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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 :).

Thursday, 12 April 2012

You Dare Not Stop!


“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society” Jiddu Krishnamurti


There was a warning from the US that another terrorist attack was imminent in Nigeria during the Easter period. I was not shocked and I read articles with the warning with a ‘here we go again’ attitude. I then woke up on Sunday morning to the news of a bomb blast in Kaduna. I simply locked my phone and got ready for church. I did not get teary for the lost souls, I did not go through the usual rants and I did not preach...I said nothing.

Midway through the service, it hit me - I had become 'them' (albeit outwardly). I had inadvertently become one of the people I see as uncaring; the ones I call ‘selfish’; the ones who would not bat their eyelids while their neighbours wept. I knew I was neither uncaring nor selfish. I cared deeply. Maybe even too much that it really hurt. I do not think that I can find the exact words to explain my frustrations but I know I was deeply angry. Was this how 'they' felt? Helpless?

News articles that I saw on Sunday put the number of the Kaduna victims at about 36 but according to new reports, the Riders’ Association put the numbers of fatalities at about 100!

Giving to people (charity) is what I know we can all do but how do we stop religious radicals? How do we get our security operatives to know to take the security of Nigerians seriously? For this, we need the government to do their part in fulfilling their obligations to Nigerians. It is their job to protect the citizens. If they would not do this as expected, then they should be pressured to perform. Politics should not be more important than human lives. I am just tired of seeing my country turned into a dump, tired of seeing souls without the chance to flourish, tired of seeing futures cut short, tired of knowing I can only do little.

This is from a frustrated Nigerian girl who is admittedly weary and scared of reaching the point where she blocks out the sadness and pain. I believe the worst thing that can happen to us as a people is 'numbness' and by that I mean resigning ourselves to these horrible situations. Even if you are far from the trouble spots, remember other issues like the lack of basic social amenities which are not limited to specific regions in the country. We need to remember the people who have no voice; the people who do not have the choice to leave their homes and livelihoods; the people who die daily but are not even dignified by a government that refuses to acknowledge their existence by giving accurate reports of losses and honouring the memories of victims.

We can be their voices. We simply cannot give up. If the government wants to keep being shady, we cannot afford to continue to lie to ourselves. We might seem powerless but we are not. Look at 'developed' countries, individual lives are taken as important. Heck! They care for animals. Basic needs of individuals are met. Why does it appear that a life means nothing in Nigeria? Reporting the loss of a whole family in tragic circumstances is depressing but we also need to think of each family member as an individual with right to life - from the newborn baby to the octogenarian - no life should be dispensable. Who will care for the widows/widowers and orphans of the victims?

If you are on my blog reading this, it means you are literate - you need to let that count for something. If you play your part in working towards creating a better Nigeria, you would not dismiss this as another online rant. How many Nigerians have internet access? The power of social media can be harnessed when we educate those around us based on the things we learn online. Get information at your disposal out to others. It is the people who do nothing to create change that would label calls for action as 'noise'. Keeping quiet would mean that the oppressors have won. We need to renew our resolve to fight for our rights daily.
 
I fear for my country, for my family, my friends and Nigerians like me. My greatest fear though is for us losing the will (and drive) to keep pressing for change. There is no single solution to our issues; the combination of little individual efforts can bring about massive changes. Do not stop shouting; do not stop giving; do not stop acting. Think of your children and please, do not get used to these.


RIP to all victims.

@payme_my2cents



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Image courtesy of Madame Noire

16 comments:

Roberts JesusBaby said...

I hear you b, God bless for the wake up call. Continue to fight for change!!

odeshinabola said...

is it normal to feel normal whenever a bomb goes off and kills a fellow citizen? i ask myself this question always. but what can i do? i am helpless just like the victims of the bomb blast

ope said...

Hmmm... I have also been guilty of this. You hear it so much and it doesn't affect you anymore.No feeling, no reaction, nothing. This is a clarion call to every Nigerian who wants to see positive change... You dare not give up!

Niyi A said...

Well said.... there's every reason to give up even when we feel we cant make a change alone but together we can all make a difference. this article is always a great place to start

OSOWE OLUWAGBENGA said...

Rather than address the issues causing all these wanton destruction of lives and property, our rulers will be quick to donate supposedly relief materials to the families of the victims. God help this country

Olubukunmi Olukoya said...

Yes very true and well done..its unfortunate that millions have gotten used to undue process and bad governance. I have thought and far wide and my conclusion is that while 99.99% of the country's problems appear physical the ultimate solution to me seems to be Trancedent. We need some sort if divine intervention to deal with wrong, unhealthy mentalities that apparently dates back to the 60s. When I see things like this I kind of believe again. I pray, I really do pray for the birth of More of this and not just the birth but grace to keep advocating for what we believe is RIGHT. Well done once again payme.

Toyin Inniss said...

'Tired of knowing I can only do little'...there's no other way to cooment apart from an applause. I would suggest you cc @ged, @nigerianewsdesk and @saharareporters.
This article is to big and meaning to remain just here.
Its frustrating, but we shouldn't give up. Well done.

omojuwa said...

If we heed your words, we may not be able to do much but sometimes less could be more. Thank you for writing this.

Raymond Eyo said...

Thought-provoking and very moving! We won't lose the will and the drive to keep pressing for change though. We won't be outsmarted by apologists of the status-quo. That much I know and believe.

Yinka said...

Very well put together. Feeling powerless- having good motives but knowing deep down there's not much you can do about it - leaves a really bad taste in one's mouth.

Anonymous said...

I totally dislike that fact that in Nigeria, one lives in total fear. No one is sure of what to expect the next minute,hour, or day. I intercede every day for Nigeria and i hope it becomes a better place.

Anonymous said...

Let's keep praying for Nigeria...

AlexIsJB said...

Nigeria will get there one day. We dare not give up on her...

Oyinlola Oresanya said...

Little drops of water they say, make a mighty ocean. I just see these little actions, powerless they might seem now, make a mighty revolution in a very near future. God bless Nigeria.. God save us all

Ibk said...

I know that feeling... #too sad

webround said...

I understand the way you feel but it doesn't necessarily mean you don't care again. It could simply be your mind trying to keep you 'sane' by refusing to be agitated over things it feels you have no control over.

There is a general tendency to say 'security operatives do not take our security seriously'. The security guys have also been the target of these attacks. If nothing else, for self preservation purposes, they will take this seriously. But they are trying. A lot needs to be done but we should also recognize they are handicapped by lack of equipment, training, etc and they are trying to get up to speed. At least, we've read in the papers of the several bomb factories that have been discovered in Gombe, Yola, etc. Let us encourage them when they do good and chastise them when they perform poorly instead of generally always putting them down. And we the populace need to cooperate with security operatives. Did you read the article in NYtimes of the journalist who interviewed an imam and residents of Kano who said they took part in the very bloody attack that left hundreds dead? Those guys were the everyday John Doe. How can the security operatives alone stop that? It requires a change in ideology but the folks (govt officials, imams, leaders of thought) who are supposed to do that are the ones involved in preaching radicalism.

It is not uncommon to hear people say 'it is only in Naija that this can happen' but who would have thought the almighty secret service sent to make preparations for Obama's security would have been partying with hookers and even bring them back to their hotel