ARE WE PAYING FOR THE SINS OF OUR POLITICIANS, FATHERS OR ALL OF US?
The more I think about the fate of our daughters and the pains of their parents, the more I wonder how, where and when we got it all wrong and whether we are paying for the sins of our politicians, fathers or ourselves.
I do not think that our fathers sinned against us or God because although they protested the amalgamation and were quite right to do so, they left a legacy which held us together until the advent of democracy in 1999. We managed to live together with our differences and commonly resented the constant incursion of the military into leadership in Nigeria. We were able to tolerate ourselves without constant bloodshed or fear of extermination by our fellow citizens at a supposed time of peace.
Our military leaders stole from us and murdered ordinary citizens who dared to challenge their excesses or thought about change (Ken Saro Wiwa on my mind) but there was relative peace, safety and security and citizens could go about their businesses without fear of being killed by other suffering citizens. Life and property were safe and we managed our tribal and religious hatred and prejudices to ourselves.
Then along came our long awaited freedom from military rule; our much awaited renaissance. We embraced democracy with hope in a better future. The first few years seemed good and many people felt a sense of freedom. Optimism was high. Abacha was gone. There was no more fear of extrajudicial murders and life looked good under a leadership that is meant to be by the people, for the people and of the people. The euphoria unfortunately has not lasted as long as many of us expected because the era of “do or die politics” took over from 2003. Democracy quickly turned into demo crazy. Our hopes were dashed. Corruption which was the complexion of our military leadership which because of the fear of the gun and mortar many of us could not challenge has become the new order. Servants became masters under our watch. Instead of the owners of power dictating the pace and calling the shots, they became servants kneeling and begging for crumbs from servant leaders who have turned masters.
As we watched thinking that this is a passing wave, it turned into a hurricane turning elections into businesses where the richest is the winner who takes it all. The power of the citizen “our votes” became the goods which can be bought by the biggest bidder. Instead of using our power to our advantage, many of us sold it and parts if not all our souls to many politicians who have turned criminals and devil.
In order to buy or take power away from us and force us into joining and maintaining the sad conspiracy of silence which has become the bane of democracy in Nigeria, we are confused and encouraged to hate one another on the basis of religion and tribe. We are armed against one another and encouraged to fight to finish on the basis that our religion or tribe is under attack. The masterminds of the strife fail to admit that they have a different agenda which is control of our senses in order to divert our attention from their obvious attempts to maintain dominion over us as a people plus fritter away our collective divine wealth. We app appear to have fallen for their evil games without asking.
This game has given birth to Boko Haram. Ordinarily every Nigerian should hold hands together to fight members of the deadly sect but politicians know our weaknesses and have managed to use it perfectly well against us. Because of the level of brainwashing these boys have been exposed to, nothing but the lies they have been ignorantly fed makes any sense. Their sponsors are not telling them why education is good for them and their children but not for them.
The painful result of the sad game is that many of us who are unwilling players of this game are being constantly forced into the arena. If you are not affected by the spiralling poverty which has meant that many people are now engaging in crime, you are exposed to it as a victim of the menace of Boko Haram who are playing the written scripts of power mad delinquents who without guns and stolen money have nothing to offer us or are able to defend their awful taste for power. We are left helpless. Our collective defence against their greed, ignorance and unmeritorious desire to lead if we are allowed to use our votes have been taken away from us. We are simply watching without acting in self-defence and they are wallowing in their false powers without flinching.
If you are minding your business and not thinking about their madness, you are dragged into it because the child you have managed to send to school using the limited resources you have managed to eke out under untold hardship is now a human shield for the monsters created by our new age political class as a tool of intimidation and terror.
Now why would anyone expect you to remain silent and for how long? They took away your collective wealth, power and strength and ignored your appeals for basic infrastructure which will help you to live a little better, you did not complain but that is not enough sacrifice. To establish themselves and their rule of terror, they must now take away the only thing that can remind the world that you once passed through here, your children. Where is the justice in this and where is their conscience. Why must anyone expect you to remain silent and just flow like the blue river unperturbed?
Hell no! You have a right to protest and demand the return of your children and that you must do by any legitimate means possible.