*sips cup of rich creamy Latte* It's barely 24 hours to the D-Day and these past few days have never been so dramatic in Nigerian politics, listening to the news and all. I saw one picture a friend used as his BBM display picture showing a crowd of people at the airport and it was quite surprising, disappointing, and many things at once. Most saddening fact was that it had now come to this. Typically people go to their countries to vote but oh well. As concerned citizens, all we can do is use our weapon (the permanent voter's card) to cast our votes, pray for the peace of this nation and hope for the best.
I remain optimistic about Nigeria being transformed for the better though some will differ, but when all else fails, hope remains. It's all I've got, it's all some of you also have (well...except for the dual citizenship passport in your back pocket, giving you the flexibility to jet out any moment. Hahaha! lucky you.). But for a number of Nigerians whose lives are built in and around the country, Nigeria is probably all we have as at now and if it scatters, we are impacted also.
I find it very surprising though, when people with close ties with Nigeria in one way or the other curse the same land and speak negative against it. To what end is this? This is not an attempt to ignore the issues we have which we are all aware of. We know there is corruption; that topic is overflogged. We know the system is messed up, we know we have leadership issues and that majority of our youths are either unemployable or underemployed talk more of taking up leadership positions. We are aware of the insurgency issues, gender inequality with respect to educating the girl child, not leaving out the alarming school dropout/completion rates.
Yes, Africa is rising (although it's becoming a rather over-used phrase), but what is our role in all of this?
Firstly, we need to be 'critically' aware of these issues before we can engage meaningfully in our individual capacities. There is a huge difference between pointing out obvious issues and engaging critically. One talks about the problem, sometimes knowledgeable with statistics at their fingertips which come in handy for challenging dissenting views on Social Media, not forgetting the priceless joy of winning beer parlour arguments. Action is rare with this group. The other group also understands the problem, may not be as knowledgeable but always probing to unveil the 'why' behind the problem and seeks out ways to contribute to its alleviation.
As we all know, talk is cheap and sometimes of no value. Let our PVCs do the talking.
I hear you ask, won't the votes still be rigged? Possibly...I can't say but one part needs to be done before we can address the next. The 2011 elections experienced one of the highest participations of Nigerian citizens in ensuring they cast their votes, monitored the counting and waited till results in their local governments and wards were announced after which they posted on social media. This year also has seen much interest cos really people are TIRED!
Secondly, we need to identify our area of contribution.
Let writers impact,
let teachers mould,
let artists design,
let musicians inspire,
let street sweepers do their thing,
let preachers edify,
let's just do all with a purpose with God at the center of it all as we render our services to the benefit of our family, society and nation at large.
Come March 28th, I pray for the peace of Nigeria. I pray that the innocent blood of precious lives that have been wasted on this land will not be in vain. I pray our lives will blossom and March 28th shall be the dawn of a new era for this nation in Jesus name!
Still it is important to ponder...what part will we play?
P.S. After I wrote this, I stumbled on this short 7-minute clip by Pastor Sam Adeyemi of Daystar Christian Center which captures part of what I said and even more.