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Hiya! Just a quick intro :) I lived in Nigeria for more than half of my life (so far) before moving to England and I have seen the best and the worst of both worlds. I was greatly inspired by the #OccupyNigeria protests and this blog is my way of #occupying. A lot of us compare African countries to the Western countries and I will mainly be talking about the positive things that I have observed and learnt in my few years of living here. Payme’s 2Cents is for all who dare to dream to see changes in their lifetime. It is for those who dream to see environments where 'helping' thrives. I will be giving my2cents worth on how we can work towards getting things to change for better. It would be great to know your opinions, so please leave comments. Remember to keep sharing posts that you enjoy. Follow @payme_my2cents. Thanks a lot for visiting!!! Enjoy my2cents :).

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Any Means Necessary

"It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can." Sydney Smith

An article titled ‘Any Means Necessary’ on BBC caught my eye this morning. It was aimed at portraying the views of the victims of the Lord Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony.
I woke up some weeks back to find #KONY2012 trending on twitter. It was about a video made by a non-profit organisation ‘Invisible Children Inc.’ aimed at increasing public awareness and pressuring government forces to intensify their efforts to capture Joseph Kony. As with any issue in our world, the video generated both positive and negative reactions. 
Over the weekend, another hashtag ‘#saveOke’ caught my eye. It was for Ighiwoto Okeghene ‘Oke’, a young man who has been bedridden for six years due to having diabetes. He has injuries that are not healing and his whole health is failing him. #saveOke also generated positive and negative reactions.
The ‘Arab spring’ came upon us last year and sadly there are still uprisings in countries like Syria. Egypt, Tunisia and Libya also had uprisings and the effects are still obvious. The uprisings raised questions about the sincerity of the western countries’ interests.
From the BBC article, it was obvious that the victims did not care about politics, political correctness or personal opinions. They simply wanted freedom and justice by ‘any means necessary’. I do not think that Oke cares about anything other than being given a second chance at life. Western countries were accused of only being interested in Libya’s oil during the overthrow of Gaddafi, did the victims who were constantly shelled care about oil at that time?
A lot of times we tend to forget about the real issue and become absorbed in the 'surrounding drama' which to me is petty. This is not about positive criticisms, it is about being mindful of what we take away from the ‘real victims’ whenever we are more concerned about voicing our opinions.
It is true that Joseph Kony is not the only criminal in the world; it is true that Oke is not the only one ill in Nigeria; it is true that Gaddafi was not the only one holding onto power – I mean why is Assad still able to go on in Syria? However, does any of that make Kony’s victims less deserving of justice? Does it mean we should abandon Oke since others have no help? Did the civilian victims in Libya deserve to be left to die? Have your opinions helped any of these victims?
A lot of accusations are not about charities or helpful individuals' criminality; it is usually about our dislike of the method of helping. We cannot all have the same approach; that is life. In as much as we are not seeking personal glory and are honestly looking for ways to help people in need, then we all have common goals. I do not see the need for personal attacks or concentration of energies on reducing the credibility of the ones trying to help. An example of constructive thinking would be thinking of how to start a foundation instead of criticising the attention ‘only one person - oke’ is getting.
When it comes to humanitarian issues, I believe that we should not be focused on ‘how’ others help. The most important thing is ‘helping’. Leave the debate to the diplomats and politicians. Leave the financial criticisms to the approved auditors. Do not dissuade people from helping others. If you do not like a particular approach, a beneficial thing to do is to implement your own ideas.
Enough of the pettiness when human lives are at stake!
Do your own bit to help.

UpdateIghiwoto Okeoghene John's case has been taken up by the Delta State government thanks to the #saveOke campaign. There are still many 'Oke's out there, let us all keep looking for ways to help :) God bless!

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Judith said...

Enough of this pettiness indeed! My thoughts exactly! Can't wait to share :)

Anonymous said...

Prejudice!!! That's what leads most of us to criticism of other people's ideas and ideologies, Love! That's what the world needs. Thanks for your post.

kunle said...

Wow Wow Wow.God bless Omojuwa for letting few of us to know you.You are just a good writer.You made my day.God bless you and keep it up.wow.

Anonymous said...

I think that it is important that we do all we can to help people in need, but I also think that we should do it with the right motives and wisdom though! I love this comment you made:f you do not like a particular approach, a beneficial thing to do is to implement your own ideas, true talk!

Seye (@oscarpoems) said...

Evetything's said already. Lovely writing, straight to the point. For those of us who have done one thing or the other to #SaveOke, as long as you feel right with yourself, there's no problem. Never allow any regret to set in. We daily live with those who need help that we bypass for different unjustifiable reasons. I have chosen to help irrespective of my status and I know God'll help me to do so.

Mary said...

nice writeup, an average black man need a special grace to be able to assist others, i pray we all have the grace to do this where and when necessary.