Volunteers In Nigeria Where Art Thou?
Written by Paul I. Adujie Esq.
Despite the upsurge of Christian and Islamic fundamentalism and fanaticism in Nigeria, there is dearth
of volunteerism in Nigeria. Volunteerism is profoundly absent and yet, Nigerians are said to be most religious?
What then is religiosity without selflessness or being our brothers' and sisters' keeper?
What does Christianity and Islam teach if not compassion? What are the benefits of both religious?
I am not passionate about any religion, the only religion of which I could possibly be passionate, exercised and or animated about, would be, such religion named patriotism or nationalism or both. But so far, there are no such religions in Nigeria.
Here is the thing, I hate and loathe human sufferings, hardships and abject poverty, which leads to human desperation anywhere on earth. Then, all of these take on a very personal tone, when Nigerians are the victims of pestilence, whether man-made or the natural courses of event or nature's happenstances.
And so it is, that in recent weeks, the plight and predicaments of millions of Nigerians across our nation inflicted by the ravages of floods, have moved me to metaphorical and physical literal tears.
As a consequence, I wrote a series of articles in which I wondered aloud about the purpose and role of government at all levels or strata Nigeria.
Nigerians in our millions have been underwater, submerged, inundated and saturated for weeks. Nigeria is waterlogged and Nigerians have cried out for help and assistance to weather the flood-storm or deluges.
Our primary queries have been directed at governments, local-municipal, state and federal, at least, these were the targets of my articles seeking reliefs, remedial measures and succors in all forms for victims of these unforgiving floods across Nigeria.
But evens as we may criticize and chastise the various levels of government and lack of relief, remedies, crises management inadequacies and plain ineptitude, what after all, are the roles for the rest of us citizens? Are we, after all, our sisters' and brothers' keepers?
Are Nigerians not said to be the most religious people on earth? How can we be said to be so religious, and yet, it does appear as if we usually look the other way when our fellow citizens face utmost adversity, such as the extreme plights and predicaments which we have all witnessed millions of Nigerians passed and are still passing through since the onset of these floods from hell.
It is quite difficult and impossible to reconcile the opposite ideas of Nigerians being so religious and happy as a people, and simultaneously unwillingly to be their brothers' and sisters' keepers! Why would Nigerians, great religionists witness the killing and roasting of four young-men, whatever their affronts, and no good Christian or good Muslim interned? But instead, someone meticulously recorded the obscene brutal murders as it was normal?
How is it possible to separate conspicuously and loudly religious Nigerians who are Christian and Islamic Fundamentalists and fanatical religionists, in their zealotry and extreme religious fervors, and the almost callous attitude towards the suffering of fellow citizens who have been submerged for weeks!
Where are volunteer efforts, where are donated foods and blankets and even expression of empathies and sympathies from religious leaders and their congregations? Where are the volunteers? Where are selfless Nigerians helping those in need? Should Churches and Mosques be refuge?
Where are public spirited works by Christians and Muslims amidst these floods catastrophes?
The majority of states and localities in Nigeria are flooded, but even so, there are states which are dry and without these flood disasters and displacements, and yet, many reasonable persons can observe as I have, that there are no trooping volunteers coming from areas which are not flood.
There are no trickles and there are no deluging traffic of human army of volunteers, besieging the flooded parts of Nigeria with relief supplies and donations!
There are more churches these days in Nigeria than any other symbols of development by way public buildings, say, similar to libraries or town halls etc
Where are the volunteers, the helpers and relief materials for flood victims in Nigeria? How can we be so loudly religious and callous or even wicked?
How is it possible for Nigeria, which has produced religious puritans, the Taliban imitators also known as Boko Haram, be the same nation which does not have public spirited workers and volunteers? And where is Christian Association of Nigeria and the Reverend Oritsejafor and Cardinal Okojie and Cardinal Arinze and every other claimer of religious supremacy and superiority?
Where indeed is TB Joshua, Pastor Adeboye, Pastor Oyedepo, Pastor Oyakhilome, Pastor Okotie and all these other jet-sets and executive jet planes owning pastors with designers suits?
Relief materials is not politically explosive and so, Boko Haram and other religious purists could not hope to garner the same national attention as would their pandering and self-serving proclamations about competitions between religions, also known as crusades and the battles of civilizations!