Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist in his twenties with the goal of calling the attention of the populace to the plight of the unfortunately poverty-stricken street children of England. He succeeded at it. As a journalist, he later went ahead to encourage George Muller’s orphanages by writing about the good care he saw there when he visited.
Just musing over the unthinkable plight of the abducted Chibok girls, my mind went through the years. Before this, boys were killed in a federal government school. Because I attended such, it made me shudder. I imagined if gunmen had raided our hostels in 1990…in pitch darkness. The same men who would not have escaped without casualties in the daylight would have decimated us in hundreds at night. But them boys were killed and that was all. Before this, graduates on national service were killed at the slightest provocation…but we let it go. Before this, public peace was disturbed; private vehicles were vandalized; bonfires were set on roads. Do I see a trend? A crescendo? Rehearsals for what today we bewail!
Every little vice we ignore especially because we are not yet statistically connected is a seed. If we cried out when a few guys were killed in Jos and we mounted pressure so that the perpetrators were brought to book, we would have communicated that we place high value on one another. But better late than never!
There is a lesson we must learn: If we do nothing, nothing will happen!
A second beautiful lesson is that every little effort helps! A few people were concerned that the world was looking away from Chibok and they went to worry CNN’s Facebook wall…till the whole world gave attention. Since then, every comment we make sensitizes; every #bringbackourgirls we post either embarasses or stirs some conscience!
May we have our girls back soon. Where else do we direct our efforts? What other mountain do we bore through we our small-but-mighty hammers??
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.
– MARTIN NIEMÖLLER