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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 :).

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

I Love Nigeria BUT...

"It is more difficult, and it calls for higher energies of soul, to live a martyr than to die one" Horace Mann

Nigeria is a country on the verge of socio-political breakdown due to the constant plundering of her God given resources by a minority. Nigerians that have had to leave home and set up their lives in more developed countries know that it is possible to have a government that provides for the basic needs of its people; if only our leaders are half-willing. Note that I said ‘basic’, just basic.

Understanding or relating with our leaders has to be devoid of logic isn’t it? Anybody that has taken the time to study Nigeria will know that there is little or no logic applied to the way it is run. It is not run for the sake of humanity. For most, Nigeria is a business and the business owners, the cabals, are in no way going to take their hands off of her anytime soon.

We all know of Nigeria’s issues and can recite them off-hand without pausing for breath. From subsidy scams to Boko Haram’s bombs to ridiculous states of academic institutions to the high rates of unemployment (Happy Workers Day?) and so on, and so on.

Q - “So, how do we go about solving these?”

A - “Ermm…ermm…”

We are well aware of how much work there is to do in order to steer Nigeria in the right direction. However, “who starts what? When and how?” appear to be questions that a lot of us cannot answer. The realisation of the absence of coordination between citizens in working towards common goals is frustrating. The small percentages of people who bother to coordinate a little hardly get to hear “well done”. All these can lead folks who are desperate to see change to start taking undue risks.

A lot of young people like me think of Nigeria and get so driven with passion and emotion that they utter statements such as “I am willing to die for this country”. In one of my previous posts, I questioned how lasting a change obtained through violence would be. A friend said a more befitting question should be ‘what is the right dose of violence needed for change?’ I believe he was right. Every process of change needs a sort of force but should that force involve my life?

I am a Christian and I believe that the only one who can die for mankind already did – Jesus Christ. I love Nigeria with all my heart but I CANNOT die for her. Passion for a cause can lead us to believe in being so heady to the point of death. There is strength in being principled without compromising on core beliefs. At the same time, you should never be rigid. Conscientious individuals know the importance of striking a balance.

We cannot always be hard set on charging and biting. To get honey, a foolish man could try stoning the bees in order to scare them away and leave him with the beehive. A man with common sense knows that the bees will inevitably go after him, leave him with painful stings and with no honey. He would therefore need a different and gentler approach.

Your method does not always have to be fighting the wrong people head on, another approach might be to focus on the good work you can do and keep working at it. Slowly but surely, the people you are fighting for will notice. Without you having to yell or scream, they will get your message and gain more confidence in standing for their rights and you will have won in that area.

This is in no way meant to cheapen our heroes whose sacrifices I have great respect for. However, as an example, if Moremi could see what is being made of Ile-Ife today, would she have sacrificed her son? I have been taught that it is better to be alive for the long haul and steadily work towards the goals that you are passionate about than to die hurriedly. You know why? It is simply because LIFE GOES ON.

MKO Abiola’s story will forever be part of our history. He died in jail after refusing to renounce his mandate to be president. Some see him as stupid and rigidly passionate; others see him as a martyr and a principled man. I think of him as a principled, extremely passionate but frustrated man. He had had enough. Abiola in many ways was a flawed man just like the rest of us. So please, read this within context.

He was a philanthropist and there were citizens who depended on his goodwill for their daily breads – what became of them? What if he could still be alive? Could he have had other opportunities to contest in elections held after his death? Given the chance to see the democracy he fought for from 1993 till his death being trampled on two decades later, would he have taken the same steps he took?

If you are honestly seeking for a change in Nigeria without a selfish agenda, know this, your type is rare. I would rather you are alive steadily working and fighting towards change than have you dead. How many of the evil ones just end up dead? They are cold and calculating, they put other people’s children on the front lines while they seat in a control room protected with immunity. The devils are smart. Change oriented minds cannot afford to be ignorant/stupid.  

It takes courage to balance passion with well processed thoughts. I would like to encourage this as a route to working towards lasting change. When it is about Nigeria and not about YOU, there is the time to fight publicly and there is the time to pull back and work from the quiet of your room (MOJA MOSA LA FI N MO AKINKANJU). That is wisdom.

 "Let us all be brave enough to die the death of a martyr, but let no one lust for martyrdom."
Mahatma Gandhi

PS – Again, please read within context. This article obviously does not apply to all, e.g individuals who are caught up in war-like situations that they have no say over, the selfless individuals/groups that go out to help them (Medecin Sans Frontieres, Red Cross et al).

Share with as many people as you can :)


Image from Itsdelta


Jummyshow said...

Payme Well said !!! Kip dis up!!! Love ya

Anonymous said...

Dammmmmn! this is deep boy!, I totally agree.

Anonymous said...

This is a real fact kept it up.

oreoluwade said...

The message is timely and strikes a chord especially in light of the fact protests might commence soonest and disgruntled fellows might want to act without reason throwing themselves on the line without so much as a thought as to what happens when they're no more, whether the change they seek be implemented. "THERE'S NO WRONG IN BEING A PATRIOT but remember that you are more useful alive than dead" A living dog is better than a dead lion. Well said payme. Hope this message is driven to the heart of the populace.

ajoke said...

Nice. Better alive seeking solution than dead with no change. Good work.

odeshinabola said...

if the end of life is death, does is matter if life is long or short? A man can live a hundred years without making meaningful impact but someone who dies a teenager might die saving lives of money.
It is foolhardy going against a constituted authority when we know we suffer more damages than good.
Death is inevitable but its good to die on the path of truth..
Yes we can all play our little part from the corners of our room. A steady drop of water can at the end split a rock...as long as we realize our leaders are a reflections of us as people we'll understand that the individual change of perception towards being more goodly is our solution out of this state we are...
Good work maam

Seun Olufoye said...

Provokes a lot of thoughts. There will always be multiple ways of getting things done

thisiseseosa said...

Well said Pemi. Very thought provoking.

Eseosa Joie said...

Yours is an interesting angle in an increasingly militant and violent Nigeria. In this climate where Nigerians are being advised that arms taking may be the only way forward considering our failed leadership, your article is a cautionary tale. Well done Payme.

Lanre Olagunju said...

1. I must confess that this is quite a brilliant argument.

2. I’ll take your argument from the perspective of Christianity since you can easily relate with it. The greatest of the law is not death. It’s love. So your love for your country is the first that you owe it. Sure you know love is a strong thing and that God so loved the world was why he allowed mortals kill his only son. Why?! For the sake of something. What?! Love.

3. Meaning that if you love something so well, especially something that affects a great number of people,chains of event and generations to come, just like God you can give all that it takes.

4. Real change agents don't essentially chase death. Only terrorist are trained to foolishly die for all the wrong reasons. Great Nelson Mandela wasn’t chasing death he was chasing freedom. He almost gave all, and at a point he wouldn’t have cared giving his life. Though I still strongly feel he did. Abiola was also chasing something he was passionate about and unfortunately he had to pay with the ultimate prize. Least I forget, be reminded that without a Martin Luther King Jr, there would probably be no Obama.

5. Let’s assume that coordinated anger via protests doesn't change anything. And let’s consciously close our eyes to all that happened in Egypt, Greece, Tunisia, Libya and the rest.

If we didn't occupy Nigeria in January, all the recent scam revelations won’t be birthed. Why shouldn’t we occupy their lives if that’s only what they understand? After all if you must catch a monkey at least you must speak its language.

6. Nice one, Payme.

teekrown said...

Good one paymee...I'm glad to read this article . Keep it up and God is your strength.

Araga Mohammed said...

In my own opinion Bashorun M.K.O was not a frustrated man,he was a man who wanted to change the lives of Nigerians at a time we were almost dying.And mind you as an Aare Onakalanfo you must die a warrior and he did so.May Allah grant Bashorun Aljanatul Firdaus.Niece piece my sister.'Eni to mo WAY lo mo IWE'

MrRipley said...

Is this a coded message to Nigeria's social media revolutionaries? I'm only wondering out loud.

Shecrownlita said...

Sigh! WELL DONE PAYME :* Used to think i'm the only sane Nigerian Yoot! Who amogst those clamouring for change are truly ready for the revolution they seek.. As for me and my household... WE Love Nigeria but she isn't worth OUR bloood *KHALAS!