One of the most ridiculous realizations of our time is the fact that majority of the younger generations have given up on Nigeria as being irredeemable. A lot of us have lost hope in Nigeria to the point that some persons now see her as a spilt milk that have no need for cries. However, what they fail to realise is that while there is no need to cry over spilt milk, serious effort needs to be made to ensure that there is no more spillage.
It is necessary to remind ourselves here that several other countries of the world are suffering similar or even worse fates. Suffering from bad governance, insurgencies and civil unrest, violence and wars, political instability, hunger and famine, so many countries are torn apart.
Even some of the countries we think are enjoying relative peace and good governance, once had their evil days. However, it took the good efforts of men and women of goodwill to surmount the evil in the land and conquer it for the good of all. This brings me to the central message of this piece;
‘Amidst the chaos and crisis, what are you doing to make a change? What effort are you making towards a better Nigeria?’
“The leopard had been looking for the tortoise and hadn’t found him for a long time. On this day, on a lonely road, he suddenly chanced upon tortoise, and so he said, “Aha! at last I’ve caught you. Now get ready to die”. Tortoise of course knew that the game was up and so he said, “Okay, but can I ask you a favour?” and leopard said, “Well why not?” Tortoise said, “Before you kill me, could you give me a few moments just to reflect on things?” Leopard thought about it – he wasn’t very bright – and he said, “Well, I don’t see anything wrong with that. You can have a little time”. And so tortoise instead of standing still and thinking, began to do something very strange: he began to scratch the soil all around him and throw sand around in all directions. Leopard was mystified by this. He said, “What are you doing? Why are you doing that?” Tortoise said: “I am doing this because when I am dead, I want anybody who passes by this place to stop and say, ‘Two people struggled here. A man met his match here’. (Culled from Anthills of the Savannah by Chinua Achebe).
Evil will always have the tendency to persist and resurface always if not seriously challenged. In a nation like ours, relatively everything could be said to be wrong, hence no one person can wake up and put things in order. It is therefore a collective responsibility for us to rise up above our individual weaknesses to challenge the evil worms destroying the fabrics of our dear country.
From the selfishness and corrupt tendencies of our leaders, to the political empathy and laissez-faire attitude of the masses, we all have something to fight and purge out of the system. It doesn’t matter whether there is an immediate visible result, all that matters is that reasonably good effort is put in the right direction.
Just like the tortoise in the narrative above, even when you think that there is no more need to try, still make an effort that posterity will see and justify you. The stroke of the hammer that breaks the rock isn’t actually the hardest and most effective strike, but it is the cumulative effects of all previous strikes that broke the rock. Drop by drop, the rain water wears the stone.
This is a call for collective nation building at the grassroot, all hands are expected to be on deck so we can build the country we want for ourselves, a Nigeria that will work for everybody.
Courtesy: Marcellinus Chijioke Ubaka