(By Ogundana Michael)
“If prudent, Nigeria can easily provide for a population two times as great as it is currently. So there are no excuses for the abject poverty in the land, there are no excuses for the high level of unemployment among her youths, there are no reasons why the people should go to bed with hunger. Our leaders also confirm that we`re rich but why are the people impoverished?“
In 2012 after the sudden increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popular called Petrol, and the reprisal protest organized by some concerned Nigerians, I wrote an article titled: “Nigerians, Peaceful or Cowardly?”.
In the article, I proved the point that; the fact that most Nigerians do not fight for their rights does not make them peaceful but that most are just cowardly to demand for justice.
I have written, read so many articles and heard so many speeches complaining about the government`s wickedness, cluelessness, selfishness, greediness and also about the high level of corruption of our leaders and lack of care towards the masses. However, you will agree with me that there are few articles that have talked about the citizens cowardice as one of the banes of the country`s developments.
Of course, if removal of fuel subsidy in 2012 was the right thing to do, it was never the right thing to astronomically increase the price of fuel over 110% from ?67 to ?141. How on earth did the government expect the people to cope with that?
Believe me; if the few that were bold enough had kept quiet about the increment and didn’t protest against it, the fuel price would have remained the same and the truth is, it wouldn’t have alleviated the poverty of the people, neither would it have made our economy better nor reduced the corruption in the land. But the poor would have suffered and bear the pains alone.
Surprisingly, while the occupy Nigeria protest was alive and active in Lagos, 2 days later I traveled to Umuahia in Abia state, and right in my presence in front of the stadium, a large group of people allegedly sponsored by the state governor- Gov. Theodore Orji, were gathered in front of the stadium, thanking the Presidency for removing the subsidy with all sorts of inscriptions on their placards. I witnessed this live!
What would you call that, if not an act of cowardice? Cowardice isn`t only not being courageous enough to address issues but extends to knowing the truth but choosing to defend lies.
Logically, if most of the inhuman actions of the governments have usually been confronted courageously by the masses, the governments wouldn’t have succeeded in going away with most of her atrocities.
The bad news is, most often, when the dauntless few confronted the atrocities and carelessness of our leaders, the cowardly majority kicks against it even before the government does.
It is that same cowardice of the majority that will not allow the courage of the few to yield good results. That is why we’re still where we were till now.
That same cowardice will make our leaders to do anything and go without being questioned!
It’s cowardice that will make the people to keep quiet when they are supposed to speak out and demand for good governance!
The people really need to do more; we really have to keep our leaders on check. Parts of our social responsibilities as citizens are; to protect our nation, to keep an eye on the government, to protest when and where necessary, to criticize when and where necessary, to condemn when and where necessary and not to fold our hands and pretend that all is well when nothing is well.
You will agree with me that, one of the banes of the #BringBackOurGirls group is the cowardice of the majority attacking the courage of the few campaigners.
It takes the courage of these few to keep the #BringBackOurGirls campaigns alive. Despite the humiliations, the threats, the embarrassments and all sorts of names calling, courageously they keep demanding for justice on behalf of the abducted girls. Even if the government`s actions do not portray her to be doing enough about granting their demands, one thing is sure, their requests remain a torn on her flesh. That is what courage can do! And the truth is, the nation would have moved on, we would have forgotten about these girls if the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners were not active. Apart from the Chibok Girls, other people have been abducted and forgotten because no one took bold step to courageously demand for their release.
At this point in time, the nation’s future, the solutions to its challenges, cannot continue to depend on the selfish interests of its leaders nor on the greediness of a few cabals at the villa. The people cannot continue to beg on their knees for miracles from a few self centered leaders. The challenges of our nation can be solved only if we courageously dedicate ourselves to fight for it with the same energy, honesty and patriotism our four fathers had when they liberated it.
If prudent, Nigeria can easily provide for a population two times as great as it is currently. So there are no excuses for the abject poverty in the land, there are no excuses for the high level of unemployment among her youths, there are no reasons why the people should go to bed with hunger. Our leaders also confirm that we`re rich but why are the people impoverished?
If only we could all unanimously speak outright against all the acts of wickedness perpetrated by our leaders, Nigeria would be a better place. And not that a few courageous will condemn it while the cowardly majority that will even bear more of the brunt defends it
The government actually has nothing to lose, so they may decide not to put away their wickedness, but the very day the masses who are at the losing ends put away their cowardice, they would get justice, good and caring leaders- not those that will place their own interest above national interest and consequently they would enjoy good governance.
Finally in the words of Jim Butcher, I quote: “If you go to your death rather than do everything you might to prevent what is happening, you are merely committing suicide and trying to make yourself feel better about it. That is the act of a coward. It is beneath contempt”.
God Bless Nigeria!
Ogundana Michael Rotimi
Follow him on Twitter @MickeySunny
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”