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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 :).

Sunday, 21 October 2012

One bit at a time

"Brooding endlessly about Nigeria would only make us bitter and a bitter you WILL NOT improve Nigeria, a better you WOULD."

It is a country where N300million buys a table at a gala event; a country where the citizens have to actively engage in fundraising to save lives; it is the country in which the most active of the governors (well, relatively speaking) has recently had an epiphany and now apparently believes that jail is the answer to everything even when it comes to beautifying your house; the first lady of the country is also a state’s permanent secretary, in absentia of course. This is Nigeria.

Oh, the list didn’t include the indefinitely suspended Dana Crash Inquest or the impending arrival of the N5000 note which we “can decide to not collect in the bank”. I once said the slogan for most things related to our government/leaders should be “we are not trying to make sense; quit trying to understand us”. No one wants to be the messenger of doom; however, it is getting harder to intentionally focus on the positives. I am not writing this in order to tell you about how hopeless Nigeria is. I am writing to inform you of the part that you can play in changing your immediate world, starting from the comfort of your bedroom.

In a fantasy world, the one immediate solution that some of us have managed to come up with is the wiping out of all existing Nigerians above learning age say 3 or 4 years, basically all Nigerians that would have learnt about corruption, myself included. Somehow, humans with better values than we have will then find themselves in Nigeria to teach the babies moral and spiritual values which will translate into the Nigeria we all dream of. This is extremely unrealistic though…duh!  So how do we go about fixing things?

Well, it is just the same as making significant changes in one’s life just that this time, it involves about 150 million other Nigerians. It is therefore a commitment with no time limit; however, the improvements will increasingly become noticeable as we progress. With my previous posts, I have mostly discussed our issues and possible solutions with a strong focus on individuals’ social responsibility. However, I think that the suggestions do not have traction with Nigerians. Maybe they appear too simple? I know a lot of Nigerians are angry and are hoping or praying for a revolution but I am not one for violence, so I will talk about what I know.

I simply believe that majorly focusing on politics and politicians is the wrong way to go about fixing Nigeria. Brooding endlessly about Nigeria would only make us bitter and a bitter you WILL NOT improve Nigeria, a better you WOULD. Now, I am not saying we should not talk about the ups and downs in our country, that is only natural as I will not encourage burying our heads in the sand.  I simply believe that focusing on and improving aspects of our individual lives will help Nigeria more than mouthing off at politicians who could care less even if we blockaded their gates. Let’s face it, no amount of yelling will get the cost of PMS back to N65 (that is a forgotten battle already anyway); our anger did not lead to the prosecution of the fuel subsidy scammers, neither did it lead to the completion of the Dana crash inquest.

A large percentage of our politicians are known for their skills when it comes to distorting the truth, playing on citizens’ emotions as well as abusing and harassing other politicians, all in order to stay relevant and further their ‘careers’. This however becomes more damaging when we allow ourselves get drawn into their games. You know why? They do not even matter! For instance, do you think ACN will disappear if a major godfather was to suddenly die? At worst, we would see factions and new party names; the game will go on. The link between UPN, AG, AD and the present ACN is a vivid example – it is all about re-branding.  How has the misfortune of any politician/ruler from Abiola to Abacha, to mention a few, reduced corruption or poverty in Nigeria? This is because individual politicians do not matter in the game and this is why they struggle to stay relevant with the noise they make through the media.

The simple things in life like being more dedicated to our various fields of interests be it teaching or medicine, developing the ability to balance the care for humanity with business and being more charitable with our time and money will overtime significantly improve our individual lives, our immediate communities and ultimately give Nigeria a much better image both nationally and internationally. As interested in health as we all are, we cannot all become medics. However, we would still make significant efforts to keep our houses clean, drink clean water, go for medical check-ups etc. We do not however take time out of our schedules to continually talk about and analyse what medics do. In the same vein, I think it is about time that we stop shutting people up with the “if you don’t get involved in politics, you’ll be ruled by idiots” diatribe. It is unrealistic to expect all well-meaning Nigerians to be involved in politics.

In as much as the existence or death of most of these politicians does nothing to better our lots, do you not see that the bigger issues lay with us citizens and our systems? Do not get me wrong, I do understand that there are issues that we need the government to sort out, issues that individuals can do nothing about such as  security and electricity, however, the type of leaders in government only show us a snapshot of what our communities are like. There is a reason why the older generation failed and there is a reason why we are failing. We keep making the same mistakes of focusing on which recycled politician’s sugar coated mouth runs more smoothly than the next’s. A humane leader who will genuinely have the interests of Nigerians at heart can only be chosen from a humane people. So how about we work towards creating a better pool of people to choose from?

Surely it is a slow process but it is one that will leave a long lasting legacy compared to the old game of calling names and passing blames that only keeps taking us in circles. Let us make a promise to take what is ours back; our country. One bit at a time. Just a thought.

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                                                             This article was initially published as part of YNaija.com's 30 Days, 30 Voices

1 comment:

daayur said...

Good write up, ur blog is very informative