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
Thank you so much Lanre! This piece was well articulated. I hope this will spur some change as we read and ponder on the future of our dear Country vis-a-vis the current trends. The Future of Nigeria is ours to decide and make safe for the coming generation. God help us!
As children from the Son of Promise, we need to take our place. The children of the bond woman have had a field day. Evil shall not prevail. This is a spiritual battle which we need to take charge off. We have read, we have contributed, we have created a media blockbuster, we need much more than this for the girls, their mothers, their fathers, ourselves, our generations to come, Nigeria and to remind the devil that he has been defeated and would always be defeated.
Thank you Lanre for this.
I couldn’t have but any better.
I am just seeing this blog and I shouldn’t let go of my comments – just as you said, better late than never.
In addition to sensitizing us to cry out, aloud, if need be, the other important lesson in the whole unfortunate incident is that no matter how seemingly unimportant a thread of security information is, stakeholders should not ignore it. We heard that four days before the girls were abducted, Amnesty International warned our security officials. Alas, we were told the warning was ignored/rebuffed!
If one goes the memory lane, America’s JFK was advised by his secretary not to go on the trip in which he unfortunately lost his life and everything he stood for!
Once more, no matter from where the warning comes, every security information should be regarded as the gospel truth until the contrary established.
May the Almighty God graciously grant the safe return of our innocent girls, victims of circumstances beyond their control!