Linda Zannaffe Omoluabi
What started out as a peaceful protest which reflected the deep frustrations and pains of many Nigerians has been hijacked, rubbished and thrown to the dogs. It is not surprising.
The lessons from this must also be learnt very quickly.
The senseless killings, lootings and destruction of property seized upon by wicked opportunists of a failing soceity, is completely evil and very heartbreaking. My deepest felt sympathies and condolences to all who have lost loved ones and property. So also is the deliberate distortion of facts and truth by mischievious elements to push false narratives for their personal gains.
As in all situations and very fortunately, there is a Justice far above human justice that sees ALL and will pay each one back in full.
Over and above all, please let us not allow ourselves to be used as fodder for the evil agendas of war mongers thirsty for blood. Any genuine aspiration and struggle for better living conditions for the masses, simply has to be adapted to a terrain as difficult and complex as ours and a great deal of wisdom applied. Hopefully, we will always find peaceful ways to hold our elected officials accountable to their mandates and begin to get more actively involved in the affairs of this Country.
This can start by us engaging directly with those governing us at all levels – from local Governemnt Chairmen, to our legislators and senators, in order to express legitimate needs and grievances, so that they feel the pulse of their people before it gets bottled up and explode. In addition, we should now start exercising our power of recall for non-performance
I want to believe this is what governance entails and is one of the first obligations of the Elected.
They say people mostly shout because good communication has broken down and they feel themselves unheard.
To think about it, how many citizens even know the names of their LGA, legislative and senatorial representatives?
How many people know what to expect and demand of them?
How many people know how to reach and connect with them?
Are there structures in place to enable this?
This is also a big failure on our part because responsible leadership can only be brought about by responsible citizenship.
Can we now to this end have functioning emails and telephone numbers or working channels for communication with our elected officials and can they please commit to sincerely collating and attending to all legitimate demands like is done in saner climes?
And can our media then help us push for this, with agreed time frames for response and action?
We all have a part to play!
The populace is now awake and can be helped to contribute progressively and constructively for the greater good.
It is also evident that a hungry populace is a very angry and volatile populace. It is unthinkable that the costs of our staple foods which was already high before, has now further skyrocketed far beyond the reach of the common man!
Therefore I join the multitude of well meaning Nigerians to pray that our Leaders read the ominous signs and urgently get to work to alleviate the suffering of the masses and especially give fresh hope to the youths from a place of genuine love and concern, so that this ticking time bomb is uprooted from our Land.
There are so many valuable lessons to learn from recent events and the tasks are truly gargantuan.
But so is the responsibility before each peace loving citizen, starting from our own selves and spheres of influence, to eschew violence and unnecessary aggression against one other, to rise above personal prejudices and biases in order to stand for truth, to embrace forgiveness, and only be motivated by love and concern for the welfare of our neighbours.
Trust me, it is bound to eventually influence the whole for good.
No doubt going by the current unfoldings, it is a long shot for the majority, but it is the only way at this crucial turning point, and I pray we can rise up to it lest we become a tinderbox.
May we pass through this dark tunnel safely guided by love that is inseparable from justice so that true peace may someday birth on our shores. Amen.- Maryanne Idokoji