Before now, I use to think that why poverty still exists in the country is because the rich wanted it so! Not knowing that it was the poor that are doing themselves.
No man can grow beyond his thoughts. It is this thought pattern and the courage to act according to ones conviction that shapes the destiny of any man or woman, be it for good or for bad!
Every year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS )release fiqures showing the rate of poverty
in the land, but they don’t tell us the behavioral factors that contributed to
the growing rate of poverty in the country! Or can there be smoke without fire?
While a rich man thinks of where to invest his money so as to yield more income for him, a poor man thinks of how to spend his money; if he doesn’t know what to do with it, he will go and marry second or third wife so as to prove to the society that he has arrived, whereas, the foundation of his business is shaky. When he finally encounters little obstacle along the way, the next thing he will do is to start pointing accusing fingers!
There is an adage that says: “If you have never tried, you will never succeed”. The poor will always like to constrict themselves to only tested and proven ideas without knowing that an idea starts loosing value from the first day it was applied. This is why organizations or countries that constantly invest on Research and Technology (R&D) will continue to be trail-blazers in their various fields of endeavors. But the poor will never like to step out of their comfort zones and try something new. Where the rich see’s opportunities during crisis, the poor see’s danger, threats and carnages without knowing that without crime, there would be no police formation recruiting people! If Dr. Mike Adenuga had chicken out of the telecommunication sector when he encountered setbacks in the industry, today, there would be no Globacom employing people of all faiths and shades of opinion working for him. This is why, no matter how dark the sky looks, I always view it from a positive and optimistic perspective. Therefore, we must summon the courage to shoot the moon, even if we miss it, we will definitely land among the stars and become one of the stars! That was why in 1961, when Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin of the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) journeyed in to the outer space, President John F. Kennedy of the United States of America (USA) vowed that his country would take somebody to the moon, 8 years after Gagarin’s adventure to the space, Neil Alden Armstrong, an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor walked and touched the moon on 20 July 1969 with his “That’s one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind” statement. This is what a positive mindset and dispositions to life can bring to people and nations.
Similarly, if President Good Luck Jonathan had refused to answer the call of his conscience to leave his comfort zone as a well paid university lecturer for the Nigeria’s murky water politics, a field he neither read nor studied in the school, but, just like the Biblical Abraham who was asked by God to leave the comfort zone of his father’s land; a place he was born and had uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters with an inheritance, for a new place where he became a stranger in a foreign land and latter his name changed from Abram to Abraham, father of all nations, today, the South-South Geo-political zone would have continued in their quest and agitation struggles to producing a President for Nigeria. Whether we like Jonathan’s Government or not, the fact remains that his story is inspiring!
The poor believes in fairy tales than reality, and they make their decisions based on assumptions instead of facing facts on ground. Like a man chasing the wind who is bound to fail, their decisions usually fails and where it fails African crapologic mentality which is “Pull him down at all cost creeps in”. At this stage, their unspoken language becomes “I’m not ok, why must you be ok”? But, they usually fail to understand that, destinies and strategies are not the same! That Jesse Jackson, an African-American did not succeed in his attempts to become America’s President, does not mean that another African-American in the person of Barrack Obama cannot occupy the White House as United States President. This is what I call the conspiracy of the poor against the poor!
In life, everything changes, but change its self does not change! Therefore, when change is in view, instead of mastering the change to remain relevant, the poor in mind and reaosning will always try to prevent the change where they will end up becoming the victim of change. This was the case of the late Libyan dictator, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. If he had respected the wishes of his people who wanted change and democratic governance as against his autocratic rulership, by bowing out and allowing the people to have their way as Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia had done, he would have been somewhere in Saudi Arabia enjoying his loots with his family. But, because he made an error of judgment in his assessment and analysis of the situation, he ended up becoming the victim of the people he once described as “Cockroach”! What an irony of life?
Comrade Edwin Ekene Uhara is an activist and a public affairs commentator. He is also the National President of Young Nigerians for Change.
No. 29, Ben Mbamalu Crescent, Achara Layout, Enugu State