The other day I was at the park (in Naija that translates literally to a bus park) on my way to Umuahia. Foolish me, I didn’t check the number of passengers who were already in the bus before I paid for the ticket. Now do not think I am a jjc in the matters of nigerian motor park antics, I unfortunately assumed that as the transport company was popular, there would be passengers to fill the bus. I was at the park by 7 a.m and at 8:15, we were just 3 passengers in a 14 seater bus.
I was in a hurry as I needed to be in Umuahia before 12 noon. When I realised that we would probably have to wait 3 more hours and the other passengers couldn’t care less, i decided to act”. I went to the ticket room and asked for a refund or if not possible, for a change in destination, but got the no refund of money after payment treatment.
Then I went back to the other two passengers (who will be called the “dormant two”) and tried using the “Yes, we can” pattern of sermon hoping to get them angry enough to react (they were in the bus before I came sef), so we ccould get the park management to maybe get us on the bus to Owerri, then at Owerri, we would be transferred to an Umuahia bus.
Shockingly, after my speech I got no reaction. Both looked at me and did nothing. In fact, one went back to sleep with her rosary in her hand and the other plugged back his earphones. I was angry at them, furious even; maybe I was expecting them to start the Nigerian version of Arab spring.. till it hit me……WE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO REFUSE TO ACT
Yes, We, Nigerians are the people who never act. We have become soo indifferent that we seem almost comatose. Even if our money is stolen, we go back to sleep; if fuel price increases, we do not react; our roads are bad and a fuel tankers falls and explodes burning innocent people in nearby vehicles, still we remain dormant. Sometimes I have this feeling that we are in a comatose state Incapable of reacting to any stimulus.
I have begun to despair that we might never be angry enough to react, that the youth may never care enough to make changes, that trying to make a difference is now too much of a chore; but now and then, i see few incidents of people standing up for their rights; starting movements like the #bring back our girls campaign, speaking up and these feel like we are awakening. Albeit too slow but still a step. I hope that we start reactions wherever we find ourselves as that might be the wakeup call the next dormant needs.