Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Edo, is this what we have become?

While the nation is yet grappling with the near constitutional crisis premeditated by the absence of the President, and all the other situations which have contributed to the complexity of the Nigerian project, events in the Homeland, Edo, have given rise to a feeling of solemn despondency and disillusion within the polity.

Some few weeks ago, the kidnapping of a high ranking religious figure threw the City into bewildered consternation, and the abduction of a school principal was enough to send the little ones pouring into the streets. Aside the fact that presumed individuals of high net worth have been victims, other cadre of citizens have not been immune from this unholy trade.

The clash between security agents of the State under different flags not too long ago remains fresh in our memory, as the family, friends and dependents of two officers that lost their lives are still in mourning. This is not mentioning the increasing rate of crime, ably reported by the state media houses, both print and electronic.

However, what perhaps may be the most unfortunate incident thus far should be the fracas that ensued in the State House of Assembly Complex upon the purported suspension of the incumbent Speaker of the House. The violence and aggressiveness of the Members was an embarrassing scene to behold, and I wonder how posterity will judge the individual actions of the respective participants.

Related to this is the case of a Local Government Chairman, suspended by the State Executive, but choosing to storm the Council Secretariat with a group of individuals who find nothing wrong in damaging public property. Where did all this violence come from? The politics of the State has indeed been one of intricacies, and sub-plots, but one wonders what motivation would be at the back of the minds of the various actors. It is any one's guess if the issue of development, and a sustainable one at that is ever considered.

We must ask ourselves a question; Can we continue like this? Can we continue to play ostritch and hope that all will be well? Can we maintain a stoic mien in the face of repressive stereotyped image of the Nigerian citizenry? Can we look the future in the eye and demand for a better life for ourselves and our offspring?

We must ask ourselves if this is what we have become, in a 21st century world. We must also ask ourselves if we are a part of the problem. It is a challenge to each and everyone to know who their true heroes are. The ones that would bind instead of causing injury; the ones that would suffer loss gladly for the good of their neighbour. We do not need thugs in governance anymore, we want those that would rather choose to fight poverty, and injustice, rather than engaging in physical combat among citizens of equal rights. The vision of the Edo people should be one of positive change from the decaying status quo towards an era of development in every sense of the word. It is a challenge that the true Edo citizen face, even in the face of seeming insurmountable obstacles.