From whatever perspective we elect to look at it, Nasarawa State holds lots of prospects and great fortunes for us. If we look at economic, political and even social status of Nasarawa among the comity of states in the federation, you will certainly come to the conclusion that the State is gradually becoming a potent force to be reckoned with in the scheme of things in Nigeria. Besides abundant human and mineral resources, there is no human vocation you will not find Nasarawa indigenes making an incursion into.
The state is blessed with well talented and great people such that today our people in some sectors have become influential people to look up to for guidance and directions. Undeniably, Nasarawa State has of late become a cynosure owing to the proposed Dangote’s multi-billion naira sugar investment and ongoing prospecting of oil by the NNPC in some parts of the state.
In the political arena, the position of the state in the ongoing political permutations around the APC and the Buhari’s silhouette can not be ignored. This is in addition to the status of the state as Buhari’s political laboratory. All these things put together are enough reasons to conclude that Nasarawa State is assuming the status of economic and political hub of the north- central region and by extension a major political hub of the nation. What about the closeness of Nasarawa State to the federal capital, Abuja? This has also added another plus to us, as the State now represents what Maryland is to Washington DC.
While it is true that we in Nasarawa State are blessed with great talents, great opportunities and abundant mineral resources, one hard fact which we cannot run away from or rather must accept and make everything possible to amend, is our covetous tendencies generally.
Yes, we have this envious attitude in us. Consider for example, you come from the same town or even same family with someone but when something good comes to you, your very same town’s man or your very own brother rather than rejoice with you will go green in envy simply because that thing that is giving you some happiness came your way instead of coming to him; he will rather prefer that such a good thing goes to someone else with whom he has no affinity. In most of the cases, your very own brother can even go the extra mile to work against you. To him, if this good thing is not coming to him directly then it should go to someone else far away from his milieu.
The above scenario is happening every now and then in our midst. Yes we acknowledge that envy is part of human nature. For that reason, we in Nasarawa State are therefore not immune. However, with our envious attitude as narrated above, for God sake, how can we reap the benefits of our potentials or reap the benefits of our abundant material resources with this type of attitude? It is high time we do away with this bad tendency, or else we would, before our own eyes, see people from far away benefiting from our potentials or see people far away from us benefitting from our abundant mineral resources and there is nothing we can do about it.
In my previous piece, which appeared in some mainstream newspapers and in some online and social media platforms titled: “Of Backbiting, Gossiping and Our Dear Nasarawa State”, I highlighted the danger of backbiting and gossiping and cautioned us against its consequences.
However, of equal danger to backbiting and gossiping is envy. Our envious tendency is what is crippling both our social and family cohesion. As observed by many philosophers, envy is at the root of every societal and family dislocation, hence a fundamental source of a nation’s woes. All political, economic and social tension engulfing the world today and the threats of wars are all direct consequences of envy among leaders and followers as well. Even in our social interactions envy seems to take greater part which explains why we often witness broken relationships among friends or among members of same family.
Yes, enviousness is forbidden by all the religions. Islam for example enjoins us to love one another and to be compassionate in our dealings with one another. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “I swear by the one in whose hands is my soul, none of you will believe until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
However, it is to be noted that envy is the first sin that was committed when Allah (SWT) said to the angels to bow down to Adam. Satan refused to bow because he was jealous of the honour that Allah gave to Adam. Jealousy is indeed, a dangerous characteristic, so much so that Allah revealed verses of the Quran to be recited as protection from jealousy. Quran sura Al-falaq 113 says “I seek refuge with the Lord of the down from the evil of envious when he envies” Equally the Bible also frowns at envy and jealousy. Peter 2:1: “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander” also Galatians 5:26 “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, and envying one another” Indeed, from the foregoing we can deduce that both Islam and Christianity forbid envy and jealousy in all its ramifications.
Studies have shown that envy is often caused by various acts like, hatred, ambition, superiority complex and arrogance, astonishment and craving for power and prestige.
Envy has indeed become like our pastime. Just as pointed out earlier on, if we do not amend and start to chart a fresh path away from envy and jealousy, both our potentials as a people and our abundant mineral resources will go forlorn.
We must learn to love for our brothers what we love for ourselves. We must eschew all acts associated with envy. Unless and until we discard envious tendencies, our quest for peace and progress will remain a mirage.
–Bala lives in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
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