Nigerians – When not to support your government

There are times when the only option for the citizens was to unite and call their government to rise up to their responsibility – such time is now for Nigerians. Actually it would have been better if it was three months ago when the #Bringbackourgirls started. The truth is, it would have been better to voice out in unity in 2012 when Boko Haram showed no sign of slowing down their killing spree in the north of the country.

What our president said about dealing with Boko Haram with “kids gloves” was precisely what Nigeria is known for especially when the issue at hand is very serious one. As long as their child or family member affected is among the victims – they will deal with it only when pleased.

What I find difficult to understand was the number of people who can read and write but refused to reason at all. Maybe not too surprising though that in recent times we have never really had a leader who fought and won for the public good, but we have seen how it is done in other parts of the world, how hard is it to emulate good practice especially when it comes to protecting human lives?

Many Nigerians in diaspora will tell you they don’t care about anything Nigeria related because they have been lucky enough to escape the animal kingdom –  don’t believe them because in a few minute their conversation will end up being about the affairs of our nation. Like my cousin whom I just had a chat with, he was not sure he ever wanted to return to Nigeria, could not just bring himself to think about the prospect, a few moment later, he told me how disturbing he was when he asked the students he tutor in Nigeria about their curriculum and was given same content as their university used about a decade earlier, he could not believe that our schools could be this stagnant especially in education where constant improvement is needed. “Did he say he didn’t care about Nigeria the other time”? I thought to myself. Yes, he did but the reality is everyone with a hint of Nigeria blood in them cared much more than we care to admit.

I digress but it’s all relative.

Putting all sentiments about President Jonathan aside, Nigerians need to unite to let the current administration realise that their most important job is to protect the lives of the people and must do this at all cost not because we had such a glamorous history of any leader who has done this in the recent past but because we live in a different time where most people are waking up and realising every life should matter and deserved to be protected. #Bringbackourgirls was a long time coming, prior to that lots of innocent lives have being cut shorts – but I guess Boko Haram were smarter, they knew the best way to get attention of exhausted Nigerians, they knew nothing would get the government attention unless the civilians united and push hard for it.

It was September 11th 2001, already at a lecture room at 8am looking forward to the day when all of a suddenly the lecture was interrupted by school admin to inform us of the attacks that just happened in NYC World Trade Centre. At that moment no one realised the extent of the damage and lots of speculations went on until we heard shortly after that WTC had collapsed. As a Nigerian who grew up in a small town where senseless tribal killings was the norm, actually at this time my hometown was in the middle of yet another killing spree in the name of land ownership titles – I was devastated. The picture in my mind was more terrifying that I could not say out loud, at a point I thought it was my rival town that followed me all the way from Nigeria to torture me in America.

For as long as I live, I will remember America as a country that put me at ease when I was most vulnerable. We all know what the aftermaths of 9/11 was. Throughout out the day on that fateful day, I was glued to the big Dell monitor staring and absorbing all news about the horrific incidence that happened earlier in the day. What I was most intrigued by was how united everyone was, the suicide attacks happened in NY and I was in WA and I was so much at peace with the way everyone reacted, news being circulated, news and identity of the victims being updated. I remember that initially the death toll was put to over 5000 but later through enormous hard work of relentless volunteers determined to contribute to helping their country through difficult time, the number was concluded to be about 3000 victims includinGodwin Ajala, a Nigerian in NY studying, and happened to be at the WTC working at the time of the attack.

Since 9/11 Osama Bin Ladin did not rest because America wouldn’t let him. Americans still criticise their government in so many ways but when it comes to serving justice to everyone involved in the suicide attacks of 9/11 – they were united for the most part.

GEJ shamelessly said that he has been treating Boko Haram case with kid’s gloves. The day after the school girls were adopted, he was back on the campaign rally dancing as if nothing had happened and yet some Nigerians keep singing his praises.

A similar incidence was that of July 7 2005, when suicide bombings happened in London, my place of work was about 200 metres away from Russell Square station – one of the London station targeted. In all 56 fatalities was recorded. British government left no stone unturned. General public were involved providing as much they can to help with investigations of the perpetrators. Arrests were made, deportation occurred, justice was served most of which happened in quick successions – sending strong message to the fanatics that UK government will not tolerate their citizens lives being endangered on their soil.

After witnessing these two major events and the speedy response of their nations’ leaders to ensure their citizens are safe and perpetrators brought to justice. Now I can see why many Nigeria diasporans can not be bothered.

Three months after over 200 girls were abducted life, it is all one story after the other. Actually, GEJ would not have done anything if international communities did not intervene. I have seen many online comments against the Oby Ezekwesili just because she refused to be intimidated and has been fighting the system to just #Bringbackourgirls. People like Madam Ezekwesili knows the system very well, she was the Federal Minister for Education during Obasanjo regime. She knew that it is only with determination and persistent that anyone can get anything meaningful done in Nigeria especially when normal everyday people were the victims.

Isn’t it time we all realise this is the fight for us all and unite with the likes of Mrs Ezekwesili and Dr Joe Okei Odumakin to fight for a just cause?

To date, President Jonathan has not done nearly enough to bring back the girls. He has since April hired a US based PR firm to publish an article that talks about how much he is ‘trying’ – what a joke. I guess no one in Nigeria is capable of writing. He has also spent so much time shifting blames – what a douchebag!

Maybe for this one time we should all reason together and fight in unity to just #Bringbackourgirls.