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Editorial Column: Nigeria as a Lukewarm State

Rwanda has a chilling story of the genocide that happened in 1994 but today the country seems to be on a steady path of growth and most importantly living in peace with one another. The sad events of the genocide started with hate speeches leading up to a war, killing and with a reconciliation and healing process they have come out of whatever might have been the cause of that sad event in their national life. Nigeria equally went through a war that cost over 3 million lives on both sides of Nigeria and Biafra. By the end of the war, there was a process to reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction but we never achieved healing. The root cause of that war was never dealt with and every day in this present day, we still see the issues of ethnic bigotry, irresponsible leadership, hate and abuse.

Nigeria today is being buffeted by so many issues; from irresponsive leadership to abuse of power, to rape to power failures, killings, kidnappings and a lot more. Citizens feel the heat of all these but a large number of us have given up on the entity called Nigeria. Only a few thinks of protest, only a small number on social media truly cares and those who protest do so for their personal recognition. In all of these, Nigerians are divided in any efforts to demand good leadership and seeking accountability and probity from those who lead us.

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Across the world, the protest we see like in Hong Kong has the entire nation coming out to demand what they truly deserve. They are not lukewarm and can be seen to be hotly asking and making demands because they matter in the equation of things. They are not cold relaxing while their leaders pillage them on every side. Even a country like Sudan is going through a tough time that has brought out the entire nation to the streets.

Nations that are hot would mean those who are demanding, ready to come out, not caring for their lives and personal needs but their collective good. While those who are cold remain cold without doing anything to push back and we hardly see this in modern times. However, for the lukewarm states, they are neither hot nor cold however they keep pushing periodically without making any gateway. Leaders in Nigeria are comfortable repeating the cycles of mistakes and irresponsibility with the understanding that citizens cannot push enough to scare or make them lose the privilege we gave to them to lead.

While there has been quite a number of protests in Nigeria, our lukewarm nature comes through the fact only a tiny fraction goes for these protests. People are not speaking truth to power; we are pulling each other in different directions, everyone is clearly seeking for their benefits and hardly do we find those who seek for the collective good of all Nigerians.

Nigeria no longer needs a protest that reacts to what leaders do, what we now need is to demand what they should do. We need to start asking for them to do what we all collectively see as right and good. If leaders do not know what to do in office, it is time we channel our protests to teach them how things should be done rather than waiting for an error from them to protest.

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