“Beware the Ides of March.” That statement would make sense only if you read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. It’s only halfway into March and so much has happened!
Several things are on my mind today that make the mind heavy: the mindless carnage in Kajuru, Southern Kaduna. Without raising any flag of religious bigotry, Governor Nasir el-Rufai must be told in plain terms, “Your unguarded utterances fuelled this! If people in Southern Kaduna continue to be butchered under your watch, we the people call your leadership to question. The buck stops at your desk.” Step up and show leadership. We demand a stop to this or your resignation from office. These killers are not ghosts.
I recall the collapsed buildings in Lagos and in Ibadan. The death of innocent children and others leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Thankfully, the Lagos State government is doing something about that. Trust us, we lay the foundation for evil and turn round to blame the devil and sometimes God when the harvest comes.
I also recall the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max which claimed the lives of 157 people including three of Nigeria’s finest: a diplomat; a top female police officer on external assignment and of course, wordsmith and quintessential satirist and essayist, Professor Pius Adesanmi. For some strange reason, the thoughts of that young man whom I never met but only encountered through his writings kept flashing through my mind. The flurry of celebrations of his life and the pain of his premature departure worldwide is evident testimonial that it is not how long you live but how well.
Again, I also recall the gruesome massacre of Muslim faithful in a mosque in Christchurch Town in New Zealand. When will we all understand that there is only one race? Not Christian. Not Muslim. Not Buddhist. Not white. Not black. Just the human race. With red blood in our veins and grey matter in our brains! Trust Nigerians. We have made more noise on these 49 people in faraway New Zealand than we have about the slaughter in Southern Kaduna of several hundreds of our own.
I also recall the saga of girl-child Precious and the unpaid school fees. Turns out that the amount in question was only N900 and the mum had gone to pay shortly after the episode. Since the girl’s case went viral, so many people and organisations have offered to sponsor her education. Fair enough if this is an altruistic gesture. But there are several children everywhere around us. We don’t need the limelight of social media to identify them. Take a trip to any public school. Identify one. Adopt her. Having said that, our people need to be educated on the need to birth children they can raise.
Our electoral system continues to defy every rule of decency. I listened to debates on the floor of the House of Representatives recently and only one of them made sense. He laid the blame squarely on the legislature that has, for selfish reasons, refused to embrace and enact laws to deploy technology in our electoral process to make it less cumbersome and less subject to manipulation.
Finally, I read the trending tweet of @Taiwo_y, the ‘almighty’ human resource interviewer who dressed down an interviewee for daring to tell her that she smelt nice. If I were her employer, she would be in the job market by now. And her job would have been taken by, guess who, the interviewee. Some people have argued that the guy should have maintained protocol gap and swallowed his sentiments. This is the reason why our job market is full of yes-men who cannot use their initiative and cannot boldly express themselves. The culture of subservience that makes anyone think that he is off the league of another human being cannot move any society forward. What all of us have going for us is our self-esteem. We need a paradigm shift and we must get it as soon as we can.
Popoola writes from Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state