A Call To Arms (Part 2)

I never realized how far removed I was from the depravity of my nation. The fact that the situation in Nigeria has deteriorated to such a debase level is not just a terrible reflection on the government, it’s a terrible reflection on each and every one of us; citizens of this country. I remember when I thought the on-goings of this nation didn’t affect me; my basic needs were taken care of and I could afford to enjoy luxuries. In my foolishness, I failed to see that the price of petrol meant more money out of my pocket, funds diverted that were meant to fix the roads meant I had to wake up earlier than was humane so I could get to work on time and I probably had to send my car in for servicing more than I would have had to if it had been driven on good roads.

The call to arms today goes beyond the current situation with our missing girls and the bomb attacks in Abuja as well as the attacks in northern Nigeria. These events are traumatic and I have joined the army on social media fighting to ensure that these girls are brought back. But what happens when we get what we want (by God’s grace) and the girls are returned to their families? Will we go back to business as usual? If there’s one victory we can take from the spotlight that has been on our nation, it’s the fact that we now know our voices matter. They can try stopping us from making our demands on the street but they cannot stop all of us on social media.

Nigeria is currently at a crossroads in her history and we stand on the edge of a watershed moment. Those of us that were blind now see what the enlightened ones have been trying to get us to understand. I am thinking beyond finding the missing girls to our (YES, OUR) elections next year. After we have caused a righteous ruckus, will we go back home and allow the powers that be dictate the trajectory of this country for another four years? Do we still believe the lie that we can do nothing or will we make the decision to arm ourselves with the truth that the future of our country lies in our own hands?

Let me let you in on a little secret, we are an anomaly; a variable unaccounted for by the powers that be when they take their decisions on how to share the country among themselves. For too long, we have sat down and allowed the powers we possess as a people lie useless. I hope we now understand and know that this is the most evil lie. Many of us have felt righteous eviscerating anger at the state of the nation but we were told by many that there was nothing we could do. So in order to protect ourselves, we were purposely detached from this nation. Well the time has come for us to reconnect with that part of our purpose, rise up and take responsibility for this nation.

Again, the age old question, “What can we do?” comes to mind. Well that once rhetorical question now has an answer. And it’s absolutely not “Nothing”. We can scream on social media and it takes just a few seconds of your time. We can find out more about the ongoings of our nation and finally take her back from those unqualified to lead. We can form a movement, a political party. All it takes is for us to think big and then take the first step. I am excited for the future of Nigeria and I fully intend to be part of the change that will transform her into the beauty she was created to be. I will be a soldier for her.

How about you?

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A Call To Arms (Part 1)

I had a dream where I was back in my secondary school. I went to boarding school in Abuja for six years and it was a rather hard time for me but I will discuss that some other time. I was with three friends of mine and we were on our way to class for night prep. On entering the classroom we encountered a man who seemed to be a local from the nearby village; he looked unfamiliar and threatening and once I saw him, I started praying in tongues. He was soon joined by four of his counterparts. Their leader took charge and one by one told us we were free to go until he got to the last one of us.

His manner was one that aroused a deep fear and I knew not to try and play the hero because he would not hesitate to do away with any of us. He took the last of us and told the rest of us that we had 48 hours to deliver 1million dollars. Failure to obey would result in the delivery on my friend’s head. I was filled with fear but there was another part of me that knew there was no way that I could do nothing. My dream doesn’t end there but to cut a long story short, my friends and I did something and although it wasn’t without a cost, these kidnappers were unable to leave the school with my friend.

We all know what has happened to the 234 ladies from Chibok, Borno state and the latest bomb blast in Abuja that apparently happened again at the same spot in less than a month. I cannot begin to imagine the terror that those young ladies are feeling right now and the atrocities that have been committed against them. There are theories that claim these events have been orchestrated to undermine the Goodluck Jonathan regime. That may be true but let us not lose sight of the fact that just because his presidency can be undermined, and in such a shameful manner, more than questions the president’s capacity to lead.

At the end of the day, these are precious lives being lost and we don’t do any more than complain about it and insult our leaders. But we need to ask ourselves if we are any better. How involved are we in the politics of our nation? How many of us know the name of our Local Government Chairman? As I write this, I have no clue who he/she is. Corruption is a convenient excuse for a lack of interest in the affairs of the nation. We have this ” me and my own” mentality to excuse our lack of interest in making this country a better place for all.

If there’s one thing this whole situation has accomplished, it is to wake Nigerians up and remind us that it could happen to you. Whether you’re cruising in your range rover with your mobile police and your 20 escort cars next to a hawker selling oranges on the road, a bomb going off between the two of you will kill you both. And at this rate, it won’t matter whether you live in the north or south; do we want Boko Haram to hit Lagos first before we know an attack on the north is an attack on everyone? We deserve the right to demand better and we need to be better.

Having read my words, a natural response is “Well, what am I meant to do?” My answer to you is this…..I don’t have a prescribed formula. It’s highly likely that I’m as clueless as you because I am guilty of your sins. But a small thing such as liking a photo on Facebook or Twitter is a start. Lend your voice to the campaign. And don’t stop there…get involved in the politics of your nation. Know what is happening in your country so that when an opportunity presents itself to make a change, you are well equipped to take advantage of it.

In our offices and our homes what are we doing? The problem with us Nigerians is that we suffer from a fundamental character issue. If you can jump the queue at the toll gate or filling station, the you can definitely steal money if you are put in the position to do so with minimal repercussions. Both situations are fundamentally the same; taking advantage of an opportunity to exploit the situation at the expense of other people. If you are telling your children and anyone who cares to listen to you that this country is hopeless, you are giving them no reason to hope for or demand change.

I choose to believe that there is more for us. Call me naive, I don’t care. I believe that there is the power of life and death in the tongue and so I will continue to pray for this nation and say good things about her future. This is what I believe God is calling us, especially those of us in the younger generation, to do. We have been strategically positioned to become the leaders that this nation is crying out for and our training started long before this day. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, recognize your place as the agent of this nation’s change. And you don’t have to wait till you get into political office to do something. What are the needs in your community?What breaks your heart and what can you do about it? That’s where your service begins.

Meanwhile, join the voices on social media for our girls to be found. We owe them that much at least.

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