I don’t usually endorse the social network, but after the events of the last couple of weeks, I have had to rethink my stance on the issue; the social media can be used for good after all. I liked how many Nigerians used the social media used the media to spur the government and other necessary bodies into not only looking into, but also bringing to justice the culprits in the ‘Aluu 4’ murder. And it has not stopped there, it (the social media) follows and reports every action and process of the prosecution of the culprits.
That said I think we Nigerians need to employ the social media as a tool for veritable social change, by bringing to fore issues that affect our society and its people. Issues that were hitherto relegated to the background because our leaders haven’t cared to look that far and we on our own haven’t dared to talk about it openly.
This brings to mind the story of Malala Yousufzai, a pakistani 15 year old student and female activist who at 12 years of age wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. The world took notice and she became an instant sensation.
It those not end well for her though for on 9th October 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to a hospital in the United Kingdom for intensive rehabilitation. On 12 October a group of 50 Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwā against those who tried to kill her, and the Taliban reiterated its intent to kill Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin.
She has regained consciousness in a British hospital, though doctors say she is not completely out of the woods yet.
Fela once sang ‘shuffering and shmiling’ in reference to the Nigerian man’s ability to take all kinds of rubbish from our government and still keep a happy face. Almost 34 years later, Nigerians are still shuffering and shmiling!
Our country Nigeria, 52 years after its independence has not truly made any forward strides! Our politicians are still very corrupt, our governmental institutions are still an epitome of moral and social decadence, the roads are still bad, light is still not steady, the economy is in total decay, the rich are still getting richer, the poor even more so and most of all the masses are largely neglected.
And the funny thing is we fold our hands and say; ‘E go better.’ How?! I ask.
How e go better when a single man will embezzle money that is more than the allocations of 11 states?!!!
How e go better when the rich at the slightest headache fly out abroad for medical check up and spends weeks in foreign hospitals, accumulating millions in our country’s money, while the poor man can not boast of basic health care?!!!!
How e go better when the government send out men with hand guns, no life insurance and stupid pay to go after men with full war artillery?!!!
Tell me how e go better when school fees are getting higher, our educational system is getting dumber and our government send their wards to choice schools abroad and leave us in care of dimwitted teachers?!!!
Bros and sister how e go better when government officials will embezzle billions and get a slap on the wrist and Akpos steals N2 and is to face the firing squad?!!!
How e go better when a senator earns almost a 10 million monthly doing nothing and a hard working civil servant earns 18, 000 basic salary?!!! Chai!!!
How e go better my people, how e go better?!!!
We can’t just sit down hoping and praying for a messiah that will come and hear our cries from the wilderness, we have cried for so long and our voices have become hoarse and nobody has listened. It’s time we took action and effect change, because the people in the high places just want to stuff their pockets fat with the little that remains of our national fund!
Nigeria is not a democratic state that I know, what we practise here is what Fela aptly called DEMOCRAZY meaning a demonstration of craze. Because if this really was a government of the people, by the people, for the people; we would have had a say on who and how we should be governed.
But we must not relent, we must fight and speak up for Rome was not built in a day. We have the power, technology has made every man a potential newsman or woman and from the comfort of your home one can now publish and broadcast facts, happenings and events in and around one’s country, herein lies the power of social media.
Let’s not waste time discussing Tonto Dikeh’s latest mockery of music, let’s talk politics. Let’s bring our challenges to the fore and wipe away that smile that we Nigerians have for so long being famous for. For honestly it’s been a long while since there was anything of note to smile about in this country.
For if we don’t speak up, no one will listen and who fights for a silent man? Nobody.
We all can’t be brave like little Malala, but at least let’s spur on those who will make our voices heard. Let’s give voice to those who will whisper and the world will listen.
For 5 decades we have prayed for a messiah, it’s apparent he is not coming, so let’s create our own messiah. Let’s take action.