04 November 2007

Forget the BIG Picture - It's the smaller PICTURES...

Nigeria takes extreme positions. Most things are either a tragedy or a comedy. Seldom would you have anything occupy the middle ground. This morning, the heavens opened and it rained as if there was a stampede to empty the sky of all its waters. Then it stopped abruptly as if someone applied the break out of panic. And that’s just the weather!

Back to the issue of today. The first post on this blog 'I am a returnee' generated a fair amount of responses both on the blog and also from people who sent their comments directly to my personal email address.

All of the comments are useful - from those who were happy to see positive things happening in Nigeria to those who felt I was deliberately painting too good a picture. I love a particular commentator who suggested that I was enjoying Nigeria because I probably still have my minders chaperoning me around.

Some wrote that they admired the guts to move back considering the challenges that must attend returnees. However, I detected from most people that wrote from outside Nigeria that a good number silently desire to return someday.

In reality, it's not all rosy in Nigeria. I struggle daily with the injustice and the poverty. The traffic, heat, power failure, mosquitoes, bad driving and visionless leadership distresses and depresses. Anyone that attempts to look at the big picture will find Nigeria is almost impossible. However, I have down-shifted and now consider the small pictures - the little things happening daily in the scattered landscape of Nigeria. These include:

- The individuals supporting their parents and sending their siblings through school.

- A few traffic wardens clearly doing the impossible job of directing traffic in Lagos with dignified enthusiasm.

- I admire a few Churches who are in the forefront of impacting their communities and providing hope.

- You cannot but admire people like Femi Falana and Gani Fawehinmi who consistently and fearlessly fight for truth and justice.

- Not to forget the House of Representatives, who with their four-wall road-show of the past few weeks unwittingly moved Nigeria forward.

- I am impressed by the responsibility of lawmakers like Victor Ndoma-Egba who is mature, sincere and forward-looking.

- I switched on the television one morning last week and saw an interview with a newly minted organisation. Help4theHelpless as the organisation is called provides free rescue operations for accident victims in the Lagos-Ibadan axis. The organisation came about because there is largely no ambulance or rescue service in Nigeria. People hardly stop to help accident victims either because of police harassment in the event of victims' death. Help4theHelpless has provided cover for their volunteers by partnering with the Police and the Federal Road Safety Corps.

These individuals and organisations are the real heroes, vital to Nigeria and to its future. They are the hope-providers. PostCardfromLagos


Anonymous said...

I was directed to your blog by my cousin Ade Adewumi and would love to read of your experiences on your return to the country. I am an avid follower of events in Nigeria and contribute my writeups on sites such as Nigeriaworld.com. I am also member of an old students' association in the UK that has been in existence since 1993 and provide financial amd material support to Ibadan Grammar School in Nigeria. (www.igsosa.com). I am particularly interested Help4theHelpless organisation that you mentioned in your bolg. I googgled the name but did not make a positive match with the organisation as described by you. We could raise the profile of this organisation to seek assistance for them because I believe that they are doing a great job going by your report. God bless and I wish your return home is a success. However, there is a lot to be done in and for Nigeria if that country is to become the giant that it should be, providing comfort, succour, sustainance and hope for its millions of citizens at home and abroad. Eric Ayoola. London. UK

Postcard from Lagos said...

I will try and obtain the contact details of Help4thehelpless and forward to you. Pease send your email address

trae_z said...

sorry I'm late in coming but i like this very much: "it's looking at the smaller pictures that makes Nigeria worth the while". how absolutely correct. welcome home!

Anonymous said...

Yes, looking at the smaller picture gladdens the heart. Unfortunately, the bigger picture matters more, and can massively affect the future of our country, including the recreation of so many small heroes.