By Bayo Fasunwon
Many have believed that the population of the female gender surpasses that of men by millions. Therefore, single ladies count themselves lucky when their hands are sought for, in marriage. Parents who had insisted that their daughters keep off men are often agitated when a girl who has ‘come of age’ does not talk about a man in her life. They are always eager to hear that their daughter has found ‘the bone of her bone’. The eagerness, and pressure of being courted had however brought forth issues that leaves the female gender in dilemma.
With the emergence of ‘netizens’ and the ‘craze’ for ‘trending’ on various social networks, many young men have taken to the internet to make their ‘proposal’ public. It is therefore common to see phone camera beamed on a man kneeling and asking a lady to tag along into marriage. While the man proposes, onlookers, most of whom knew neither the man, the lady and or their character would shout, ‘say yes, say yes say yes!!!’ Deafened and deadened by the noise, her conscience is beclouded and her emotions overtaken by the excitement leads her into saying ‘yes.
Unfortunately, amongst those prodding her into say ‘Yes’ are the paid praise singers. Some are friends and associates of the loverboy; some of her friends wants her to say ‘Yes’, so other guys would lose interest. Some are mere passers-by, who want comic reliefs from their burdened sojourn on earth. Her conscience too could have been bought by the food and drinks, promises of a better tomorrow and even few gifts. Her ‘Yes’ was to ‘Who’ and not to ‘What’. In a few years to come, only she would have to live with the consequences of her affirmation.
In a few days from now, barring the outcomes of a shoddy monetary policy, and the unimpressive succour of his benefactor, Nigerians would go to the polls. All political parties and their candidates have become ‘Loverboy’. Suddenly, they have become aware of our pains, and felt our sorrows. Governors who looked the other way when lives were slaughtered and made life unbearable for the people have suddenly became Angels who know what is best for the people. Some Lover boys have suddenly realised that they are different from their political parties and political heads, and Nigerians are really suffering. The old, the sick, the wounded, the kidnapped and those involved in home accidents have suddenly come to the radar of those who were unaware of what transpired under their noses.
The paid supporters have been involved in one million marches, giveaways and praise-songs to herald the coming of the King riding humbly on the back of a sheep. Many who inflicted injuries have come with methylated spirits and Iodine, telling us to endure the pain, as the healer has arrived. Now the conscience of the ‘bride’, the voters is already seared with hot iron, and past feeling.
With policies in place to ensure that access to money, health care and food is blocked, it becomes rational to say ‘Yes’ to those who would give them ‘the daily bread’ for just a day. Those who seek for power, mostly in Africa, have devilishly believed that when the people are denied education, made poor and hungry, leading them becomes easy. So, poverty inducing policies have always come easy. The dilemma of the voters remains whether to eat for a day, and suffer forever or starve for a day, rescue their conscience and say ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’.
Before we say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ this weekend, there is a need to sit and reflect on where we are coming from and where we want to be. Let us take a deep thought on the vision of our fathers, and the reality of the nation now. It would be good to remember those who diverted us from the path of greatness. It is better to close our ears to those shouting ‘Say Yes’ and determine within us on what to give affirmation to. Let us go beyond the smiles, the promises and identify the mean slave raiders whose intention is to ensure that oppression becomes a natural occurrence, and scrapping from the ‘crumbs that fall from the master’s table’ become our daily bread. We all ought to determine what we want, see it in those asking for our hands in ‘marriage’ before saying ‘Yes’. Beyond the cries for water, light, roads, employment and other bread that are used to brainwash, cheat and imprison us, we need to seek for values. Values that would procure for us the things that we truly need.
If we observe keenly, scanty projects that could have been inaugurated and completed within a year are prolonged for four or more, while these are used as conduit pipes to siphon funds beyond the reach of the people. Those things that should normally take long years of implementation and rushed and executed within months, thereby creating more pains, sorrow and preventable deaths.
What shall we say yes to? It is time Nigerians actually demand, and vote for Justice, Equal Rights, Liberty, Fraternity. Rule of Law, Accountability, Transparency and Responsiveness. These are virtues that would make all institutions work according to the dictates of the constitution and also respond to peoples’ needs. Justice is conformity with the ideal of righteousness. It is the determination according to the rules of law. Justice implies a true law that is bling to people’s position and wealth, but is keen on punishing the offenders and justifying the innocent. As long as our Justice system is a cover for criminals, and punisher of the weak, there can be no peace. For as long as the Banks cannot remain truthful, just and investment friendly, people shall seek alternatives.
Unfortunately, the alternative to Justice is still Justice by the rule of the Jungle. At that level of Justice, anarchy is born, bred and based in the country. When an institution of government blatantly refuses to obey court orders, it sets an example for lawlessness. Where injustice prevail, under the guise of national security, institutions cannot work, and corruption soars.
The absence of all these virtues is the reason why many Nigerians are ready to cut corners to survive. The yahoo boys are ready to steal, kill and destroy; the Bank Manager is ready to trade local currencies; the Petrol Attendant is willing to alter the fuel meter; parents are ready to buy grades for their wards; policemen are willing to collect bribes; Soldiers are unashamed to collect ‘Roger’ at checkpoints; teenage girls are hooked up and Custom Officers are happy to seize goods that may appear later in shops. The question now is that in Nigeria, ‘a virtuous government, who can find’. As you go to the polls, do not be disillusioned by the few drops offered when the Ocean actually belongs to you. Vote wisely.
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