There are good Nigerians…many good Nigerians

December 29, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

AP photo



Prince Charles Dickson


‘Twas battered and scarred,

And the auctioneer thought it

hardly worth his while

To waste his time on the old violin,

but he held it up with a smile.

“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,

“Who starts the bidding for me?”

“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”

“Two dollars, who makes it three?”

“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”


But, No,

From the room far back a gray bearded man

Came forward and picked up the bow,

Then wiping the dust from the old violin

And tightening up the strings,

He played a melody, pure and sweet

As sweet as the angel sings.


The music ceased and the auctioneer

With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”

As he held it aloft with its’ bow.


“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”

“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”

“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,

Going and gone”, said he.


The audience cheered,

But some of them cried,

“We just don’t understand.”

“What changed its worth?”

Swift came the reply.

“The Touch of the Masters Hand.”


“And many a man with life out of tune

All battered and bruised with hardship

Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd

Much like that old violin.


A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,

A game and he travels on.

He is going once, he is going twice,

He is going and almost gone.


But the Master comes,

And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,

The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought

By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.



So the story started just like a joke…and sure all stories most times start like one, I had activated the holiday mood. I updated my Facebook page with what was on my mind, and then quickly a response came in, asking me where are you?

I looked at the name and discovered it was not a familiar one, so I went to the person’s page and the following quick conversation took place:


Ruth Baker Mgbejume

Are you looking for your ATM and national ID?


Prince Charles Dickson



Ruth Baker Mgbejume

My husband picked an ATM card yesterday

We used the name on the ID to search on facebook

But if you’re not the one ignore please


Well, I quickly reached for my wallet which was o the dinning table and noticed that though my other cards were intact, my Access Bank Credit Card and National ID Card was nowhere to be found. So the conversation continued:


Prince Charles Dickson

Access Bank?


Ruth Baker Mgbejume



Prince Charles Dickson

Yes, it’s me ooooooo


Ruth Baker Mgbejume

Where are you?


Prince Charles Dickson

And I only noticed now

I am in Jos


Ruth Baker Mgbejume



Prince Charles Dickson

Can I beep you


Ruth Baker Mgbejume

We are at terminus


Prince Charles Dickson

Can I beep you?


Ruth Baker Mgbejume



Prince Charles Dickson

234 8033311301

Call is being forwarded

Say’s your line is switched off


Ruth Baker Mgbejume

You just called



Yes, finally the call got through, don’t mind the Nigerian network, some 15 minutes later with my entire clan of four, myself, wife and two lads we were face to face with not the good Samaritan, but with the Good Nigerian, Ruth was with her hubby.


Ruth is a High School Biology Teacher at TCNN Staff Secondary School, Bukuru, Jos, she studied at UniMaid, was possibly raised in Kaduna, and is from Lassa in Adamawa.

Alfred Bake Mgbejume is a Josite, he attended the popular St Mulumba and off course University of Jos, my alumni.

This lovely couple with a daughter took the pains, and went to the social media, traced me and we met, and they gave me my possession.

Now before I relate this incidence for us to reflect, many decades ago, I had read Onyero Mgbejume, the late Radio-TV-Film academic and scholar, I recall it was ‘Film in Nigeria: Development, Problems and Promise’. And nothing in that flirting read ever revealed I would meet an Alfred who would be an Mgbejume and Onyero’s son.

Ruth and Alfred Mgbejume are Nigerians and they are good Nigerians. They both come from a good pedigree, they may not be given an award for their simple act. However, they are a reflection of what is missing in Nigeria…Good, and really if only we search there are indeed good Nigerians

We gather from the grapevine that there would be a cabinet reshuffle, fair enough, I am not a politician and I am not canvassing for an appointment, but Mr. President I insist should look for good men, men that are not moved by the winds of confusion.

Like the old violin, Nigeria has potential, but for how long, at what point would we get the right person to play out her worth. We are first amongst equals in many facets of human lives, having scored several innumerable firsts. We are good people but we have simply refused to get a good person, the Mgbejumes that can play the strings and bring harmony to the tunes of nationhood.

We need leaders, good leaders not just position holders, those that cannot take a lead and accomplish something, not those with chains of degrees, but those that can play out the strings of leadership. As we end another year, Nigeria’s search for good governance continues, the skelewo dance of shame is nowhere ending in different facets of our lives, is there hope that good men are coming next year?—Only time will tell.











Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.


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