IT is becoming unarguably irksome and disgusting the way we sit, fold our arms and exclaim ‘God will help us’ over the innumerable ills and adversities that have taken the nation hostage. For decades, submerged in incredible religiosity, we have continued to, like mantra, chant those words, failing to see this harsh reality – they have been reduced to a cliché that lacks the potency to change our pathetic situation!
Harrowingly however, we have become too complacent and content with mediocrity; we never strive to pull the scales off our eyes so that we can awaken to the consciousness that this nation’s ship has, for over a long period, hit an iceberg.
With the breaking of every dawn, water of minus degree temperature is unequivocally submerging the lower deck and keeps spilling uncontrollably to the middle class areas, but who cares? So long the first class deck is not overrun, all is well but how long will the water hold?
The lives of the occupants of the third class deck are seemingly inconsequential and they can drown for what it’s worth, isn’t it? In their craftiness and in a bid to protect their own lives and property, occupants in the first class deck instruct the sailors in the control rooms to seal off the lower areas of the ship, dooming the third class dwellers to a horrifying stone cold death and we chant, ‘God will help us!’ No one raises an eyebrow, no one asks any questions, we simply say, ‘there is God o,’ the 21st century remix of the ancient ‘God will help us’ coined by one of the nation’s incredibly hilarious former first lady whose theatricalities posterity will yet guffaw over.
The word corruption is spoken and we all disdainfully cast our glances at the huge old rock which provides shelter for the nation’s number one citizens and occupants of its highest pedestal. While we may be right to look in that direction with intense abhorrence, we must remind ourselves of the legend of the sanctimonious pirate that went to sea with a tablet on which Moses’ ten commandments were engraved only after he had unscrupulously stricken out ‘thou shalt not steal’. Perhaps, we are doling out selective judgments!
Though we may not be committing any fatal errors by pointing our so called ‘holy’ and unsullied fingers at the pot bellied politicians who no longer have necks because they have been vacuumed in by several layers of unhealthy fat gained from illicit grubbing on the sumptuous national cake like ravenous maggots not to mention the indiscriminate sucking of the udder of the ‘oryel’ cow but do we point the same ‘holy’ fingers at the PHCN staff that brings a crazy bill to extort money from a struggling single mother while threatening to disconnect her electricity? No, we simply say ‘God will help us’
How about the secondary school teacher that prepares work books not included in school curriculum and makes it compulsory for students to purchase them or risk mass failure?
Do we call the police when the house next door is being invaded by robbers while we watch from across the street? No, that is actually a lot more complicated because even if we summon up the courage to call, what number is there to dial? A lecturer fails students massively because a hand out was not purchased. Who would protest the injustice? An expectant mother or her child or even both are brutally murdered at the hands of health care providers due to the lackadaisical attitude with which human lives are handled nationwide and what do we say? The little girl next door is raped and physically abused by her guardian, but what do we say?
The government worker reports to work devastatingly late, drops some bags and heads out to nowhere, people complain endlessly in the lobbies waiting to be attended to. They curse under their breaths, hiss, toss and turn in their seats but when the demi-god shows up, who says anything? Everyone scrambles to appeal to the worker just to accomplish their mission and get out. An unqualified person with an empty head is employed for a high powered job and earns six figures while the genius gets to do the menial chores and takes home peanuts because the dullard knows people on the board. Promotion skips the hard worker but the layabout gets it twice in short succession and what do we say?
Injustice reigns supreme in the four cardinals. Nepotism strolls defiantly on the streets sans any scintilla of caution. In the end, we sum up all of these degenerative acts as ‘man knows man’ or better still, we call them networking.
Fellow Nigerians, God will not come down and help us. Our freedom is interred, dormant in our own hands, but we must activate it. Rosa Parks didn’t become “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement by waiting for God to help her. She sat on that bus! We cannot fight this individually; justice will only come by juxtaposition. I am certain that it would be infinite wisdom to take a cue from these words of Martin Niemöller, “First they came for the Socialists, I did not speak out, because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists and I did not speak out, because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me,” or be doomed!