Sunday, 14 May 2017

This is what a smug society looks like

It’s Sunday. I hope you went to church. I did. You may agree, that going to church doesn't make us good people. However, it does help to keep us on track; to continue in the very essence of our creation: to know him, and to worship him….
I’m learning to be carefree, sort of. That’s what the Gospel, as read today, enjoins me to do – “Do not let your heart be troubled…”.

But how realistic is this? Can I really, ever be worry-free? I live in a strange clime. There’s always a reason to worry. No, it is more appropriate to say ‘concerned’ not ‘worry’.

After church today, I sit (and would later hunch over my laptop) to review few incidents that occurred in the past week of which I feel concerned. I will tell you about them.

I choose only two.

First, during the week, I read how Nigeria’s political fraternity, the ones you call elites gathered in Minna. It was a gathering of the high and mighty, of predatory characters, you know, like vultures. Former head of state, Ibrahim Babangida was to give his daughter in marriage to a Sudanese. That’s a good thing. But that’s not the news. 

The news is that 34 private jets landed in the Minna for the wedding. “Thirty-four!”
Nigeria does not boast of an industrial economy that supports this kind of luxury.
You may have seen the pictures of these “men of timber and calibers” or is it “caterpillars”. Most, if not all of them came to fame through politics. It is the only business they know. None of them champions any industry. No, they make money pillaging our common till.  They have little or no intellectual property as per how to revolutionalise an ailing or rather dead economy. Those who know how to have been enslaved by the king-makers.

Dear Nigerians, you may have also noticed, that in gatherings as this, there is no APC or PDP flag flying, no religion and region cross their sinister minds. So, together, they wine and dine, they align and realign and conspire. They perfect the lies to sell to you. And tomorrow when they come to you (as they would, soon, for 2019 is knocking), you would hasten to the street, wielding brooms, carrying placards in praise of them. These things trouble my heart, and that’s why I can’t keep quiet.

Dear God, if you don’t want me troubled, please change (soften) the heart of these men. And create in my people a new and prudent spirit, that they be wise and tenacious.

Until this happens, I want Nigerians to be troubled; to be enraged and consumed and imbued by the fire and power to reclaim their own nation. This country is dying, and Nigerians should be worried.

Second, during the week, I had another exasperating experience in the university of Nigeria. I took a picture of a dispiriting, demeaning and uninspiring learning environment. The image stirred the ire in me, and I have been unable keep quiet.
I shared the picture on facebook, this picture. 
And I provoked, unfortunately, the ire of the people I write to defend.

And some of the responses I got includes these:
Based on the selected responses, this is what a smug society; a people conditioned to believe that they do not deserve anything better, who feels allergic questioning status quo and believes things has to remain the same. This feeling is inimical to the kind of society I want. And that is why I can’t keep calm. That is why I want you to be enraged.

Again, from other (aggrieved) respondents – obviously students – we see people who feel so comfortable caged in a battered world. They believe I was washing our collective linen in the public. But my ideology is that the world should know when our linen is dirty and when we have none.
I am not a “whistle blower”. No, am just too concerned to be quiet in the face of overt tyranny and oppression. I believe we deserve a better condition and I shouldn't be quiet about it.


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