By Kate Henshaw
Whenever I am on board an airline flying out of the country, I love to watch the in-flight entertainment. My favorites are thrillers and romantic comedies. A friend on board the same flight with me to the Uk recommended that I watch the documentary on The renowned reggae star, Bob Marley. I am not really a fan of reggae music; not that I hated it but my curiosity was piqued and I decided to give it a try.
It was interesting to find out that his father was a Caucasian and the legend was treated as an outcast while growing up back then. He could not really be placed in Jamaica his homeland as he was neither accepted as black nor white! There was his quagmire. Speaking to the interviewer on film many years ago in one if his many interviews, he stated that he was neither on the black side nor the white side ,but that he was on God’s side, the One who created him. That spoke volumes to me.
He was not trying to fit in with any particular group of people. That in itself set the tone for his music which raised the consciousness of all who listened to it. His lyrics had deep messages that spoke about life in general, government dealings andlove.
Nigeria has been described as the only country that has churches and mosques on virtually every street corner. This is no lie. Every Sunday and Friday, these places of worship are filled to the brim and parking spaces also. Songs of praise can be heard from the loudspeakers, and if you live near a church or mosque, you could be part of the service without stepping out of your residence. The piety on the faces of the worshippers is a sight to behold. Hundreds of hands lifted up, dancing and singing with such a frenzy that no devil worth his salt would attempt to go close.
We would put the Pharisees to shame. At the end of the service, all will drive out or walk out as the case maybe into another world and continue in their deception and wicked ways! Whose side are we on? Who do we think we are fooling?
When you are in a position to award contracts and you inflate the amount just so that you get a hefty cut, whose side are you on? When you refuse to obey the traffic signs and decide to drive like a banshee, whose side are you on? When you knowingly deprive your people of their basic needs, the same people who came out in droves to vote you into power and decide to usurp the monies allocated to make their lives better, turn a deaf ear to their cries, whose side are you on?
When you steal, kill and destroy without feeling an iota of remorse, whose side are you on? When there are different laws to suit different people, who are we fooling? The Bible says that our holiness is like filthy rags before God. He is not fooled.
Our lips speak all the right words but our hearts are far from Him because truly if we were on God’s side, Nigeria would be a place where the people need not suffer untold hardship as is the case. It is a land flowing with milk and honey but greed has taken a grip over this nation like a strong vice. If you disagree, tell me why each person is a local government unto herself providing her own water, security, electricity, health and even roads?
It is not that hard to do the right thing but it is a lot easier to do wrong. Most of our leaders and even some of us travel outside of our shores and see how things operate elsewhere; we even adjust ourselves accordingly and are law abiding but when we return home, it seems we are taken over by a bad spirit, we fall back into our mould and say “ you know now, it’s Nigeria”.
It was interesting to see how we stood in line on the escalator heading into Terminal 3 at Heathrow, those standing on the right and those wanting to walk past on the left. In stark contrast, the reverse is the case when we arrive home; orderliness is thrown out the door, some people even get out of their seats before the seat belt signs go off when the plane has landed; others go underneath the ropes heading to immigration just to get ahead.
Until we develop our homeland and take ourselves seriously, no one else will!
Let us take a moment and think about our actions. Let us get back to the place where we were once our brother’s keeper. Let us ponder on this question; whose side are we on, our side or God’s side?