When nations lose their thinkers to deprivation they shall soon crash in the unabating turbulent wave of life’s oceans.
The philosophers are true tellers seeing beyond the commotion of daily event and they are unchanged by the powers that wear the crown.
Their barn is full or half full, therefore they must think, and write to warn, educate, entertain, heal, protect and guide the people through life’s labyrinth.
Even in scarcity; in times when morals are more than gold. Great thinkers, consumed with the consciousness of their convictions embraced poverty because they understand the fleeting nature of gold and perhaps even ignorant to the power it has to advance their convictions. Such a feat may be impossible in this era of high school fees, mobile phones, choice residential areas, cars, food, etc that consumes gigabytes of money.
The modern thinker must be in a comfortable environment, protected by laws and have access to the social safety net in order to function properly or (1) they become available to the highest bidder to be used for parochial gains, (2) abandoned their illuminations and join the crudely rigged rat race or (3) migrate to areas (if they can afford it) where their talent can be appreciated.
Nigeria has lost theirs to all three. We have become blind because our true tellers have been forced to decide against institutionalized poverty.
COVID 19 has exposed the folly of our deliberate denial of corrupt-free and accurate data-driven processes that can sustain us and our sages.
The widespread poverty we deliberately allowed to ravage our people and silence our thinkers may now be used against us. While the rest of the world is battling the scourge of the virus Nigeria (Africa) seems to be less hit by the plague. maybe the last frontier would be most hit or maybe we don’t have a dog in this fight since we have been conquered with Loans. If the latter is the case our casualties will be few.
If we have been penned down for a drastic reduction in population? We don’t know and cannot know because the people that are supposed to warn us and move us to act have fallen off our wagon; bought, distracted and naturalized in other climes.
Their voices forever snuffed out as they go in search of happiness we woefully failed to provide.
Corruption disrupts everything, making it even impossible for the corrupt to defend themselves and their ill-gotten horde of gold.
COVID-19 respects no one and flourishes in an atmosphere of confusion we have deliberately created because of individual interests and largely due to the failure of our institutions.
Despite the above gloomy scenario, there is still hope. If we can learn from this pandemic. This is a wakeup call to all. We must demand change now, I believe we can survive this but what is coming is bigger.
We need to work together, burn the bridges of our differences. Forget politics of winner takes all, massively fund our data collection system, organize a transparent census, invest in power, research, improve our health care delivery system and initiate social policies that can help working people, businesses and those without jobs.
COVID19 has further exposed our vulnerability and unpreparedness for the worse and worst that can attack our people. There is no time, we must start now.
Osawe Iziegbe Ogie