Happy Democracy day to my fellow Nigerians……may God help us get things right. I usually would not write about things like this but since the only thing I can do is write, write I will. We have been a democratic nation for almost two decades (let me end the statement here and not rant about the short comings).
I cannot compare the military regime to what we have now because I was too young to understand the military regime. I kind of understand a little now though; just a little. I try not to bother myself with matters I can do nothing about, it keeps me healthy. I have been around a lot of military officers (I didn’t say other ranking military guys o) and the decorum they exhibit is amazing!!!! Sometimes, I wish the government would be usurped. It is just a wish actually, the soldiers might just be worse leaders. Do not get me wrong, I am glad that we live in a democratic nation. I might not have been able to write an article like this two decades ago.
The thing is, are we truly living in a democratic nation? Is democracy not a government of the people? We woke up to hear about the subsidy issue a couple of years ago; it still hurts now because I have to buy fuel for my generator. Let’s not even talk about the extra months to about a year that my life was put on hold because my lecturers were on strike. Don’t I have a right to education? Are we not the people? Are these amenities not what we are to get when the government is about us?
Oh! Democracy is also a rule of law in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens??? Pffft! Have you ever tried booking a meeting with the local government chairman of where you are from? Did you eventually get through to him? If yes, after how long? I did my national youth service corps (NYSC) in a ministry and I know the stunts you have to pull most times to see a public servant who is the head of something. I thought these people where voted/appointed to serve the populace? I thought that was what democracy was about. Then there is the issue of security. I have been pleading with my family and friends to move out of the North. It is not like it is easy to leave where you call home but the state of the nation calls for drastic actions.
A friend wrote a funny but deep post and she asked when we would forget to charge our mobile phones like people abroad? I commented and said that would happen when we relocate abroad too. We all pray for Nigeria on a daily basis, but the truth is that the country needs us to work hard as individuals to make things better. The government cannot do it all and that is the truth. True, we cannot generate power for the country but we can innovate ways to power small portions.
It is our country and we should be make it better for ourselves at least. It starts with the simplest things really; throwing dirt in bins, recycling stuff, loving our neighbours irrespective of tribe or religion, giving functional security information, not stealing money from the small position of power assigned to you. I know that sometimes your information may be used against you but you should still give it a shot. Democracy, military, dictatorship, ‘i-don’t-care-ship’, what ever regime we are in, Nigeria is still our country. Also, the fact that the government is not exactly loved at the moment doesn’t give some so called activists the right to insult those in power. We are Africans and respect is still part of our core values.
I didn’t expect to write this much, all I wanted to know is the way forward. I want to know if there is anything that the populace can do and if the government will let us do it. I also want a democracy day’s gift. I want them to #bringBackOurGirls. I strongly believe that the chibok incident as well as every other boko haram related issue is government related. This has gone too far, we are the people. The government is for us(well, it is supposed to be). Let us stop dwelling on the failures and think of ways to make our country better.
I read the poem below and I just had to share. Enjoy.
POEM FOR THE DEAD AND DYING
Someone should write a poem, for all the dead and dying;
Of how inside their homes, the blood is red and drying.
Of how night came upon them, with flames and desolation.
Of faces fraught with terror, and fear and resignation.
Someone should write the words, to comfort the bereaved
Who saw what knives and swords, had done. And those who grieve:
The ones without their parents, the friends who weep alone.
Who know the pain that settles and seeps into the bone.
Someone should write the story of all the dead and dying;
Some scribe should write it nicely, who is not bled as I am;
Some go-getter poet better who can get it done.
Someone should write this history, and if you are the one…
Tell them about the crying, tell any who will listen,
That there are people dying, and there are children missing.
They took young men’s lives, and infants from their mothers.
Ask if we should hope or seek deliverance from another.
Tell of the sons and daughters, murdered as they slept.
Tell of the slain and slaughtered, and elders who have wept.
Tell them the streets are bleeding, the gutters running red.
Tell them the people grieving have asked if God is dead.
Tell them of all the anguish, of drowning in its flood.
And speak it in their language of shit and piss and blood.
Of naked women taken, raped, and men they execute.
Of lying waiting, aching knowing that the next is you.
Tell them of dying nameless, in blood and excrement
And of surviving flames to perish in the next event.
Of how when the fires die, the stench of burning flesh
Rises to the sky, until the cycle turns afresh.
Tell them about the students, they ones they’ve been kidnapping.
And if they wonder why, explain what must be happening.
Tell them of homes abandoned, who see misfortune rising.
Repeat the names of all the dead until they memorize them.
A man is dust and ashes, a soul but breath and wind.
And life too quickly passes, with solace left unhinged.
So write of all the innocent, the victims of their plotting.
Call them: The Taken, or The Lost, but never The Forgotten.
Someone should write it all, because my words are bitter.
The pain to chronicle this, is more than I considered.
The skill it takes to craft it, is more than I have got.
Someone should write it all, for God knows I cannot.
Written by Jason Abaga
Long live One Nigeria!
Happy democracy day darlings, may God bless us.