mid 1970's).
What should be our attitude towards the complex and agonizing problems which confront us and which involve the future of our country? It must be one of calm, level-headedness, correct behavior, impartiality, objectivity, justice, patience, perseverance, constant faith and continuity of effort and action.
Problems exist, and will continue to exist, as long as the world exists. The solution of these problems often depends on many factors which are not always evident to us. Let us not always jump to the conclusion that these problems are due to ill-will on the part of the authorities or of our rulers. Every time that we discuss these problems, we must think of the mass of our fellow-Africans, for our task, like that of the Government of the country, is to concern ourselves not with a single class but with the population as a whole.

Let us not stand aloof from our brothers because they are less educated, less cultured, less fortunate than ourselves; this would create an unfortunate gulf between us. Our concern must be not to satisfy personal ambitions but to achieve the harmonious development of all Africans. We must give up any activities which may cause cleavages within our society.

Our success depends above all on our unity. This can only be achieved if we manage to rid our minds of excessive clannishness, to face up together to our patriotic duty and, above all, to be aware of the absolute necessity for each one of us to achieve the harmonious development of the Congo by means of a united and unselfish effort. The reforms which we are seeking must be achieved in a spirit of agreement and harmony.

It is easy enough to shout slogans, to sign manifestos, but it is quite a different matter to build, manage, command, spend days and nights seeking the solution of problems.-- Patrice Lumumba, Congo, My Country, (Pall Mall Press, 1962).