Life is quite interesting and happens in surprising and unexpected ways.

I have been a regular writer for almost two decades now, and this is one of my works from 2012.

It was written on the 21st of June, exactly ten years ago for the Agenda Column, my weekly contribution to Blueprint Newspaper. It is one of the articles I lost long ago, but Facebook pleasantly unearthed it for me.

In it, I talked about our lack of social responsibility as a people, and argued that it is only by doing our bits for our societies and country that they can be better.

Here we are, today a decade after, except I have decided to take a new and bold step in my civic, social and responsibility, advocacy and awareness.

I hope you enjoy reading this just as much as I did writing it then.


Long ago when the whole world was a peaceful place, when all God’s creatures Man and beast lived as one, there was a little bird. The bird is so little that when other birds are flying, no one will notice him.

One day, rain clouds gathered in the sky and thunder was rumbling as it was about to rain.

Frightened, the little bird lied down on the ground on its back with its legs up.

Surprised, people asked the bird what it was doing, and he replied, ‘can’t you see the sky is about to fall’. I am trying to hold it.

They all laughed at the little bird saying ‘do you think you can hold the sky with your little feet? And the little bird replied ‘of course not. This is just my bit I am doing. If each one of you will do his own bit, we can surely keep the sky from falling’.

Moral of the story is the fact that if each Nigerian should do his part in the quest to salvage this nation, it will not be long before we achieve that.

The bane of our problems as a nation remains the fact that we as a people have no collective social responsibility.

With each passing day, it is becoming clearer that we have lost all our sense of nationalism, Patriotism and social cohesion.

A popular adage in Hausa language said ‘in bera da sata, daddawa ma tana da wari’ or ‘ganga bata amo ita kadai’ (meaning every situation involves two parties).

Much as we know and acknowledge the fact that Nigeria is saddled with the most self-centered and irresponsible leadership in recent years, the fact we cannot continue to neglect is that the followership are as guilty as the leadership.

I mean, let us be realistic. There are 160 million Nigerians, and out of this number, the entire leadership of the nation are just about a million. Is it not simply ridiculous that 159 million people will be watching idly while only a million are busy pushing their lives down the drain?

Our lack of social responsibility, cohesion, nationalism and patriotism are directly responsible for the way our leaders are leading us. If we; the Nigerian people were a responsible, focused, reasonable and informed lot, there is no way the few people amongst us who were vested with the power of responsibility to serve the country and its people will be ruining our lives while we remain nonchalant.

Nigeria is the only country we have got, and yet, we do practically nothing to help build and develop it. Have you ever done anything for your country? If you haven’t, it is about time you start asking yourself ‘what can I do to make Nigeria a better place’. Because certainly, in a country bedeviled with so many ills and vices, there must be something you can really do without putting any strain on yourself that will make a difference.

Some few days ago, a Friend of mine told me that he decided to venture into publishing his works after convincing himself that it remains the only way, he can affect change in the society.

Now you, how can you bring your own change? As we were always being told as children way back in school, do your best and leave the rest to God. But right now, the truth is that we are not even making any attempt.

Even before seeing what an enticing society the western world is, I have always been of the conviction that leaving Nigeria for greener pastures is not and will never be the solution to our problems. Running off to other countries when we have problems of our own to seek solutions to is sheer cowardice.

The western countries did not just lie idle and waited for their Government to develop their countries for them; they took their destinies into their own hands and developed their communities through community development projects engagements. The Government took over from where they left off.

Why can we also not achieve such feats? Why can’t we as a community and as a society be responsible for our own selves?

I dare say the reason we have such irresponsible leaders is simply the fact that we ourselves are irresponsible. Should we take up responsibility now, our leaders will have no alternative but to sit up and be responsible themselves or get out.

We Nigerians are the ones who can save this sinking ship called Nigeria. Lying down and expecting some white men from the west to come and solve our problems for us is as good as deliberately refusing to do nothing.

Our Children, God, and posterity will judge us as guilty as the Nigerian leaders who do not constitute even point one percent of the Nigerian population.

As my Friend Emekoji Ayikoye rightly said:

‘When a drunk driver is driving a passenger car into a ditch, it is callous and ungodly for bystanders to keep quiet and watch while the driver crashes the car into the ditch ahead.

In the same sense, Nigerians should not just stand by and watch this ‘Nigerian car’ crashed by the confused driver’. After all, doing nothing and saying nothing is an direct support and encouragement for the ongoing crisis.

Published by jiddare

Multimedia Journalist. Feminist Social Enterprenuer Anti PA Campaigner Publisher: www.sheroes.ng

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