"...a society that cuts itself from its youth severs its lifeline, but a society that engages their interests, enlists their talents and liberates their energies brings hope to the entire world” (Kofi Anan). Welcome to Jennifer Ehidiamen's online dairy. "Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation" (Nelson Mandela).
Last week, I was almost murmuring about
why Nigerians love public holidays so much. Actually, I did enjoy my holiday.
Well, until I ran out of Internet access and realised my work will be left
unattended to if I did not renew my subscription immediately. The office of the
Internet provider also observed the public holiday so there was no way
out. Or so I thought.
A friend suggested to drive through Starcomms office to see if the retail distributors were
available. But then, she came up with a better idea- to call one of them and find out
where he was.
Mr Patrick, one of the distributors
confirmed what we already knew- all the retail shops were closed. If you
reside in Abuja you’ll understand how shutdown the city looked during this holiday;
even though it was suppose to be a festive one. The fear of Boko Haram sent
To cut the long story short, Mr
Patrick offered to recharge my line. He has never met me yet he was willing
to take the risk. He said that he would renew my Internet subscription and
collect the money after the holiday.
Within a few minutes, my Internet access was restored.
I met Mr. Patrick the following day
to make my payment. Out of curiosity, I asked if he did that often. He showed
me a notebook with numbers of people who subscribe through him. Just a phone
call and bam! he play his role while they play theirs.
Trust and honesty is the watchword.
I began to imagine what our society would
look like if we had more of Mr Patrick and the people who do business with him
in Nigeria. More honest Nigerians. More transparent Nigerians. More people of
integrity. More selfless people. More people who are willing to
think good of others irrespective of their tribe or family background.
The socio-economic situation is not
looking good in Nigeria. But you
know, a change in attitude and action will change everything.
We blame Goodluck Jonathan for things wrong in Nigeria. The meat seller who cheats others in the
market blames the government. The religious leaders who brainwash their
followers and stir up religious crisis blame the government. The teachers and
others active in public service that collect bribe also have the guts to blame
the government. The uncles and fathers who abuse the girls and women in their
care blame the government.The employer who exploit the employees in his organization blame the government.
I am not a saint. I also blame the
government when things really suck.
But I realize the day we stop the
blame game and start acting responsibly is the day Nigeria will start working.
In a nutshell, if we all can take
out the log in our eyes before trying to take out the plank in our government leader's eyes, NIGERIA will be fine. Our government leaders misbehave because they know some of us
are easily swayed by empty promises. But that too has to change.
In case your path crosses with that
of a Mr Patrick in future- tell him thank you, again. For trusting and showing that we can start by trusting each other to change Nigeria.
My encounter with Mr Patrick reminded me that Nigeria
is not a big geographical
location far from our sphere. Nigeria is you and I. Our attitude to one
have a rippling effect on the way the government leaders perceive us. Be
the change you want to see in Nigeria- this is not a cliche.