Two weeks back, we were without light in my area for a whole week and I heard we are even lucky as we have some areas in this State that had been without light for 2years!
Thank God for the kind inventors of generators, inverters and batteries, life would had been unbearable.
Up in the North, members of the popular islamic millitants are as aggrieved as ever with the government and the nation at large reflected by the constant bombings characterised by loss of lives.
Not to mention the countless lives that are been wasted by trigger-happy uniformed men all in the name of doing their duties.
Down in the South, hardly would a week go by without news of innocent citizens being kidnapped for some juicy ransom.
The local government chairman of Ejigbo in Lagos State was reportedly kidnapped on his way home from work, a couple of days after that, a young man on his way to school got missing while another young lady was kidnapped right in front of her church in broad daylight around a popular area in Lagos State, Nigeria, all within a space of one week or so.
The lady was reportedly released after 3 days, the young man is still missing while the chairman regained his freedom after 5 days.
That is a sad commentary of our dear nation, Nigeria.
These days I am always scared of opening the pages of the newspapers lest I add to the burden in my heart fear and depression.
Insecurity, unemployment, inadequate infrastructure, poverty are just a few of the issues plaguing Nigeria as a nation today.
The rising rate of kidnapping cases is worrisome to me as a citizen of this great nation and worse is this feeling of general helplessness in the air.
More worrisome is the fact that those behind this are no longer going after the affluent and powerful in the society; at least they could afford to pay the several millions of naira or dollars in ransom to secure the release of their loved ones, but they are now going after the ordinary middle class citizens!
The philosophy of the new crop of kidnappers seem to be If the big fishes are no longer easy to come by then one may as well make do with the small fishes.
I am inclined to believe the rise in this trend has more to do with poverty and unemployment, I may be wrong though.
Two days ago hubby and I were discussing on our way home from church and I ventured that we could look away from the non-performing government and create employment and everybody should be encouraged to do likewise to which he disagreed.
No proper structure in place to sustain / support / encourage such noble ventures. For instance, the banks would rather lend the ‘big’ names money to put into their oil business rather than grant loans to some young fresh graduate with only his certificate as collateral.
He opined that even some of the jobs created are inadvertently being taken over by technology. Take the jobs created by the advent of GSM for instance- youths selling recharge cards, etc; this has been gradually taken over by the introduction of e-recharge, ATMs, etc. That was just one of the examples he cited.
Yes, technology is great, but as jobs are being taken over, structure should be in place for replacements in order to prevent redundancy which would result in turning to crime.
Which is what brought me back to the kidnapping spate.
The chaiman that was just released affirmed that his kidnappers were graduates who were bitter against the government or so I read. They claimed unemployment pushed them into the ‘business’ . One was an ‘okada’ rider who was supposedly rendered jobless by the recent scrapping of okada in the metropolis.
Such people who may have endured days of hunger or nights of sleeping out in the cold and may not be readily disposed to listening to sermons about the danger inherent in turning to crime. They do not really care about their soul or others that much but rather about the here and now.
Now, where does this leave us as a people?
How long will this continue?
Whose turn will it be tomorrow?
The chairman was lucky to escape with his life, some were not so lucky.
Even if against all odds, you create your own job, manage to generate your own power, provide your own infrastructure; what about security and an enabling enviroment to be able to consolidate on your achievements?
Even trusted aides were known to have joined the kidnapping group, providing vital information or roadmaps for the kidnappers.
Ask Okonjo-Iweala whose aged mother was kidnapped a while back right in her house.
Every time I leave home with my family, I constantly check my mirrors to find out who is following us too closely; such is the paranoia this ugly trend has created.
What can we do other than to continue praying for divine protection, do our bit while also praying for the government in power to set aside their looting bags and be alive to their responsibility.
“Without wise leadership, a nation falls; with many counselors, there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14 (New Living Translation)
“A nation without God’s guidance is a nation without order. Happy are those who keep God’s law” Proverbs 29:18 (Today’s English Version)
PS: If you are a ‘(wo)man of faith’ with a burden in your heart for this nation and you are willing to do something…anything about it, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.