It is the year 2020 and the country is Nigeria, a nation for which I am proud to be a citizen. By the way, you don’t get to choose your family and also you don’t get to choose your nation of birth. These are divinely chosen and for me I woke up in Nigeria.
I have always been a very proud Nigerian and I love my country with all my heart. Anywhere I went, I always looked forward to returning to my dear country. But my heart bleeds all the time when I see the leaders politicking with human lives in this great nation. A nation with abundant natural resources, yet with so poor standards of living for the majority and poverty that you could literarily pick it on the street.
Again as a country, I must confess that we have been very lucky in the midst of the Covid 19 pandemic. Even the community spread is being curtailed not by the government policy on lockdown, nor by the citizen’s compliance with the policies but simply by what some people may call luck but I choose to call it divine intervention (Nigerians pray about everything).
Otherwise how can you explain a lockdown that is completely defied by the authority that is meant to enforce it? How do you explain a lockdown that allows human trafficking in trucks meant for transporting agricultural products? The humour in this is that those trucks would have travelled several miles through several security checkpoints only to be discovered and turn back at their final destinations.
I saw one of these and it was a rude shock.
Human beings were moved around in the midst of locked down along with agricultural produce. They were practically stuffed in the truck and could actually suffocate. Some of them looked underage and one would expect them to be under the protective arms of their parents. Where on earth could they be heading to in a pandemic?
And then there were the open trucks loaded with teenagers on an endless journey in search of a so called greener pasture
I asked myself as a mother of under- aged children will I allow my kids to travel from the northern part of Nigeria, under this condition and in a crisis period like this? The truth is we must call a spade a spade no matter whose ox is gored. Teenagers should be home in a pandemic. Where are the leaders? where are the parents of these children? What is the motive of this needless risk of life? Where was the government when these children were left to roam the street as almajiris?
This is not just a result of poverty but simply irresponsibility of the so called leaders who would rather hide in the guise of religion or culture to perpetuate their evils. My people, this is not a northern or any tribal war because this young folks have the same blood as any other children. They didn’t get to choose their family. They did not get to choose where or how to be born. They woke up in the northern part of Nigeria and their destiny became sealed. Other children in schools or under the protective arms of their parents are not better than them . They are only privileged to have responsible parents.
We must change our mentality as a nation and stop defending what is wrong. This kids deserve better life than this and only those who truly fear God can see it.