I really feel people must indeed rise up to the occasion and realize they do have rights and a say over their destiny with regards to who leads or rules them and how they come about. They must be willing to embrace this possibility and entrench it. It starts with small things too, getting involved with current issues and taking responsibility. Small things like ensuring that institutions grow from merely being set up, but also mature and endure by taking steps within guidelines to perform their responsibilities. It is common to find rhetoric everywhere now of people going on about "government and their roles and responsibilities"…
Therefore, when it comes to the crunch, these agitators must realize they have a responsibility too which is to govern the government or institutions to function right by pro-actively demanding it. This can't be achieved maximally through bad mouthing and resentful criticisms but through the right patriotic actions and body language irrespective of affiliations and sympathies especially on matters that border on our constitution and our self esteem as a nation. There are certain issues where inaction of the masses infer complacence.
Where-as the masses should be demanding a full investigation into Buhari's certificate issue, it is disconcerting to read related discussions and see that it seems to have become politicized into looking like it is all about PDP scoring points over the APC flag bearer. NO! We miss the point if we see it that way. We the people must endeavor to act as principled people in our own right to show we mean serious business when we ask or pray for leaders with integrity. I strongly feel members of the APC and I mean disinterested members and neutrals should be at the forefront of getting to the end of this matter if we are to term ourselves a civil society. The depth of this matter must be recognized and appreciated in all its ramifications.
This brings to memory a rather interesting discussion on a wall a couple of weeks ago with recounts of history where the ruling elites of kingdoms and empires past like Rome and Greece snorted ( and maybe quietly still) at schools of arguments that proposed to empower people with more rights and transparent processes to enable them throw up their leader as well as make decisions regarding matters that concerned their well-being.
Can we say therefore say that some of these rather undemocratic stances of sentiments were justified? DO the masses or plebs or "we the people" truly understand the weight of power, the amount we wield as ordinary citizens? Would we be willing to take charge if indeed an absolutely fair and level playing environment is on ground? And can we be trusted to take charge of our destiny? There we must know the right time to pull our weight. We must know that national issues are ours, to take ownership of and to deal with.
And with a deep sense of responsibility, I say, this is about us, about Nigeria, our present and our future. It is about our becoming a nation of people of integrity and principle. Let us not be found wanting. Let us arise!
Julie A Dyer is the coordinator of Together Nigeria!
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