You cannot pray or wish any country into development. Even in the USA, it goes beyond ‘God Bless America’.
We have got one too many religious centers in this country, so ‘no be by prayers alone’.
Prayer alone is sadly not enough. Never has been. Never will be.
Poju Oyemade said, “If we keep resorting to religious explanations for our practical problems, we will not progress as a nation. The main purpose of prayer is to hear from God. He gives you instructions on what to do. It’s our doing something that changes things. Prayer by itself won’t, action does”
Time for deep thinking and possibly unpopular action is now.
Sometime last year, a damning national report was written on the state of the abattoir in Ibadan, Oyo State with the caption- Something dreadful happening in Ibadan and another one: Ibadan abattoir needs urgent attention.
What did the state government do? It moved into action by creating a new, health-centric and environmental friendly abattoir at little or no cost to the butchers. This move even started before the damning report.
In a sane environment, the butchers would align and begin the exodus to the new place and start sensitization on how they can be reached using the government’s media and any other means available, again at no cost to them.
But what happened? Wanton killings, violence, destruction of public property, inflicting injuries on one another and the police.
So the question is, do we need more religious places or do we need our heads checked?
I’d take it further.
Sometime last year, Governor Ajimobi and his educational team came up with the now nationally celebrated “School Governing Board” scheme, where everyone in the society is responsible for the schools, students and everything education in the areas.
At first, the people did not accept this SGB scheme and they showed it by rioting, destroying public property and pushing negative anti-government propaganda via social media. It was a mess!
Good news is, the government stood its ground and ensured the full and proper implementation of the scheme. And the rest you know is history.
From road side mechanics to vulcanizers, and tailors to doctors, everyone is now actively involved in what goes on in the government schools around them.
This again leads to an important point. We forget that as a people, our primary responsibility is our communal good. Humanity is greater for it. We are better for it.
And if we have any means to contribute to that (which we all do), or at least support those that do, we should wholeheartedly embrace it.
We cannot afford to delegate this critical role to chance and minimal effort. Or just sentimentalities. Posterity will not only judge us; it will be placed in a more precarious position than we left it.
Babajide Fadoju, a social media strategist, writes from Ibadan.