You are currently viewing Creating Social Change in Nigeria: Uniting for Progress

Creating Social Change in Nigeria: Uniting for Progress

Is Nigeria A Shed to Take Cover in or a Den that Swallows?

‘A country is not defined by the amount of people that dwell in it, it is defined by the amount of people who can boldly say they actually live. Living is not just breathing and opening our eyes to see another morning.’ It is now more of an ethic, no longer a surprise, that when a newspaper is flung opened within the vacuum of our fingers, the headlines our eyes will read is of restlessness, political agitation, terrorism, banditry, and politics. Why can’t we have social change in Nigeria? 

Why won’t our headlines read things like: ‘Adamu Gbenga Chukwudi, an undergraduate from Nigeria won the World Spelling Bee that was held in England’ ‘Nigeria celebrates the 28th anniversary of its ‘National Peace Day’ Why won’t our headlines read any of these? Is it because we consider this insignificant, or do we just still live in the shadows of dreams hoping that a miracle would happen one day and wipe off these unrest and exonerate us all? 

No, all these won’t happen until a move is made. Nigeria is currently in a game of chess, other countries make their moves, but we’re yet to make ours. Sabri Suby said, ‘Don’t major in minor things’. This is because when minor things are what we major in, we get to see minor results majorly. Nigeria is no longer a shed wherein talents can take cover in. We don’t see raw new talents of music, sports, poetry, artistry flying up the TV and headlines, all we find now is the old glory of names feeding us average intake as if they were nothing better than that if searched. 

I once stumbled on a thread on the internet—it read of a graduate who graduated with flying colors but was given a 100 Naira cash prize. Really? I don’t blame the school, I blame the country who doesn’t give education a voice at all in the country, but politics alone. How can education be valued when it has been engraved with little regard and ignorance takes up the whole honour? 

The prominent reason why cybercrime is eating deep into the roots of the name we had planted as a country is due to our negligence to the provision of jobs to youths. The youths are not lazy, they have just not been given a chance to prove themselves. Why else would many suffer their eyes at night depriving sleep of its right just to indulge in yahoo-yahoo if not for the glee and mirth that are no longer found in being studious and educated?

If jobs are provided, for graduates, education will again resurface in the country and there will be more intellects instead of terrorists to improve the situation of Nigeria. Currently, Nigeria is like Walter Lee in ‘A Raisin In The Sun’. Our leaders are too focused on what they think is right, and in that course, they only just defer the physics of the citizens’ aspirations. We’re in a Republic! If our dreams keep getting slashed by big hands of our leaders, then the nation’s unrest should not be questioned. Dreams and aspirations are what keep people humans, once the validity of the dreams is lost, the purpose of living will be lost too. 

All that has been said is primarily directed to the leaders, but it pains to say that even the citizens have duties they are failing to perform. One of the places we get it all wrong is thinking leadership is only amassed when you are in a seat of power. I tell you, a person living in a slum might rule right from it. That’s what I call self-governance. Most Nigerians seem to disregard small things, at least, not until they are big. The frigid darkness we live in is sneaking up on us through our ignorance. If we could have distinct parts of body and still condone them, why can we not have different nations and still make peace within ourselves?

Let’s put an end to the unnecessary agitation, the banditry and others. It started with us, it can be ended by us. When we should have smelled the ability of us to effect change was the scenario of the #ENDSARS protest. If the voices of almost every citizens could come out and converse and also act on one particular thing they wanted to end, then why can we not use that same vigor to effect positive changes in our neighborhood? 

Yes, the progress starts from within. Why can we not converse with one voice, act on one goal to bring the one Nigeria we want to reality? Unless we take action to hold a positive mindset, be persistent, persevering and prayerful towards bringing the beauty we want to see in our country into existence, the Nigeria of our dreams may continue to remain a dream and may never come to be a reality. We are the solutions Nigeria needs to blossom, if we keep on running away from our responsibility, how do we expect it to progress?

“You can’t eat the fruit the day you plant the seed”

~ Sabri Suby

The peaceful cohabitation and the hope to see a better Nigeria where dreams no longer dry up and roads are no longer mouths that swallow people won’t become a reality at once. It blossoms like a plant.

From Nigeria Blog Series

Sunday T. Saheed

Sunday T. Saheed is a Nigerian poet and essayist. He is the 1st runner-up for the Nigerian Prize for Teen Authors 2021. Sunday T. Saheed has appeared or is forthcoming in journals and magazines including Open Leaf Press Review, Kalahari Review, Nigeria Review. He was among the 84 finalists for the Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange 2018.