The events of last week have been quite depressing. They were not so surprising though as anyone who is discerning knew it was going to happen one day the way the country has been running. It was inevitable except there was a rapid, major transformation from the top. It was quite painful to see that Lagos State which has always been the most progressive state in Nigeria suffered a lot. But then when Lagos shakes, Nigeria shakes, so maybe it was necessary for the clarion call.
I don’t want to talk about what happened last week. Some of the truths are still unknown while some of the truths are obvious for all to see. Hopefully more truths will be revealed per time. What we need to talk about now and seek to do, is to move forward. We have witnessed what can happen if we don’t right some wrongs. Indeed, it is symbolic that the crisis started with a fight against those meant to maintain law and order, uphold what is right.
I’ve always wondered what Nigeria’s biggest problem is. Is it corruption or lack of education? I guess one fuels the other and it is quite sad that some of the “educated” sometimes display “corrupt” minds. This is out of pride, grandiosity, self-righteousness, personal gain and overinflated egos. I suppose we can call them the poorly educated. The really educated are generally timid and work in their little spheres unsure of how to make the positive impacts on society in a larger scale which is the true purpose of education….”knowledge and skills to be used for a better life for me and a better life for all who come in contact with me.” The uneducated don’t know much and are pushed by the wind which can be a mob in religious activity, tribal affiliations, nefarious activity or they are stuck in crowd of paralysis and helplessness.
And so, the real revolution required is one of thought that leads to positive impact action. We need more people thinking and acting this way. Of course, it is best if it starts from the top. Surely the Government is aware of the depth of poverty and restlessness in the land now. Surely, they know something has to change. It will be tricky given our economy which still has its challenges as the global effects of COVID-19 linger. However, palliatives can never be enough.
The gains of the looters will be exhausted in two months or less. Good leadership starts with showing the led you are one of them. Our leaders need to make personal sacrifices now. They need to come and be among the people and start to institute the necessary changes. Every Governor, senator, House of Representatives member, house of assembly member and local Government chairman must be in different part of his constituency weekly showing what he/she is doing. The money to develop our communities is there. They must now channel it for that purpose. It must be widespread, seen and felt by the majority.
Education and empowerment are crucial ingredients for the desired Nigeria. I cringe when I see throngs of students going to some public schools. I wonder what they are being taught and if they are actually learning. Listening to some of the teachers makes one cry. We need to improve on the educational system. The human mind is the most potent tool for development (or destruction as we have seen). I’m not sure education is something Government can do alone. It takes a community to educate a child it has been said. I’ve long nurtured this dream of where every church, residents association, old students association, etc, take up a public school close to it, renovates it to create a place the students want to go and have opens minds to learn. They equip it with generators, build a library with computers, pay volunteers to give extra lectures after classes, have community fields and playgrounds where the children can play and relax after school. We have to find a way to develop the minds of the next generation as they the next set of “youths”. We can’t afford to have majority of them dreaming about being footballers or musicians and ending up as yahoo yahoo boys or runs girls. There must be better opportunities and it starts with better education. It is a terrible thing to waste the mind. The gap between the builders (Lekki and Alausa protesters) and the burners (Bode Thomas and other looters) must be bridged towards the former.
Back to the leaders and staying with us all, there has to be deep analysis of what we call Nigeria as she is today. The document that binds us has to be reviewed. The way we are “united” has to be reassessed. It should be obvious to all now that there is a need for restructuring of some sort we are to develop. The police reform screams for it. The power base at the centre has failed us for decades now and we need to move on from that. The educated and indeed all who are not in governance must hold the leaders accountable for how the economy and the country are being run. They have enjoyed themselves long enough, it’s time for a general growth rather than personal growth. Those with proper knowledge and experience MUST be allowed to do what they do best in all sectors. The current good leaders must be strengthened and new credible ones must emerge. If we need to be more socialist at this time, so be it. We don’t have to copy and paste democracy and capitalism. Continuing to wallow in mediocrity in governance will be very dangerous.
There is also a need to move away from individual mediocrity for the average Nigerian. We talk a lot. We do this because we think we know a lot. We feel we can manage our football team and country better than anyone else. Fair enough, but do we do enough? We joke with everything (we all want to be doctors as laugher heals, but we must remember that medicine also kill). We condemn everything with only surface value evaluation. Some of our leaders are doing well, and we know them. They must be encouraged as they are pushed. We must also be patient as development takes some time and is in phases. In this social media era, we share everything (May God deliver us from fake news), allow ourselves to be puppets and be used for chicanery. We need to review our motives. We all want a good life, but at what or who’s expense? We have so much good and potential in us, let’s put it to work and not keep them as vain words. Social media debates are somewhat empty because communication is incomplete and ineffective, body language is misconstrued and English is not our language. Twitter trolling and abuse should be labelled a sin by God. Those discussions are more fruitful face to face or by phone calls. Let’s sharpen one another. The protesters at Lekki and Alausa did a lot of great stuff one could be proud of. That is something to build on. We all want the same thing. A better Nigeria. Anyone who is not working towards this should be cast aside. We will have some differences along the way but if the vision is clear and we are sincere, the majority will overcome the minority in that debate.
And so, I end my “sermon” on this matter. I know it sounds simplistic, but principles usually are. Implementation is where the challenge is. I’ve called it a sermon because I think God put it in my heart to share. We all need a Word from God at this time. We can’t afford to be nihilist. A lot of us must have spoken to Him last week. We all need to listen to what He is telling us for our personal good and for the general good as it concerns Nigeria. We all need to act on what He is telling us. When we do, He will fight for us and with us.Follow us on social media