O God of creation,
direct our noble cause.
Guide our leaders right,
help our youth the truth to know…
Forgive me if the next words you’d read may sound too raw, but this post is in two parts and this is what this first part is about, my anger. A few days ago, I poured out my heart on my Whatsapp status as tears literally, freely flowed down from my eyes to my neck. I had just watched a video of a young Nigerian man brutally murdered by a custom officer over a five thousand naira bribe! I know most of you would have seen the video by now. As much as I would not like to admit it, I wept because somewhere deep down, I still love my country. This same country that has failed every single citizen it has birthed, a country that reeks of decay from its very roots to the tip of every single leaf it has sprouted. This same country that never misses the opportunity to pull down its pants and take a piss on the very citizens it swore by God to protect!! And at the end of the day, the Nigerian Customs Service made a press release saying it was an accidental discharge. If you watched that video, you’d know IT CLEARLY WASN’T! My anger isn’t aimed at the Nigerian Customs, but at the government (executive, legislature and the judiciary) and all its parastatals, and we the citizens. But I’ll leave us out of this for now.
These people don’t give a hoot about you, me or this country. They have turned us into a game in which we are used to score points. These unscrupulous individuals are neck deep into schadenfreude, a psychotic pleasure derived from seeing us suffer! These old people have no regard for our lives, they have no regard for anything that is not in their interest or that of their family’s. I could go on venting, but it would do no good, so I’ll stop here and move on to the next part of this post.
You know one thing? in spite of all the evils in the land, one indisputable and irrefutable fact remains that I am still Nigerian, and you reading this might be Nigerian also.
If you are already thinking it, yes, this is a WAKE UP CALL. That day, I also wept because there was a yearning in my soul, born out of pain and love. A yearning to see this country healed and restored. This yearning made me realize that this healing and restoration would come from nowhere else other than you and me, the young generation of this country. Where do we want to run to? Will 90 million youths all be granted visas? Will all of us receive permanent residency in the US or Canada or wherever? Let’s face this reality, we can change things! In the third line of the second stanza of our national anthem (check the beginning of this post, just in case you have forgotten), I don’t need to reveal to you that our leaders have failed that line. They have refused to be guided and gotten everything wrong. But look at the fourth line, look, there is HOPE, and it involves you and me.
We need to know the truth, the truth that we cannot run from Nigeria, the truth that we cannot abandon our country because we will suffer for it, the truth that WE ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT CAN SAVE THIS COUNTRY! It is a thing of joy to know that a few of us have started showing interests in politics and running for offices, may God lead them right. But I want to open our minds to something. In this bid to salvage this country form the pirates whom have led us to wreckage, we have to play our cards right. For as many of us with the right mind who want to spark positive changes in the political scene, please take your eyes off executive positions. If you don’t know, the executive (president/governors) have limited power. They don’t make the laws. The legislative make the laws, the Senate and house of representatives. That’s where we are needed. They say a country is as good as its laws. The Senate and house of representatives, are littered with people who are there for the sole purpose of “chopping money”. We need to take back the legislative! And if you still want executive position, start from the local government. You don’t build a house from the roof down, rather you build from the ground up to the roof. I hope I’m making sense. But that is not where I’m headed.
I started this post with the sad take of an animal in disguise who killed a man over a five thousand Naira bribe, and the poor excuse of a leader who said it was an accidental discharge. I beg of you, Nigerian youths, if we are to seize this nation COMPLETELY, we would have to seize the Armed Forces too and every other law enforcement agencies. A lot of unspeakable atrocities are committed in these places right under our noses, but they are permissible because some outrightly unconcerned government officials are seated in high offices. It’s not enough to go into politics, we have to storm the Armed Forces too. If we are going to change this country, we have to start from EVERY corner and EVERY position. So as we seize the Senate and house of representatives, let’s not forget to seize the local governments too, the police force, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Nigerian Customs Service, the Road Safety, the Immigration Service, the NSCDC, and all other institutions there are. An educated person with at least a degree who joins the police force or any other force would not be sent to the streets to patrol, if that’s what you are scared of. They’d be placed in offices, and that’s where the change can start from, to the top and to the bottom, gradually and effectively. I can swear on my life, that Nigeria can, and will be great again. But “how” and “when” is up to you, me, us. Let me say this, deep down, somewhere in our hearts, we all love this country. We all know this and no matter how hard we try, we can’t deny it. So why? Why do we want to sit down and watch it get ruined more than it already has? Please, I don’t know your names, or your faces, but if you are reading this, I beg you, do something to make this country better, because YOU CAN, AND I CAN. Let us seize this country, in the big and small ways we can…
…in love and honesty to grow
and living just and true
great lofty heights attain
to build a nation where PEACE,
and JUSTICE SHALL REIGN.
Written by Divine Kingsley-Ediale
Edited and approved by Yeyetomisin
Photos Credit by Google Photos