SIR: What challenge is more challenging than the challenges that have been bedeviling our progress in Nigeria, ravaging our country, threatening the fabric of our social structure as a people?
In a country where corruption is becoming our norm, insecurity is becoming pervasive, nepotism is becoming our blood, inequality is being normalized, the poor masses have all forgotten, rather busy dominating social media content, posting light-hearted banters in the name smile challenge, friendship challenge, partner challenge, love challenge, and all sort of challenges that are not of importance.
Are we really serious?
A couple of months ago there was “book challenge”, whereby a person would be challenged to post the cover page of his/her seven favourite books, without review, within a week. That challenge, which I considered worthwhile, revived my confidence that the reading culture that has diminished would resurface, mainly because the books being posted made easy circulation. I imagined that those who love reading would use that opportunity to further deepen their reading culture and that those who read less would begin to take avid interest in the sweet arena of reading. I believed that, even those who do not read at all, could possibly give it a trial. Compared with the earlier-mentioned challenges, the book challenge which I found timely and promising lifted my mood particularly when it dominated the social media. Alas, the euphoria was short-lived just like the trend did.
My assumption was these light-hearted “challenges” was just for fun and so would fade after few days. Unfortunately, it is not only trending in the social media space, it has become big business.
Have we as a people forgotten that some people are being massacred in Borno almost on a daily basis? That innocent Nigerians are being ambushed and kidnapped in Kaduna? Some innocent lives are routinely displaced in Zamfara and Katsina? Why don’t we, instead of being serious about something that is not worth the time, challenge the government to, as a matter of urgency, do anything possible to protect these lives?
Have we forgotten that the ASUU has been on strike since March this year? Do we take stock of the future of our education? Why don’t we challenge the government about our existing challenges on ground?
I’m sure the amount of social media content on the smile challenge alone, if tailored towards our real challenges, would suffice to compel the government to swing into action with a view to addressing them.
Until we think long and deep, our challenges will hardly can be surmounted. I’m not condemning being light-hearted in a-times.
Sulaiman Maijama’a, Bayero University, Kano