Chinua Achebe said there ‘was’ a country and I have no choice but to agree. The entity we call Nigeria has been dead and long buried. Now all we have is a group of people simply going through the motions of day to day life.
A few weeks ago the #ChildNotbride campaign came on board,it was particularly loud in less than 48hours. All social medias Nigerians knew were buzzing with the campaign that had to do with the new law the Senate had passed concerning child marriage.
Sadly,most Nigerians(typically) didn’t even understand the law..all they simply heard was that any female child could be married at any age. And as usual nobody sort to do any research and the senate too didn’t bother to come forth and offer any form of clarification. By the next saturday evening however the #ChildNotBride campaign had ended(I was still expecting it to carry on till monday tho)and #MBGN(most beautiful girl in Nigeria) had taken over..surprised? Don’t be.
Nigerians have always been cowards,we just have never been bold enough to admit that to ourselves. I remember a saying “Push a Nigerian to the wall and he would still break through that wall and keep running”…our energy been used in a wrong way. Why not chanel that energy used in breaking the wall into fighting watever it is chasing us. The age of social media has brought about a new sense of awareness in the country but yet we still miss use it.
If we feel rightly wronged on any issue,we shouldn’t limit our protests to the internet(besides do our leaders go through it). We shouldn’t limit it to protests(people were asked to come n sign a petition on the #ChildNotBride caompaign but who are we going to summit it to?). We have passed through the stage of all these ineffectual motions. We always say a revolution is coming in Nigeria,when would that come?! And where would it take place? On twitter,instagram or facebook?.
We should wipe this illusion called religion off our faces before we can attempt staging any revolution. But that is really a next to impossible step in this era when people worship their pastors and Imams more than God they claim to. Take your mind through all the ‘protest’ you have all staged,how many religious leaders have come out in support? Now take a look at egypt and the muslim brotherhood. Making sense? We must begin to block out these businessmen(our pastors regularly make it into forbes richest) and face reality,we won’t move anywhere.
We have religious leaders who now charge gate-fees to attend their churches(Christ Embassy ’10 cross-over)..one question..would that gate fee guarantee you passage into heaven? Our religious leaders build schools with the tithes and offerings of the church members and at the end of the day an average member of the church can’t afford to send his or her child there..and yet noone would speak up because they are supposedly the Lord’s anointed. They would tell you good education isn’t cheap.
The first 2days of the january fule subsidy protest had us moving in the right direction until it was turned into a jamboree. Is that why we are here?! About the Aluu4,has anything been heard or done since? About the disgraceful in-house physical fighting at the rivers state house of assembly,has anything been done? No,nothing can be done cause we as Nigerians have become ‘Leave them,after a few ranting here and there,they would move on’..
I told a friend on sometime ‘Stone a Senator today,protect a child tomorrow’..he bursted out laughing. But that is just the plain truth,when our so-called leaders start getting attacked where ever they go,they would start thinking twice when ever they meet to draw out negative policies.
Simply because all these have not happened,we have a country where the wife of the president is the second most powerful person in the country. And this trend didn’t just start but was brought to the fore during the reign of Yar’adua…how can a leader ‘elected’ in a country of over 150million people be sick and no one can pin point where he is been treated?! Not even the vice-president knew where he was. And a shocker for you,a selected group of our ‘religious leaders’ claimed to have visited him and reported he was hale and hearty.Drawing any connections?
Let us channel our social media energy into some actions. We are not wild animals to be caged. We are more than that. The era of peaceful protest should be long gone by now.
No one is perfect or a saint but we can at least smoothen some rough edges. And the problem doesn’t lie with just the politicians and religious leaders even the so-called celebrities are a cancer eating into the very fabric of this nation. When they find it difficult to even help one another,who are the masses for them to help? The #SaveOJB campaign lasted about two weeks…something that should totally been unheard of. Or are they trying to tell us none of them could afford his treatment with the kind of money they spend on houses and cars nowadays. Though I wouldn’t blame them,they are also typical Nigerians lacking dignity.
A few weeks back,Ice Prince won the BET award for best African Artiste. Fast forward a few days later and we found out he received his award backstage!!! How low can one stoop? He was right there during the proper ceremony,why did he hav to receive his award backstage and why didn’t he protest about it? Nigerian for you.
Let’s take a step today by making sure our votes count and if it doesn’t,there should be hell to pay.
Sit down today and ask yourself..are we doing the right thing or are we just recycling the old ways? We shout shout,threaten heaven and brimstone and at the end do nothing. We can always predict what would happen each time our leaders bring up a bad policy.
Its time we start doing things another way. You all might think I am too extreme for suggesting violence but right now that is our best shot at getting things right. And I strongly believe the best thing that could have happened to the country would have been we breaking up..everyone going his or her respective way..the civil war should have solved that. But now we have to do it all over again! Because without a revolution,nothing is going to change. But if for once Nigerians can muster strength and face our demons..there can be a country!
Ige Olumide John ‘BASS’