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HomePoliticsIt's time to rise up and take our country back

It’s time to rise up and take our country back

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By Oludare Mayowa

In the last couple of days my mail box has been brimming with complaints across the country on how some religion zealots are taking over every slot in federal establishments to the disadvantage of people from other ethnic and religion blocs.

At first I saw these as one of the propaganda orchestrated by some people who are losing out on the political front and want to take their frustration out on the system. The case of if we can have it, we waste it.

On a second thought I critically examine each position in line of the occurrences in our nation in the last few years, then my heart bleaks and like Nehemiah did when he heard the news about the state of his country, Israel, I cried and grief in my heart because it’s not supposed to be.

This nation indeed belongs to all irrespective of place of birth, religion and social status.

The more I think about what is currently going on in our country, the more it reminds me of the history of slavery and also of the colonialism in the continent.

The manner those who think they were privileged treated the underprivileged and the weak. How the colour of the skin was the only qualification for having access to opportunities or being relegated and abuse.

The era of feudalism and talakawa, where some people qualified themselves as blue blooded and others are seen as the proletariat.

But Nigeria had since gained independence from the colonial master and the country ought to have translated from slavery to freedom for all regardless of where individual citizens come from.

From the time of independent, there have been efforts to ensure that one part of the country does not dominate the rest either because of their size, religion or position in the politics.

The turn of event in our country today has shown that there still exist weakness in our structure and make up as a nation that encourage some category of people or section to think that they are more privileged than the rest or more positioned than people from the other part of the country.

The consequence of this has also being fueling the feeling of discontentment and resulting in the widespread agitation for succession in some part of the country.

But what this has unwittingly exposed is that even when those agitating for independence within sovereign Nigeria are able to have their way by breaking away from the existing structure, the inequality will surely continue in another dimension.

What that also means is that our nation has not been able to achieve a common goal, purpose and destiny for all. This gave room for the few who found themselves in power to perpetuate self interest and consequently rally support of their base interest to further remain relevant in the scheme of things.

But it’s time to take back our country from those who leverage on our ignorance, disunity, negligence and lack of commitment to the common goals and vision.

One of the key lessons I learnt from my late mentor is that it’s impossible for you to benefit from a system you did not engaged. If you are not available when the cow is being slaughter, you may not have the opportunity of partaking or being in a position to dictate how it should be shared.

Men and women of goodwill should start the process of taking back the nation from the present crop of politicians who have over the years perfected the act of divisiveness in their bids to ensure that they are not accountable to all.

The road may be rough because of the great perversion of the entire political landscape by practitioners who deploy ethnic, religion and other base sentiment to ensure that the people are not united to fight a common cause.

The huge resources needed to mobilize for public office election maybe huge and become the point of discouragement. The maneuvering involved in seeking nomination for political party may also constitute a sort of hindrance to new entrant into the political arena.

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Yet, the people must be determined to take the country back from the hands of the jackals so as to restore sanity to the system.

It’s time to draw the agenda for a new Nigeria where all will have equal access regardless of ethnic or religion considerations and where who you know is no more important than what you know.

An agenda that will ensure an inclusive growth that will leave no one behind because they are not born with the silver spoon or belong to a particular ethnic stock.

An agenda that will ensure that Nigerians can live peacefully in any part of the country and have equal opportunity and access to public institutions and infrastructure without being victimised or relegated to the base line.

This requires collective responsibility and determination to win back the nation from those who have Balkanized the commonwealth for selfish purposes and resorted to ethnic and religion baseline to deflect attention from them.

While we cannot discountenance the influence of religion and ethnic in today’s government, it’s also important that we do not throw up our hands in air and resign to fate, thinking nothing can be done to change the narrative.

We must all recognize the place of public opinion, because it still counts in our country despite the seemingly harsh operating environment.

This also means that men of goodwill should not keep mute but speak out against all oppressive and intimidating tendencies used by the oppressors to gain relevance and dominated the space.

People should not shy away from calling out institutions, individuals and whatever instrument of government being deploy to pervert our common identity.

We should not give in to political sentiment and such other selfish tendency that would make us look away while some people decided to take all of us down the Afghanistan route.

The lessons from the recent collapse of the government of Afghanistan and the takeover by the Taliban should not be lost on all of us. Nigeria is a secular state and it should be maintained as such while we collectively stamp out religion warlord, no matter what it takes to do that.

Nigerians must not give room for the base sentiment usually deploy by those whose interest conflict with the general interest and the common goal of the nation.

2023 is beckoning and provides the opportunity for us all to reshape and win back our country from the hands of the present crops of political leaders who are bound together by the profit of exploitation of our commonwealth.

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