The Danger Of Doing Nothing

Published:19 Nov, 2012

On Saturday, the 17th of November, Lloyd Michael, one of the four young men killed by a blood thirsty crowd in the Aluu-Umuokiri local government area of Rivers State was laid to rest in Port Harcourt. Reading about the burial brought back the sadness I felt when the news of these young men broke and it made me ask questions. What happened to those suspects rounded up by the police after the gruesome murder of these young men? Had they been prosecuted? What have we DONE to make sure that such things never happen again?

A few weeks ago, an online petition went viral on the internet. The petition sought signatures for a bill outlawing mob/jungle justice. As usual, since Nigerians love debates, it was not much of a surprise to see dissenting views on the relevance of the specific law being sought by proponents of this petition. Those opposed to the petition told proponents of the petition that it was better to ask for reforms than to ask for more laws. They said we merely had an ineffective policing system that needed government’s attention, and that if the police were equipped, it will be a lot easier to fight off murderous gangs. They said all these and more, and then proceeded to do nothing about all these ‘wonderful’ suggestions.

This experience confirmed what I have always feared about Nigerians. We have groomed ourselves, either consciously or unconsciously to resort to talk where action is required. All we want to do is discuss, debate, disagree and go back to folding our hands. If those who opposed the petition for a specific law against mob justice had gone ahead with their own petition calling for the reforms they suggested, I am sure a lot would have been achieved but sadly, that was not the case. Months after Lloyd, Chidiaka, Tekana and Ugonna were sent to their graves, the media has reported other cases of lynching of suspected robbers by irate mobs. Only a few days ago in Owerri, some young men were beaten and on the verge of being doused with petrol when a team of policemen rescued them. I wonder if these incidences have gone unnoticed by the opponents of the mob justice bill. After all the beautiful speeches we continue to face the ugly reality on ground. Mob justice will continue as long as there is no stringent law put in place to curtail it.

This complacent I-like-debate-hate-action attitude of Nigerians is what has kept us in this cesspool of corruption and stagnation. Nigerian leaders get away with unpopular policies because they know for a fact that after all the hue, cry, articles, tweets, and updates, Nigerians will go back to their shells. We have never run short of activists. From the first republic to this one, we have had our own share of freedom fighters, but actual change is driven by real action. The danger of doing nothing is that we will continue have ineffective laws that will lead to citizens resorting to stone age practices to get justice.  The danger of doing nothing is that cases will never be fully prosecuted and criminals will always be left off the hook to walk among us.

The danger of doing nothing is that we will have a country where N100 billion is lost annually to health tourism while our health sector is crumbling. The danger of doing nothing is that we will spend N160 billion annually in countries like Ghana just because the education sector is suffering neglect. The danger of doing nothing is that we will hear rumours of governors giving N600 million to friends and acquaintances just because they can. The danger of doing nothing is that we will lose $5 billion annually to oil theft and nothing will be done. The danger of doing nothing is that we mortgage the future of unborn generation and take away their chances of being born in a country where everything works. The time has come for us to do more than talk. Debates are good but they are not enough. The road to change is built by those who take action.

 

A real decision is measured by the fact that you have taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided. – Tony Robbins

 

Umari Ayim is a lawyer, published author and a thinker devoted to the Nigerian cause.

Her column ‘Revolution Woman’ where she will be dealing on topical issues runs every Monday. Follow her on Twitter – @Umariofficial

  • ‘This complacent I-like-debate-hate-action attitude of Nigerians is what has kept us in this cesspool of corruption and stagnation.’

    How many times am I allwed to ‘gbam’ this submission. Kai! Nigerians can talk!

  • “Actual change is driven by real action.” My best line in your piece.It continues to bother me how we can atlk so much,yet nothing changes.If we do not walk the talk,who will ? Only Nigerians can change Nigeria.I’ve decided to be the change.Thank you Umari for this wake up call.

  • You are right Zebbook, we can really talk. Hopefully, the time will come when we will learn to do more than just talk.

  • Thank you Ope, and I agree with you that only Nigerians can change Nigeria.

  • anas

    Good article…But the masses are still struggling for food, and this makes it almost impossible for them to spend days on the streets in order to change something. Another problem is that Most of us (Nigerians)that have access to the media are either rich or born to a rich family, these are unfortunately the people that should take actionsbut none is willing to sacrifice the luxury and comfort for the better being of the caountry.

  • It is a well done piece from a patrotic citizen who has her country at heart. I seriously agree with u that only 9jans can fight and change 9ja. It is our collective responsibily to put our heads together and change country’s undulating walk,everything is not working,particulally the leadership.

  • @xahido

    I only have one word…SYNERGY.

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Zaria massacre: U.S. demands action on white paper; wants soldiers punished

The United States Government on Friday called on the Nigerian Government to expedite action on the recommendation of the White Paper on last year’s killings in Zaria, Kaduna State. John Kirby, Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson of the Bureau of Public Affairs, said the U.S. government fully agreed with the White Paper’s recommendations that those involved in the killings be punished. “On Dec. 5th, the Kaduna State Government in Nigeria issued a long-awaited White Paper on clashes last year that resulted...

Parents in panic as YABATECH Undergraduate Goes Missing.

An undergraduate of the Yaba College of Technology, Emmanuel Kolade, is said to be missing. Emmanuel, who is studying Computer Engineering at the school, left his parents’ home on Awolumate Street, Ajuwon, Ogun State, on November 11. His whereabouts had remained unknown since then. The 32-year-old man was a part-time student of YABATECH and also worked in Computer Village, Ikeja, where he repaired phones. His father, Mr. Adeniyi Kolade, told Punch that Emmanuel, his fifth child, left for his workplace on...

UPDATE: South Korean President, Park Geun-hye has been impeached.

South Korean lawmakers on Friday impeached President Park Geun-hye, a stunning and swift fall for the country's first female leader amid protests that drew millions into the streets in united fury.   After the vote, parliamentary officials hand-delivered formal documents to the presidential Blue House that stripped Park of her power and allowed the country's No. 2 official, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, to assume leadership until the Constitutional Court rules on whether Park must permanently step down. The court has up...

JUST IN: Two bomb blasts kill 10 in Madagali town market, BokoHaram blamed

Police say two explosions have ripped through a market in northeast Nigeria's Madagali town, and a survivor says they killed at least 10 people.   Boko Haram Islamic extremists are blamed for the attack Friday morning on the edge of the group's Sambisa Forest stronghold, which Nigeria's military has been bombing ahead of ground assaults.   Since the military has dislodged the extremists from towns and villages this year, the insurgents have been attacking soft targets.   Survivor Ahmadu Gulak says the two explosions struck...

Oil prices rise ahead of meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC producers

Oil prices extended gains on Friday on optimism that non-OPEC producers would agree to cut output following a cartel agreement to limit production.   The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet non-OPEC nations in Vienna on Saturday to seek their help in curbing a global supply glut.   Azerbaijan already said it would come to the Austrian capital armed with proposals for its own reduction.   Brent sweet crude for February delivery was up 17 cents at $54.06 a barrel after settling up...

Bolivian aviation official reveals Chapecoense plane crash cover-up

While the air traffic control official warned that there would not be enough fuel to reach their destination, she had no authority to stop it before it crashed in Medellin Celia Castedo, a Bolivian aviation official, has revealed that she was "harrased and pressured" into covering up the truth behind the Chapecoense airplane crash which killed 71 passengers and injured six others.   Ms Castedo told Bolivian media that she had previously warned that the plane did not have enough fuel...

Vehicle Importation Ban – Dealers plead for review.

Car dealers in Kano have appealed to the Federal Government to review the law banning the importation of used cars into the country through its land borders. Alhaji Sani Yaro, a prominent dealer of used cars at Olu Obasanjo Way in Kano, said that even before the ban, they were struggling to save the business. He explained that it was indeed a government policy that brought about the ban, yet they urged the Federal Government to think of their plight...

My husband shaved my hair for rituals, wife tells court

A Customary Court in Mapo, Ibadan, on Friday dissolved the five-year-old marriage between Mr Olumide Asogbon and her wife, Idowu, a mother of two, over threat to her life. Idowu had told the court that her husband was threatening her life by shaving some portions of her hair and using it for spiritual purposes. She also alleged that Asogbon claimed that she infected him with HIV/AIDS and gonorrhoea. The President of the court, Mr Ademola Odunade, held that Idowu and Olumide...

Ghana opposition leader wins presidential election, radio stations say.

Ghana's main opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, has won the west African country's presidential election with an absolute majority over President John Mahama, two influential private radio stations said on Friday. In his first comment since the election, Mahama said on Twitter on Friday he would wait for official results, in a seemingly softer tone from Thursday when a senior member of his National Democratic Congress (NDC)camp said Mahama was ahead. "Let's allow EC (Electoral Commission) to carry out its constitutional mandate....

Indonesian soldier found alive two weeks after helicopter crash

A soldier has been found alive two weeks after an Indonesian army helicopter he was travelling in crashed, killing three people, the military said on Friday. The helicopter went down in a ravine in northern Indonesia on Nov. 24 while carrying supplies to military posts near the border with Malaysia. Armed forces spokesman Brig.-Gen. Sabrar Fadhilah said Second Lt. Yohannes Saputra was found on Thursday in a nearby village with injuries to his arms, waist and legs. “He was extremely weak...

Iwobi Needs To Score More Goals – Ian Wright

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has advised Super Eagles forward Alex Iwobi to step and improve on his goal sense and  score goals on a more regular basis. Iwobi scored his first goal of the season for Arsenal in their 4-1 win against Basel in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match-day 6 tie. The 20-year-old got Arsenal's fourth after Lucas Perez had scored a hat-trick. Last season, he scored two goals after breaking into Arsenal's first team. Speaking on BT Sport, Wright said: “That’s...

Wizkid Cancels his Homecoming Concert

Wizkid is heartbroken! He has released a statement that states he has cancelled all his shows scheduled to hold this December and January 2017 because his doctors have advised him to. Wizkid said he has been on the road touring and doing what he loves for two years non stop and now, it's all catching up on him. You recall Wizkid was to host his homecoming concert at the end of the year in Lagos, a concert he promised...

Funke Akindele signs endorsement deal with fashion outfit

The contemporary Afro-European label, Ayo Van Elmar has unveiled celebrated Nigerian actress Funke Akindele as their new face. Speaking about the brand Funke Akindele said, “I am delighted to be the face of Ayo Van Elmar, an aspiring global fashion brand with international standard. It’s great relief for me in particular knowing that I can patronize our made in Nigeria fashion pieces and still look classy’’. Highlighting the rationale behind the arrangement, Ayo Elizabeth Olaogun, the Creative Director of Ayo...

Ex-NSA Sambo Dasuki calls for accelerated hearing of his trial

The former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki has called on the Supreme Court to accelerate his trial. According to Vanguard, Dasuki also said he had earlier lodged two appeals against his continued detention. In a letter to the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, the ex-NSA, through his lawyer, J.B. Daudu (SAN), asks the apex court to quickly determine his appeals.   An excerpt of the letter reads: “The same government having breached his right to fair trial by...

BREAKING: Cross River gov, Ayade, wins at Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed Prof. Ben Ayade  of the Peoples Democratic Party as the governor of Cross River state.   Joe Agi, also of the PDP, had asked the court to sack Ayade over false declaration of age but the apex court justices held that Agi could not prove the allegation against the governor. Details Later…

Nigerian Air Force Promotes 78 Senior Officers

The Air Force Council has approved the promotion of 78 senior officers to the next higher ranks in the Nigerian Air Force. The promotions comprise 14 Air Vice Marshals, 19 Air Commodores and 45 Group Captains. Those promoted to the rank of Air Vice Marshal include the Air Component Commander OPERATION DELTA SAFE, Paul Dimfwina; Commander Presidential Air Fleet, Saddiq Kaita; Director of Legal Services at the Defence Headquarters, Mahmoud Ahmed; Chief of Accounts and Budget at Headquarters Nigerian Air...

73-year old Mick Jagger welcomes 8th child with his 29-year old girlfriend

A rep for Jagger released a statement confirming the birth of the rocker's son. The rep said: “Melanie Hamrick and Mick Jagger’s son was born today in New York and they are both delighted”.“Mick was at the hospital for the arrival.” The rep added that both Hamrick, who is more than 40 years Jagger’s junior, and the baby are “doing well,”   The rep added: “We request that the media respect their privacy at this time.”   The couple began dating in 2014, after his...

Mercy Akide-Udoh: My kids will never play for Nigeria

Former Super Falcons striker, Mercy Akide-Udoh, has said her children will never play for Nigeria, as long as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) continues to treat players poorly. Akide-Udoh emerged the first ever African Women Footballer of the Year in 2001 and was named in the FIFA World All-Star in 2004. The 41-year-old was reacting to the face-off between the current Falcons squad and the NFF over unpaid bonuses and allowances despite winning the 2016 African Women Cup of...

Super Falcons: SERAP Drags FG, NFF to UN

A human rights group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has petitioned the UN Working Group on the issues of discrimination against women in law and in practice. He, therefore, requested the body to use its mandate and position to urgently order the Nigerian government and the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, to clear the allowances of Super Falcons. In the petition dated December 7 2016, and signed by SERAP’s executive director, Adetokumbo Mumuni, the group pointed out that it was...

Police Arrest Five for Circulating Fake US Dollars, Euro

The Police in Enugu have arrested five suspects, including a female juju priestess, for printing and circulating fake U.S. dollars and for swindling unsuspecting members of the public. The Police Public Relations Officer in Enugu State Command, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, said in a statement in Enugu on Friday that the police operatives in Emene Division caught two of the suspects – Emeka Udebusor and Erick Ekete, both of Nchantancha Nike community -suspects following a tip off on December 4. He...

Chapecoense Change Club Crest to Honour ‘Eternal Champions’ Who Died

Two stars have been added to the badge - one to mark their Copa Sudamericana award and one to commemorate the lives lost Chapecoense have added two stars to their badge as part of their tributes to those lost in an air disaster late last month. The plane carrying the Chapecoense squad, technical commission and a number of journalists for the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final crashed en route to Medellin two days before the match was due to take place, killing 71 people...