“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.” – John F. Kennedy
I have been opportune to travel to some places within this country and as such I think I can say I’ve seen my share of sights. I have seen poverty in its raw form, I have seen people dying of diseases in a manner that shakes even the most heartless of men to their very core, and yes I’ve seen starvation in a nation of plenty. In these same places, I have seen perhaps the highest level of ‘hope’, ‘happiness’, and ignorance-induced contentment.
My rambling today is not supposed to make anyone feel better or to stoke anyone’s ego; it is to serve as a jab at our sides to re-awaken us to the urgency of now. It is disheartening that the places where you see poverty in its raw form and where death is at its meanest are the same places where people live a life of resigned existence. Our people continue to get pumped full of shit that has made them lose their thirst for change. The religious places continue to ‘cool’ people down by telling them that their condition is just the way God wants it and that when He is ready, He will give them a miracle that will transform their condition from poverty to plenty; hence there’s no need to fight for genuine change. The government continues to use the media to shatter the enthusiasm of the people and send them on a wild goose chase. And yet the people who profess to know better and who profess to want change continue to sit still with their arms folded and their fingers crossed waiting for change to be served to them on a platter of gold.
While our fingers are crossed, more than 3000 children continue to die daily of hunger-related diseases. While our fingers are crossed, the death-traps called roads continue to claim more than a 100 lives daily. While our fingers are crossed, crime rate is increasing daily due to loss of jobs. While our fingers are crossed, people are being rendered homeless due to the bulldozing of their houses. While our fingers are crossed, the streets are getting flooded with youths who cannot get employment. While our fingers are crossed, more and more of our children keep dropping out of schools due to the astronomical fees that are being paid. While our fingers are crossed, the government keeps on borrowing without a record of how the money has been used to better the lot of the masses. While our fingers are crossed, our brothers and sisters are being killed daily by the same people who are supposed to protect them. While our fingers are crossed, the lives of our people are being sacrificed on the altar of power play. While our fingers are crossed, the ruling class is looting the treasury away without anyone to call them to order. While our fingers are crossed, the line between a democratic government and a military government is getting thinner, as freedom of speech is only recognised on paper.
If there’s anytime to wake up, it’s now. If there’s anytime to shake off the robes of nonchalance, it’s now. The time for dilly-dallying is over; we must rekindle our thirst for change. We must awake to the urgency of now. We must be prepared to see that the impunity with which the ruling class loots is ended. We must pity the countless number of people that are dying daily of starvation and diseases and be determined to do everything within our power to end that kind of existence. We must not sit still. We must not keep quiet. We must take the work of enlightenment seriously, and be determined to rid our people of the lies they have been told.
Remember, a new Nigeria is possible; we must never give up on that dream.
God bless Nigerians!
Ogunjimi James Taiwo
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