On The Surface, Nigeria Can Never Be Great, By Bemdoo Hulugh
Sometimes, events make me ask if the struggle for a better Nigeria is a waste of time. When I see people who criticise government go into government and do worst than those they criticised. When I see the masses put their trust in some particular candidates and they fail. When I ask genuine questions and people laugh at me. When there is call for protest and the turn up is low. When people agree I’m saying or doing the right thing but remind me this is Nigeria. As someone who dream and struggle for a better Nigeria, these moments make me feel let down.
We complain about our leaders but every day I see many people behaving like them. Every day you come across a police officer on the highway who is more interested in extorting motorists than protecting lives and properties. Even in the High Court, it is written boldly N50 on the affidavit form but they collect N500 or more from you. We have imbibed the culture of “what is in it for me?”And that is why it is almost impossible to enter a government office in Nigeria to get something done without giving a bribe. In Nigeria today, when people notice you are close to a prominent politician, all they want to know is if the man or woman normally give you money.
We have become people that stand for nothing. We give Chieftaincy title and National honours to criminals and political thugs. Special sits are reserved for the wealthy in our churches and mosques no matter the source of their income.
There is decay everywhere. Our government extorts us and embezzles our common wealth. Unions extort from their members, pastors extort from the congregation and Student union extort from fellow students in the name of student union dues. It is all about how to extort people in any position we find ourselves. Is it not now true that every society get the leaders they deserve? After all, it is among us these leaders are selected or elected.
We have been brainwashed to a level that it is normal to hear people say things like a President, Governor or Chairman can embezzle but should still work for the people. For us it is impossible to have a Political office holder that will not embezzle our common wealth but at least he should have the people at heart. It is generally accepted by all, that political office is a place of financial breakthrough and not a place to serve. How can we dream of a better Nigeria with this kind of mentality? Where do we start the struggle for a better Nigeria?
When you follow the Nigerian social media community, you will feel there is genuine awakening. But when it is time to transfer the anger and concern we show on social media to the streets, only very few answer the call. Majority agree that everything is wrong with Nigeria but only few are ready to stand up and be counted. It is a long, long road to a better Nigeria, many believe there will never be a better Nigeria and those of us in the struggle are doing it for personal interest or just wasting our time.
I don’t belong to the category of people who believe God will one day intervene and a better Nigerian will be born. Never will those benefiting from corruption wake up one day and agree they will not steal again because we have prayed too hard or those who benefit from rigging election decide not to rig because God has touched their hearts. Freedom has never been given, it is taken. Those who benefit from any system will not willingly give up without putting in a fight. The earlier we understand all these truths, the better for us.
On the surface, a better Nigeria might be impossible. There may be many who will like to join the struggle for a better Nigeria but are discouraged by all these things I mentioned above, so they channel their energy to other things. But history has repeatedly proved without doubt that even in the face of impossible odds, those who really love their country can change it. Martin Luther King Jnr, had in his mind the kind of country he wanted to live in and worked all his life for it. Nelson Mandela wanted a South Africa that all races live together and he worked hard to achieve it. Here we all agree that this country need to be fixed but we prefer others to do it for us. In as much as it might look impossible, we that love Nigeria can change it.
As for we the true Believers, there is a country in our mind that is great. Let us continue to talk about it on social media, in our writings, in our offices, in our churches and any where we are given an opportunity to speak. Today, our writings most especially on social media have made citizens more aware and concerned about the state of our dear country but something is holding them back from marching against the establishment like it happened in Egypt and Tunisia. It will surely reach a point when the people can’t take it anymore and we will need to be there to lead them. We must remember the story of the land owner who kept on digging because he was told there was gold deposit on his land. He dug and dug but never saw any gold, so he gave up and sold the land to another man who dug just a feet more and discovered the gold deposits. We have come too far and giving up is never an option. At this point we must make up our minds that the struggle for a great Nigeria is our life.
The Czechoslovakia revolution(velvet revolution),the Romanian revolution, the Serbian revolution(bulldozer revolution),the Georgian Revolution(revolution of roses) and more recently the Tunisian and Egypt revolutions have proved beyond doubt that the people’s power is greater than the power of the people in authority. They use thugs or the police to suppress us but the day people can’t take it anymore, no amount of political thugs or police can stop them. In the words of Malcolm-X “You get your freedom by letting your enemy knows that you’ll do anything to get it. Then you’ll get it. It’s the only way you’ll get it”. The day Nigeria will rise and overwhelm this evil system is not too far away.
I dream of a Nigeria that our President, Governors and Chairmen will be the true voice of the people; our National Assembly will be the true representatives of the people and the Judiciary, the last hope of the common man. I dream of a country where even in the rural areas no child is sitting on the floor or under the tree to learn, no child is selling banana, ground nuts or sachet water in traffic. The Nigeria in my mind is the one with first class infrastructure and where no man is above the law. Many will not believe this dream can become a reality but if Wizkid could change the dress sense of a generation then an inspirational leader will change our mentality and country as a whole. I will never give up on the struggle for a better Nigeria, I shall fight in the best way I can, so help me God.
Bemdoo Hulugh is an active citizen
You can also interact with me on twitter @bumy04
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