A young writer friend of mine convinced me to stay up all night last Tuesday. I have never been a fan of American politics, especially since the unfortunate war in Iraq and the election of George Bush. I thought they had all gone nuts, like the rest of the world. However, my friend looked me dead in the eye and asked “do you not want to be part of history?” A question that needed no answer. I stayed up all night, congratulating my friend, as though it was he who was winning, as though it was he who would be the next president of America.
I am thankful I stayed up to watch history made, thankful I stayed up to hear the inspiring speech Barack Obama gave. If there was anything I got from that unforgettable night, it is the irrefutable fact that there is nothing we cannot achieve with hard work, discipline and persistence. There is nobody that can stop us as a nation if only we dare to try. If only we dare to say like Obama did, “yes we can!”. There are many things to be done and we must start right now, we must start today. How long do we sit and listen to the politicians, the so called God fathers and their cronies tell us that it is “impossible?” How long do we believe the lies of the greedy and the corrupt when they tell us that we shall never be a democracy? That the power in Nigeria belongs to a group of old men who shall never die? We are more than a hundred million people and yet we believe the lies of a few corrupt old men? When they tell us we shall never make it, perhaps it is time for us too, to rise up and say “Yes we can!”
On the third of November 2008, a young woman was beaten and stripped off her clothes by the convoy of Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade. What was her crime, you might ask? Well apparently, Uzoma Okere did not move out of the road fast enough for the power hungry Admiral and his band of animals. I watched with horror at the video as this young woman was beaten in broad day light. I cried not because of the brutality of a band of cowardly men but because of the two groups of people that witnessed this incident. Those who dared to say something and those that just stood there…and did nothing.
The Navy dared to behave like animals, they dared to do whatever they liked but we the people, we are always so afraid to stand up for our rights. He who does not dare shall never win. Until the day people would stop staring like useless beings and start being active, this country will always remain in the hands of a few corrupt old men. We are more than a hundred million, and amongst us, are there no few good men left? Is there nobody that will stand up, and dare to say “yes, we can?”
I want to believe that we as a nation will one day rise up and say, with one voice, enough is enough! That we shall dare to open our mouths and let our voices be heard when we see our brothers and sisters treated like animals. That we shall dare to confront injustice and believe in ourselves. It shall take time; maybe years but with hard work, discipline and persistence, we shall get there. Most of all, we must believe in ourselves and in our own abilities. So that when another Uzoma Okere stands up for her rights, we shall not stand around like starry eyed goats but we shall join her in her fight and be part of history. Let us dare to be right, let us dare to determine the course of our own history, let us dare to be part of history.
P.S: Meanwhile, all these convoys self, me I dey wonder where dem expect person to comot go self. See our roads, the traffic, plus okadas, hawkers, beggars, the whole road full remain. Sometimes I dey wonder whether dem think say person car get wings wey go just begin flap dey go. Haba! If una wan make people dey clear road for una, ehen, make una build big big roads dem, in fact make una build special lane self, only for una convoy. And no be say na better thing una dey go do oh. E fit be say na hunger be dey waya the man. I thank God say na swamp I dey stay, na me and mosquito dey share water.