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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lets Arise - Tola Grillo

  Last week, suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked a Federal Government college in the north-east and gruesomely killed the students. This isn’t the first attack on young people. Sometime last year another school was attacked and scores of children killed.
It’s typical for us to blame the government for the unabated attacks. If only it were Obasanjo in power, we say, he would have totally annihilated the sect! And Jonathan’s administration had the effrontery to continue with the centenary celebrations – despite all the chaos and anarchy in the land!
Today, it’s not about the government, even though their sins are manifold and unforgivable. It’s about you and I. Long story short, we’ve become a callous people. I first heard the news of last week’s massacre on CNN; after the initial shock and sadness of about 2 minutes, I completely forgot about it. I went about my very busy but normal life. I’m not you but I can bet you did the same thing too. Oh well, we had group discussions in the office during which we lamented and cussed government but we each went home to our normal lives: we had a home and family to go to and work or whatever to come back to the following day.
In this same country, this very country, life hasn’t been normal for a good majority in years! Mothers have lost their children and husbands; children have lost their parent(s); homes and enterprises have been destroyed leaving a lot of pain, anguish, despair, fear and anger. I was speaking with my friend earlier today and she mentioned that at a point in her family three children were in secondary school together at one time. Imagine that there was such a family in the secondary school that was attacked last week, how would life be like for them now???
And we go about our daily lives unflustered! We are callous! And that’s partly because we neither possess any sense of belonging nor responsibility to this entity called Nigeria. Our allegiance lies with self and family. Truly, the Yoruba’s are right when they say, ‘E ni to kan, l’omo’! There is so much to life than ME! ME! ME!          We are so pre-occupied with our lives that we forget what is truly important. Proverbs 17:17 says, ‘A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity’. The transformation we seek for this country can only come about if we are first transformed – as I write I recall the Boston marathon bombing in the US. As amoral as the country is the citizens stood, united in anguish and shock, to help the injured, comfort the bereaved and fish out the perpetrators. Same thing during the 9/11 attacks. When are we ever going to stand as one in Nigeria, stand up for myself, my father, my mother, my sister, my brother, my friend? WHEN????
Maybe we are getting there… Old students of federal government colleges met last Saturday to brainstorm on the state of the nation. Thankfully, one of the issues raised at the Town-hall meeting has been dealt with by FG, that is, the closure of unity schools in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Question is, why did it take this long??? Peaceful, non-political, non-tribal and non-religious walks also held at various locations today to mourn the killing of the students and to advocate for more decisive government action.
Let’s arise and do something meaningful and selfless – pray, fast, donate to the affected, volunteer in the affected areas, join a civil or faith-based organization, expose the perpetrators (for sure they aren’t ghosts!), advocate via social media (instead of putting up a selfie use your bb as a forum for advocacy!), nag your father or uncle who is in the National Assembly or Ministry to take action – LET’S DO SOMETHING! AND KEEP AT IT! AND NOT GROW WEARY UNTIL WE SUCCEED!
Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all, it is dead and useless
(James 3:16).

By Tola Grillo


  1. I completely agree with you Tola. We do nothing and keep silent. In Nigeria it is not our fault, not our family, and not our business, so we do nothing! We are truly callous! We feign helpness and say, "what good will it do?" Many people have read your post and couldn't even comment or agree yet have the audacity to blame Jonathan and The Government for everything! We need to do more and I am glad people like you and others at the Town Hall meeting are trying to do more. More power to your elbows!

  2. True talk Tola we must all wake up to dis great challenge. May God console d affacted families.