NIGERIANS: ENDURING OR ENJOYING?
Ogunjimi James Taiwo
“We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us” -Jean-Paul Sartre
Nigerians have a long history of adaptability to evil policies. We tend to adapt well to anti-masses policies being implemented by this anti-masses government. We have been told that Nigerians are one of the happiest group of people on earth and I wonder, how did anyone ever come to that conclusion? Is it due to our smiley faces? Or our loud laughter? Those are camouflages.
The truth is that we may not be experiencing natural disasters, but the man-made disasters that this government has continued to unleash on us has taken away our happiness and robbed us of our joy. We then need to ask, why aren’t we revolting? Why have we allowed ourselves to be subdued and subdued? Why are we soaking in all the wrongs without uttering a word of protest? Could it be that we are happy with the situation of things? Could it be due to contentment?
I trace the answers to those questions to two reasons:
“A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion” – Mahatma Gandhi
It has become quite clear that the reason why so many people refuse to lend their voices to protest against evil policies is because of the influence of their religious leaders over them. So many people grumble on a daily basis in the corners of their rooms, but they prefer to grumble than take to the streets. We have so many religious leaders today who are regularly visited by people in positions of authority, and when that happens, they get large chunks of money as donation to the church or mosque. In exchange, the religious leaders find it difficult to speak against government’s evil actions and even go as far as telling their members or followers to accept government’s actions as ‘God’s will’, that God put the leaders there. Yet the same religious leaders live in the most comfortable houses, drive the latest vehicles in town, wear the latest designer in town, have visas of over 70 countries and even have their personal jets. Yet the same people will tell us that our reward is in heaven, the same people will tell us that we have 70 virgins awaitin us in Alujanah, and we gullibly obey man-made instructions. The truth is that if we allow anyone to continue to play games with our brains, we are doomed. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to think for ourselves, to take our own decisions, to be our own person, to take our destiny in our hands regardless of what anyone thinks.
“The greatest rewards in life only come from taking the greatest risks.”
So many people are sad and disgruntled about the way Nigeria is being run by these bad leaders. But the number of people who actually come out to express their disapproval publicly is little compared to the number of people who grumble daily in their houses. The government must be laughing at us now because of our cowardice. Their aim is to so threaten us that to publicly declare our grieviances would be thought twice. We are gradually being led back to the military era where speaking against government policies mean arrest, brutality or death.
True, they may have the means to silence us, but we should never relent in our attempt to reject their evil policies.
This is our country, we should never allow ourselves to be made slaves. We should refuse to adapt to evil policies. We are in a democratic setting, we should never allow ourselves to be treated as if we are being ruled by the military.