Thursday, May 13, 2010

Decent People Do Not Know How To Fight :A Sequel.

When you look at people who mean well, one thing you see right away is that they have zeal. You can hear their zeal in the amount of noise that they make over the issue. But it is sometimes misplaced.

They are so zealous and passionate that they fulminate, grit their teeth, and shake their heads, like  rabid dogs, and when it now comes to doing something practical to address the problem,they seem to fade, and make excuses about being pacifists, and children of God.

You would think, from their initial hell-raising reactions, that they would be willing to offer themselves on the altar for the cause they so passionately have voiced belief in, but it is all a show. 

Sometimes they may even start a group on Facebook to protest the perceived injustice, but that is where it stops. Only talk, more talk, and nothing more.

I will illustrate with Senator Ahmed Yerima's case; he has been accused by all decent people of an odious, and abominable act: how many concrete practical steps have been taken by people to bring him to justice. Less than five!

Some of the most vociferous critics of this man live abroad, and others in Nigeria: they have not deemed it fit to institute an action in a European, or Nigerian, court of law. 

Maybe they do not know that certain countries in Europe have now taken it upon themselves to bring European justice to the rest of the world.
These countries do not distinguish between an offence committed outside their borders, and one within.

What the fellow did has international legal ramifications: he transported a minor across international boundaries, he paid money for her.

All these are in the public domain, they are not in dispute.He has said it is sanctioned by his religion, let us now put it to test to see if his actions would be justified, or condemned.

Bringing a case against him would achieve a couple of things: it would delay, and distract him from abusing the minor sexually. 
The pressure from the case might just be enough for him to rethink the whole exercise, and warn him ,and other potential peadophiles that it is a 'high risk, low return venture.' 

If he looses the case, an international arrest warrant would be issued, they do not like peadophiles in the West.

Another area where good people fall short is in the area of elections, they are all shouting now that General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida must not be allowed to come back to rule this country. On what basis, may I ask?

They are foaming in the mouth again, and doing the usual rabid dog routine; ask them what practical steps they have taken: they are collecting signatures. I am wondering? To what end are these signatures? Is it to show the man that we do not want him? He does not care!
Or is it to show the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, so that they would not register him for the election? Error!

Signatures, I believe, are a form of moral persuasion. 

I was in a church service once where I heard a pastor say, 'the only language the devil understands is violence'. Meaning, that you have to fight a battle with the weapon that would be effective against the enemy. 

If we were in America, where moral persuasion is sufficient to stop a fellow from contesting, I would sign.In Nigeria, moral persuasion is wasted on evil men, like music on a deaf man.

The plain truth is that no one can prevent IBB from running for office. It is part of his fundamental human rights, which all of us, as decent people, ought to defend in pursuit of an open society. 

As long as no competent court has barred him from running, we should respect and protect his right to run. We must not descend to the level of what we are opposing, and become one with it. We must maintain the moral high ground!

That you like him, or not, is immaterial before the law. Unless you can find a valid reason under the law, you might as well be throwing stones at the moon.

No matter how sincere your intentions are, if you do not take concrete steps, you are 'sincerely wrong'

I would expect someone who intends to prevent another from winning an election to go out and carry out some form of voter education. Tell them why one candidate is bad, and another good; rent buses to ensure that these people go to register; on election day go and remind them to vote. 

But good ,'sincere' people forget to  join a political party, they forget to register to even be eligible to vote in the election.

What do good people do on election day, they stay at home! They allow the thugs to run the show. They do not want to be hurt. 

We have a saying in Nigeria, that 'every man wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die'
If you cannot shoot a gun, and you should not, shoot a video; use technology to fight your battle.
Certain election results have been upturned in this country, on the basis of a combination of video ,and forensic evidence. The evidence you gather might just prove conclusive in winning the case.

Form election vigilantes in your area who wold ensure that the ballot box is not stolen by hoodlums. 

After the election, go to the INEC office monitor the counting, ensure that no 'last minute' boxes suddenly materialize to swing the election.

The last issue I would like to look at is legislative ,and judicial, activism. 

We see many things we do not like and we never bother to sponsor a legislation to correct  them, or go to court, to challenge them. 

We allow the people in the two houses to run riot, like spoilt children in a toy shop. 
They make laws to increase their allowances, and reduce the number of days they have to sit in a legislative year.The real issues that affect the people, the Freedom of Information Bill, and others, get scant mention, and eventually die with the house.

When your landlord arbitrarily increases the rent by two hundred percent, you either beg him, to reduce it to one hundred and fifty; or you tell him to give you time to move out. 

They get away with this because no one has taken the time to prosecute an action in court. 

Instead, our people will mouth the eternally futile, and hopeless euphemism,'God De'! They do not even say the 'God de', as a declaration of faith in God, it is a declaration of helplessness, surrender,defeat, and total capitulation!

If decent people do not change the system, who would? The fraudsters? The unscrupulous business man? The sly politician? Or the shylock landlord?

We must be willing to have our time wasted for what we believe in.We must be able to say,'Let me be the last person that will suffer this injustice, whatever it is going to take, I am going to give it'

Like the saying goes, a person who will not stand for something, will fall for anything. 

Let us stand for something, for once in our lives!
As we do,


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