At a training session with a fellow Nigerian. The lady was quite passionate about Nigeria, she hopes to return home after her retirement to set up a practice with her son – she would love to give back in her own way.
Hope is good, it is hope that has kept us still believing in a country crumbling on itself, that one day enough people will realise nothing will change without us changing our focus.
I enjoy meeting people from different parts of Nigeria especially when talking about important social issues, to learn if things are done differently in their parts – we are all in the same boat, enough of us just don’t want to acknowledge that much.
The lady is from Edo and in her 50s. Her age is relevant here to show how little has changed over the years.
Conversation started on the ‘others’ and their rigid views of the world. In the end I was glad we both agree everyone has a role to play to steer the country in the right direction – we have been made to finger-pointing for way too long that we don’t pay attention to our own closest neighbours who aren’t necessarily acting in the best interest of all.
Take education for example, from long time ago, southern Nigeria have embraced western education – this much we are always eager to point out, however for the last 30 years quality of our public school education is on downward spiral, this is obvious on our streets.
Not funding public education means a sharp rise in private schools which many people could not afford – can we from the south, the ‘enlightened ones’ blame the north for that?
Just because a group decides keeping people around them ignorant by denying them any form opportunities to be independent thinkers, should we continue to do the same even when we are well aware of the consequences?
Perhaps the best way to see this is to stop worshiping those who are elected to represent us at the top. We should hold our representatives (from the south) to accounts and stop taking them seriously when they are pointing to the ‘others’ as the bad guys.
And the self-appointed messiahs who we know are not acting in our best interest need to be shown many instances where they have failed to support us.
Gender issues is a good example here, the GEO bill was raised to highlight many key areas where Nigeria women today are still being treated as a less of. The bill was raised by Senator Abiodun Olujimi, a southerner, it has faced many backlashes and now being shelved collecting dusts.
When GEO bill was being discussed last year, the only strong and loud opposing voices we heard were from the northern religious leaders – which I actually appreciate, at least we know what we are working with.
In the south none of our outspoken christian leaders spoke, they all kept quiet as they prefer not to be identified as the one who oppose GEO bill – I am sure there are plenty of bible verses to back up their preference.
My new friend is religious, far more than I am. Gender inequality is one subject that bothers her too, here she shared her experience of a church in Nigeria where there are handbooks for women and children to guide them as they navigate this sinful world. This church has no handbook for men as they were born to know all from birth and women from babies to old age must be guided by those who didn’t need to follow guidance handbook – how interesting.
The above is the view of many Nigeria christian leaders on women ability and reason their view on gender issue is hushed.
I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with this lady, it is nice to chat with a religious Nigerian whose sense of reasoning is not clouded by tribal or religious sentiments.
While there are enormous work for Nigerians, we can not continue to pretend all is well when the oppression is coming from our tribe or our preferred religion – if we can not see unfairness in the way we are being treated with the so called ‘our own’, how can we ever be united to fight for against external forces?
Sankofa “You must reach back to reclaim that which is lost in order to move forward”