Enough is Enough: It's Time to Struggle...
A recent article made me piece together a startling truth I always knew, but which I thought everyone else did not. ‘How Indonesia Overtook Nigeria’ by Peter Cunliffe-Jones is an insightful comparism by one with experience in both countries to understand their lives.
Both countries are the giants of their regions and have suffered colonialism, independence gained in 1960 with very similar standards of living, both used palm-oil as major resource before oil and gas was discovered, both suffered through three decades of military misrule, even having their civil war within months of each other - in September 1965 in Indonesia and in January 1966 in Nigeria - their military regimes dying within 12 months, in May 1998 and 1999.
The poverty line has risen from 6-7 in Nigeria, whereas it reduced from 6-2 in Indonesia. Adult literacy is at 92% in Indonesia, twenty points ahead of Nigeria. Per capital income? Twice that of Nigeria. Indonesia holds elections much to the world’s applause, whereas Nigeria last election is Africa’s worse yet.
Reasons? One word: STRUGGLE!
By no means is Indonesia perfect, but the prevailing reason is struggle. Indonesia puts its leaders under pressure to perform, whereas in Nigeria most leaders could not care less about the people, except during elections where they spread lies for votes. Popular protests have urged people to make a public stand, but are attended only by hundreds not thousands.
"What I realized," Chukwudifu Oputa, a retired Supreme Court Justice, “is we have not fought, not really, or not enough. And if you do not fight for your rights, nobody will fight for you."
During the late President Umaru Yaradua’s absence the country felt it was their right to know the current health of their “elected” president and staged a rally in Abuja comprised of various celebrities, spurred by television, radio and the social media. It was my 1st time of seeing such and though we stayed out peacefully under the sun for hours, were scoffed by our own officials; we let the insults hit home. Through web 2.0, radio and other media the nation let an outcry of the illegality and injustice of what the government was doing to its people which to some extent made politicians fearful of worse opposition.
Though much was not done in performance, afterall Nigerians are known for not fighting for their rights, the use of web 2.0 in all its forms has shown that the 1st step to a successful struggle against an oppressor is knowledge and awareness. Those who are deeply affected by the bad policies and ineffectual politicians are the poor who do not have time to think about their country’s problems but how to survive the day.
Campaigns should be conducted to make them understand that without their vote for the best person to lead their country; their present situation is not likely to improve. Nigeria needs to understand the meaning of struggle, to stop talking but to act.
And to realize: Enough is enough.