By ISHOWO, Oluwatosin
The end of corona virus won’t mark a new beginning of peace in the world. Peace today has been redefined from mere “harmony”; it is built on “strength and confidence”. This is evident in the actions exhibited by the likes of United States of America, North Korea, China and recently Iran testing a nuclear weapon from underground. These are all beat of drums for war and a reminder that once the pandemic is over, we are going to forget all these life changing experiences and lessons and return to our normal way of life with negative mentality.
The outbreak of Corona virus has shaped the perception of the world and should change our negative mentality, who could have thought a virus would bring the world to its knees within 100 days? In the past we constantly discuss about how nuclear weapons are capable of causing world disaster. With the outbreak of the virus, there is only one sacrosanct fact; if there is anything that is capable of wiping out the world faster than a nuclear weapon, it is a “disease; a pandemic”. Everything that has happened during this period worth being documented and everyone’s experiences are valuable, most importantly as a Nigerian.
Even countries like USA that is believed to have the capacity to contain any pandemic at any point in time were punched heavily by the deadly virus. The God’s own country was worse hit. The disaster exacerbated because of slow initial response, mismanagement of testing and poor coordination between the states and federal government. When Ebola virus broke out, Africa got heavily condemned and criticized for the spread, but with this virus, it has clearly shown that the problem is not African but global. Nearly all countries of the world including Britain, Italy and many European countries suffered that because they capitalized more on government processes than technical capacity. It is normal that when issues become expedient; protocols are to be set aside. In Nigeria, it is now very evident that we are only lucky that out titanic ship didn’t hit an ice berg that would have endangered the compartments of our ships. Invariably, we must have realized by now that leaders and governments that ignore science and investment on health are nothing but a terrible liability.
The virus affected every individual’s economy but the biggest victims of this pandemic are the poor especially in Nigeria where we have comfortable bourgeois and upstarts who have forgotten the misery of others and a government that is irresponsible towards people’s ventilation of grievances. One important lesson we as youths of this country must learn as upcoming leaders is to develop a conscious mind that we should plan for the future without compromising the present. Nigeria is one of the most unfortunate countries to be born, it is increasingly inching towards hopelessness. A country where the the only comfort people get is divine, due to poor leadership and needless politicisation. At this stage, the question of Nigeria is no longer what it has to offer us but what we have to offer it. As African youths, we must not forget that any country where the leaders fail to envision prosperity for their people will surely perish.
This doesn’t mean that Nigeria as learnt a great deal from this horrible experiences. Sadly, it painted a sad scenario as it robbed Nigeria of requisite aspirations towards greatness. However, as good citizens and righteous people, we must note that a righteous person might not always succeed in front of a strong man, if the lamp fails to glow once in a while, everything and everywhere would become dark. Our political culture must transcend from believing in legends and dreams to believing in reality. Public trust in a government is the most valuable asset of any government but Federal government didn’t earn that, from the citizens protesting on social media to demanding the presence of their elected President to address them on volatile issues, to the failed and poorly managed palliative measures put in place, slow Covid-19 testing process and lack of efforts to fast track an economic policy that conforms with the reality on ground. What assisted Nigeria was not the trust of the people in the government because that is visibly low. Rather, what assisted us was the fear of the virus. If not for the general resentment that greeted total national lockdown, a government that has failed to cater for the people could have worsen the extreme human suffering witnessed at the beginning of the global health challenge. The ratings of the government speedily declined during the pandemic and Nigerians should not be blamed for this distrust. Doing so would tantamount to being ungrateful as citizens across different walks of life eventually assisted in alleviating the pains, thus containing the virus. Though we seemed to have avoided chaos yet crisis looms and trouble staring us in the face after the virus. it is the danger of economic recession.
What Nigeria must learn from this is that the major task of nation-building is promotion of good. Our attainment of national goal is supposed to be driven by responsible and credible leadership. Indeed, this virus highlights the need for vigilance and reformed government institutions. On individual level, this period taught us how disastrous it is to waste our lives in endless battle for wealth, status and power. It also demonstrates to us that giving meaning to our lives is very important than anything and finding purpose is the true definition of life.
Conclusively, the pandemic exposed us to the importance of recognising the importance and impact of a working economy, our political ideology and structure. It also redefined our family life, communality – and most important, mindset.
ISHOWO, Isiaq Oluwatosin