By Victor Israel Olumakinde
According to the sociological classification of continents by studies, Africa is filled with about 90% of third world nations and these third world nations share one major characteristic; each and every one of them produces a primary commodity and many of these commodities are sold off in raw state very cheaply to foreigners who in turn sell it back in processed form at a costlier price.
But it is quite unfortunate that there is so much crisis in this part of the globe. Our founding fathers through sweat, blood and toil took it upon themselves in their own generation.
Young men as they were in their early years worked tirelessly to liberate and unite the coloured race, each and every one of them became a law unto himself in a bid to abolish the slave trade and save the continent from the hands of alien intruders who have in one way or another assaulted our civil liberties. They formed a coalition that gave birth to a system of government in which rights of the masses were protected.
Going down memory lane, we have had days of abundance. We have experienced days of prosperity and splendour in this continent. Days where there were standby jobs for graduate even before they leave school with all other entitlements.
However, things began to go as smoothly as anticipated but along the way, we missed it when the new crop of leaders began placing their own selfish interests above dedicated service to their individual nations.
Why is it that we have more religious edifices than corporate organisations? Why is it that our youths risk their lives just to go look for greener pasture in a foreign land? Why is there so much injustice in Africa?
Some would say it is the judgement of God that we are currently experiencing but this cannot be true, how can the creator be so cruel and so vengeful on his creatures? I must submit that we are where we are present because we have lost our moral values unconsciously. It is not that we intentionally discarded those values but it began little by little.
It started when people began bribing their way out of punishment, it began when fixing members of the same family in strategic positions even though they are not qualified to be there. It began when someone takes out of the company’s money to sort his personal bills. The values became obsolete when someone from the Southern part of the continent cannot live in the northern part just because he is not a citizen. Those values started washing off when we started neglecting the moral values laid down by our founding fathers.
The moral values of justice, love, unity, faith, honesty, freedom, peace, equity and equality.
We need to take our mental flight back to the ages and take a cosmic view of our journey over the years. We are currently lost, confused, calloused and bereaved. We need to retrace our steps back to where the original blueprint of our nation lies.
Although the ethnic and religious divisions are huge. The different tribes and tongues are not weapons of separation. Diversity is not our problem, it only shows how beautiful it would be when we combine our resources together to work for the common good as no man is an island. I strongly believe that the only way we can survive is to unify.
In this dispensation, politicians are now ‘policypreneurs’ who would look for every means to enrich themselves and neglect the people who put them in power. An average politician intends to get rich by robbing the masses of their rights. Therefore, their sincerity of purpose or their “why” for being in office has become lost for the time being.
Good governance, public accountability are major keys in getting out of this ditch that has tied us down for many years. Public offices should not be seen as an avenue to corner public money into personal wallet.
The governed must be tagged along on how every budget is carried out, we must be aware of how every project is being executed. Thus, transparency across all levels of government is key.
Sometimes we face the need to move on to the moral obligation of religiosity. Religion refers to our many different concepts of communicating with God. It should not separate us for we are our brothers’ keeper. Whether you are Christian or Muslim or traditional worshipper we are one blood. We are all interwoven by the chords of eternal brotherhood.
Religiosity or spirituality can not help us at this time as we have been confused so much with misleading doctrinal principles, we are blind to what is real. It is only love that can conquer all. Nothing is above love, nothing is below love, nothing is lower than love and nothing is superior to love. Nothing is as good as love. Without love we are nothing.
This is the time to free ourselves from mental slavery, we cannot continue to suffer and smile at the same time. And now, we have come to another critical juncture in the history of our people. How will our children and grandchildren judge us? Are we going to sit down idle and do nothing against this menace? Is this the best for which we can hope? Larger questions are coming, of this, we can be certain.
The future of our entire generation is at stake and the exploiters are already sharpening their carving daggers.
What if we seize the moment and take our future into our own hands? What if a few years from now there was a great power to rival the United States of America and the Asian nations? What if there arose a single new economic and political force that would change the perception of other nations towards the African continent as a whole?
We’ve got to change the narrative. We’ve got to build a better Africa where things work; a place where we that are called the sons of nobody would begin to find our place in the world causing waves in any and every discipline we find ourselves.
Many have sacrificed their lives for this peace, tranquillity and freedom that we now enjoy. Many paid the price to ensure that we as a people move forward but are we really moving forward?
They are heroes and patriots, we salute their courage and tenacity. Their death is not forgotten, “the labour of our heroes past shall not be in vain.” Now is the time to take our Africa to greatness but this cannot happen without the collective efforts of you and me.
Africa is the land of our forefathers, our well-beloved homeland, a realm of the free and brave. The land of warmth and safety. The land that flows with honey and milk.
We are the gallant warriors and we are set to restore her pride and dignity. This is a vision that should drive us all as long as we have the African blood flowing in our veins; a vision of one great people, one body, one unified force with which the rest of the world must reckon.
Therefore, if we must thrive as a nation and our moral sanity must be regained, we must seek for the old pathway to rediscover and recover the lost values. Only then can we be undefeated and undivided; inspired and united.
As the scriptures say, there is a time for war and a time for peace. There is a time to tear down and a time to build up. There is a time to be silent and a time to speak. And now I believe is the time to speak and cry out as one people, one voice for peace, for unity, for faith, for love, for honesty, for justice, for freedom and for working together to rebuild what was lost. This is the best time in history for all Africans at home or in the diaspora to join hands together in ensuring a full and comprehensive settlement to all of our continent’s most enduring conflicts.
Perhaps, Harriet Beecher Stove was right when he wrote, ” the longest journey must have it’s close and the gloomiest night will wear on to a morning.”
Now the question before us is not about what our continent can do for us rather, it is about what are we willing to do for our continent? If Africa must be great again no Asians nor Europeans will build Africa for us, they will only exploit us as they have done before in times past, we are the ones to make Africa great again.
Will you heed the clarion call? Awake thou that sleepest, arise now from thy slumber o compatriots and let’s re-build Africa!