The past few days I have had reasons to engage in deep thought and ponder on the future of this country, the direction its youth are taking and their “naivety” in the face of the quagmire of issues that bemuses this country. Of course it is not an insult to them, and I am not absolving myself, however to avoid the truth and pretend that all is well, will serve only to hasten the speed with which this country hurtles towards destruction.
Events of the past few days have warranted the need for this post, and it troubles my soul to realize that only but few people have seen the need to discuss these troubling times, worse that nobody feels it’s time to act and set things right. Taking a clue from this generation, you will be shocked at what are the laid out priorities. I mean, it’s great to catch fun, doing the shoki and sekem steps; I certainly envy those who can perform the steps with ease, and I have been trying to learn these steps, however, this doesn’t stop me from the reality on ground and the need to speak up. To illustrate my point, while serving in a school in Abeokuta last year, I asked some students who Chinua Achebe was and they looked at me like “why would I be interested in such a gal”? Of course when I asked about Wizkid, I got the shrieks of “Star boy”. Baffled, I decided to try again, this time, some weeks back with kids in my area in Lagos. I got blank from the kids I asked and while looking puzzled, my friend (who was with me while I asked the kids who Chinua Achebe was) asked if she wasn’t the woman who embezzled money.
I guess you all can imagine my indignation, and how I so much wanted to knock my friend out. But you all will be wondering how Shoki and Chinua relates? It doesn’t. I am just attempting to highlight the consequences of us attaching importance to stuffs that does not develop us intellectually. These days, more attention is placed on entertainment, not that it is bad, but for God’s sake we have so much music and movie reality shows out there, where millions are won, and yet, few or virtually no show that rewards brilliance and innovation. If the likes of Davido, Wizkid, and Kcee get endorsements worth millions, why would a kid want to excel in his or her studies when there is no certainty of him or her “making it”?
I digress a lot maybe, but my aim is to show how bad it is. These days, all I hear are ”dreams of hitting it big via crook or vile means”. My ears hurt terribly. For long now I have nothad the opportunity to discuss ideologies or theories, like pan africanism, Marxism, or whatever isms.
To the bone of contention for me, some weeks back, despite the fact that the Army were winning the battle against Boko Haram, there was an announcement by the FG that there was going to be a cease fire between the Army and Boko HAram. Hearing this, I am sure some people might have heaved a sigh of relief, but the truth is all I heard around me was talks about going to FELABRATION and what to wear. I mean, “what?” Why would people not be concerned about the effects such a decision would have on the morale and image of the country. What country knowing it has got insurgents by their balls literally agrees a cease fire and its citizenry just accepts this ? There were a few people online who argued against this, and advised that the government consolidates on its efforts at ridding the insurgents entirely but they were not listened to. As the events of the past few days have proved, they were right. People lost their lives to a bomb blast in Gombe and Mubi was over run. What was annoying was that citizens of this country fled from their homes like refugees, and yet, we saw nothing wrong in condemning the government and demanding that heads roll.
Rather, what seems to be the news is the defection of Tambuwal from PDP to APC. And the worst aspect is that the political leaders and their followers have decided to centre the crisis on the lines of religion and tribe. I have to admit that this is sickening. Are we saying we are slaves forever to our leaders? Of course they have the political power and authority, but we seem to forget that we gave them these powers. We own the will, the strength, the future of the state; we have the power of the masses and yet we prefer to play the fiddle while our Rome burns. Burkina Faso had its leader toppled after the people bluntly rejected him. Yet, we Nigerians are all praying to God to come down and help us; its pathetic. I see no reason why we should be relaxed while our sovereignty and our rights are severely trampled on by our leaders. The time for change is nigh. We cannot accept nor allow our leaders to keep taking us for a ride. Our political leaders and government must be accountable to us, because they are there to serve us and not the other way round. Also, we must have a sober reflection and change our ways. Its not enough to leave important decisions affecting our lives in the hands of these leaders who don’t have our interest at heart, we have to ensure we engage them intelligently and make them realize that the pendulum has swung and we hold our fate in our hands.
Borrowing the words of Fashola: “The worst illiterate is the political illiterate. He hears nothing, sees nothing, takes no part in political life. He doesn’t seem to know that the cost of living, the price of beans, of flour, of rent, of medicines all depend on political decisions. He even prides himself on his political ignorance, sticks out his chest and says he hates politics. He doesn’t know, the slowpoke, that from his political non-participation comes the prostitute, the abandoned child, the robber and worst of all, corrupt officials, the lackeys of exploitative multinational corporations”.
This is why we must henceforth engage ourselves in the business of the governance of us; after all we claim to be in a democracy which is defined to be a government of the people, for the people and by the people. And as such the government must be for us, not us being strung around like puppets by our self serving political leaders.
For our leaders, I have this to say;
Remember! Remember!! Remember!!!
The French revolution, when the people stood up against their leaders and how it ended.
Remember! Remember!! Remember!!!
The Arab Spring, when governments were toppled by their people.
Remember! Remember!! Remember!!!
The will of the people supersedes your will and should the people be forced to exert their will, the consequences won’t be to the favor of the leaders………..