You wanted to surprise your wife by shopping for the family on your way back from work, and as a sharp guy, you wanted to find out if it really cost, let’s say, N10,000 to prepare a pot of ‘banga’ soup as she claims. You stopped at Mile 12 market in Lagos where she normally does her shopping. You bought everything and discovered that ‘madam’ had been playing you ‘boju boju’ with the money for food. You were cursing under your breath and sweating profusely as you pushed your way through the crowded market to where you parked your car and a little boy said, “Oga, you too fine to dey carry your load by yourself naa. See as you dey sweat. Make I help you. Oga I no go charge you too much, na only N50.”
A statement like that should have made you feel important, but you didn’t budge. You simply ignored and looked ahead resolutely, much to the little boy’s disappointment.
You refused to accept his offer even when it was evident that you were struggling to hold on to the ‘gbogbo ero’ you bought. You didn’t trust the market boy or cart pusher, fearing they could take off with your stuff. Most of us are often guilty of this.
Does it ever occur to you that by denying that little market boy or the cart pusher your luggage, you may have denied someone their daily bread? Does it occur to you that if that market boy doesn’t make enough to survive on, he might be forced to go into armed robbery or kidnapping? Who knows if the guys that kidnapped Olu Falae were once market boys and cart pushers who couldn’t make enough to survive daily?
Many of us fail to understand how privileged we are that we can comfortably afford both our needs and wants, and that those at the bottom of the economic pyramid look upon us to make their lives better.
We fail to fathom the responsibility bestowed on us by the society to make impact on the less-privileged. Why then should we complain when the rate of crime among the youth is ever on the rise?
Why do we always put the blame solely on the government when the ‘agberos’ and the jobless among us make our neighbourhoods unsafe to live in? With our selfishness, we are daily churning out criminals borne out of poverty and who are engrossed in their current trade because we care little about them.
No society that is borne out of selfishness can rid itself of poverty, disease, and uncivil people by wholly relying on their government to do so. No society!
We all bear the responsibility of creating the society we wish for. I am not supporting kidnapping or lazy people, but it is appalling to see the huge economic disparities that characterise our society.
The capitalist mind that has built the modern Nigerian society is unprecedented.
Those who reside in urban loftiness do not care whether their neighbours can afford basic needs such as food. Even churches amassing bountiful offerings and tithes don’t care if members of their congregation have anything to eat when they get home after church services.
We would rather create a dependency syndrome. Most people with domestic help rarely want their domestic help to develop beyond that status. We want our lowly-endowed friends and relatives to always look upon us when they need help.
Don’t you wonder how some entertainers drive the latest Porsche or Range Rover SUVs, yet their parents or siblings can hardly afford food? This has become the definition of civilisation for us. We don’t realise that we only need to help out just a little to make someone’s life better.
How many of us have been committed to ensuring that the poor but bright child in our neighbourhood goes to school, or helping a dutiful house help to learn a skill that will help them become independent, or simply creating a job for a hard working and disciplined jobless person?
Would Nigeria not be a safer and better place if we became our brother’s keeper? We are all guilty for the spate of kidnappings and insecurity in the country. Everyone is guilty, including me.