HOW DO WE PROCEED FROM HERE?

Yesterday, thousands of young Nigerians flooded stadiums around the country for the recruitment test of the Nigerian Immigration service (NIS). There was stampede, injuries and death in some states. It was the seventh day after the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared less than an hour after takeoff.

There are days when I want to be isolated from the chaos that plagues the world. However, the internet is where I want to run to and it is the worst place to seek isolation. Every second I’m besieged with news from around the world: the good, the bad and the ugly – mostly ugly.

As the tragedy of Nigeria’s unemployment pestilence – brought to the fore by the ineptitude of NIS, unfolded in real time on my twitter timeline, one of the overlords commented on the issue. He berated the young people who decided to pay a thousand naira for a job they might not get, but would be reluctant to join a protest. He did not attempt to hide his condescension but I was not offended – at first.

You see, I’m a gainfully unemployed graduate. A fortunate combination of family pedigree, skills picked up while growing up and a little dash of personal effort places me in an employable bracket that ensures I’m not too eager to take up a job I wouldn’t be happy doing. But I have friends who wrote that exam. Smart dudes who chose to hope for the best in a process that we all know is never transparent and these friends of mine are part of those this overlord condemned.

This is one of the many reasons why I do not trust the Nigerian twitter activist. The man who sits in the comfort of his bourgeois apartment in Lekki and lambastes thousands who took a shot at hope because they do not support his revolutionist ideals does not appeal to me. What is revolution without hope? Is it more than mere suicide?

Some hours into the day, the Malaysian Prime minister, Najib Razakk, announced that the disappearance of the plane was the result of a deliberate action. The distress of families of the passengers on the missing plane turned to frustration and anger. China’s Premier, Li Keqiang, pledged to continue search efforts for the missing flight “as long as there is a glimmer of hope”.

Another overlord on twitter blamed the state of the country on the comfort of the middle class; “…they are too hopeful, too busy with religion and faith and religious leaders who tell them they will make it” he tweeted. Then he described the lower class as being blinded by hunger to have the initiative to organize and demand change; “…they too find solace in gods and men of god” he tweeted again. But I’m used to this: faith and religion has become punching bags for the online champions of a new Nigeria.

The last book of the bible contains a fantastical tale of wars, pestilence and woe. The Revelation of John is a fascinating and sometimes fearful book that at a young age had me immersed in its detailed imagery, so much that I forgot the fact that it is a book of hope. There are times when it is easy to be lost to the dire conditions of our present state that we forget to hope too. Or why do we ask for a revolution if not because we know that our conditions can be better? And what is that if it is not hope predicated on faith?

Earlier today India announced a pause in their search efforts at the request of the Malaysian authorities. They need to work out how the search effort would proceed from here.

But when do we give up? When do we throw away our hope and embrace the despair that drives us out into the street and fills our bones with so much passion and unbridled anger that we are ready to set fire to our bodies to attract the attention of the world?

How do we proceed from here?

***

We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience.  And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us. – Romans 8:3-5 (New Century Version).

 

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9 thoughts on “HOW DO WE PROCEED FROM HERE?

  1. Wen I heard dz story, dn it dawn on me d significant of King David’s actions of always asking d Supreme Being before going for any war. (I think it’s time we really understood d purpose of d “Christian Religion” – the Culture of Knowing God personally)

    Good one (d revolution tin attracted me)

    1. Danot, the question I ask myself these days is this: to what extent does our knowledge of God (personally) influence our social outlook and responsibilities as citizens?

      And David is really a good man to study in these climes.

  2. I agree that most of these so-called twitter activists are nothing more than arm-chair critics who sit in the comfort of their homes while lambasting others who try to make a headway in this bleakness called Nigeria, but about the statement – “faith and religion has become punching bags for the online champions of a new Nigeria.” Can you blame them? The way Nigerians…and some religious leaders carry on about faith and religion has indirectly turned it into an object of ridicule, when the same Nigerians would rather pray and pray, and do nothing, thinking just that solves problems, both on an individual and national scale? Justify whatever atrocities they commit using religion as their joker card when caught red-handed in the act? Not calling their religious leaders to question when the same religious leaders commit acts that are questionable, and yet blindly supporting same religious leader to the extent of deifying him/her?

    You really can’t blame them. those who profess faith make their belief systems easy target practice, because they have made themselves nothing more than blind sheep to be fleeced by pastors, MoGs.

    1. Debo your observations about the Nigerian church are quite true, and yes, it makes her an easy target for the online champions, but I think it is more of an attempt to justify their denial of faith. After all as much as there are false prophets in the faith, there are also men who expend their lives without hope for an earthly gain. And anyone familiar with the words of Christ knows this is not strange. May the Lord help us to grow to the point where we’ll not be fleeced by these men (of God).

  3. This days an attempt to reply any of the arguments or protest by these so called activist on social media will be time wasting cos they have degenerate to politics of self louseness. We can only pray and hope for better days for our dear country. Keep the ramblings up

  4. I enjoyed reading your post and the comments that followed caused me to chuckle 🙂

    I recall something I read about the fuel subsidy protests in Nigeria, which took place a few years ago. As the story went, some people from Lekki were going to join others at Ojota for the march or something. On the way, some “protesters” started smashing & vandalizing their jeeps. The protesters managed to damage about four vehicles before they listened to reason- that the people in the jeeps were just as much a part of the struggle as they were, and not some stuck-up money-miss-road.

    I shared the story above to highlight the dichotomy between social/economic classes. I think that a revolution needs a visionary, passionate leader(s) who can unite men around a cause and motivate them to act. Sometimes in the midst of chaos, social media chaos and physical chaos, a leader emerges. Discourse fans flames . . . for good or bad.

    What happened should not have and I place the blame squarely on the agency and those in charge.

    1. Sometimes the class difference is so large it’s like there are two different countries in Lagos. And as long as this dichotomy increases, galvanizing the Nigerian populace to speak with one voice would not get easier. I look forward to the day that visionary would emerge; until then, hope is all I’ve got.

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