Taking a stand takes courage and demands the full strength of your convictions… When you decide what you are willing to stand for, it costs you everything. It may cost you your job, your friends, hopefully it won’t cost you your family and your life… Doing nothing is the same as allowing evil to reign. The sin of silence and inaction by the righteous, allows the wicked to rule. Take a stand! For freedom and liberty.

Everyday, every new evil, every mass abduction, kidnapping for ransom, herdsmen killing, has become a test of what we can tolerate. When evil visit To purge evil from this land and to rid all antecedents that fed it, our best is what we have to do by every legal, constitutional, and moral means.To purge evil from this land and to rid all antecedents that fed it, our best is what we have to do by every legal, constitutional, and moral means. as a people and we are astounded by how acceptable it seems to be, often the question from the mouths of those with conscience is: How did we get here? Wanting to know how we got to this sorry pass is like wanting to know when a child turns into an adult. The journey is cumulative and gradual; it happens before you know it. Tipping points are hard to pinpoint as they occur. By the time you are looking for a tipping point, you are already past it. The destinies of over two hundred million people is in the hands of unaccountable government forces, who rule by impulse instead of strategy. It is obvious that we are in a mess. But what can you do as a citizen?

Do you have a principle or value worth defending? Do you seek to represent an idea, a principle that may be unpopular with those in power? Are you disturbed by all the atrocities, violation of norms, lowering of standards, desecration of institutions, abuse of power, shameless cronyism, erosion of values, in your face stealing, incompetence, mediocrity, rank idiocy, mass slaughter and all kinds of evil happening nationally? Rather than flowing with the tide, instead of submitting to fate by rationalising the current state of affairs, do you wish to take a stand?

What options do you have as a citizen, when terrorists, nationalists and politico-religious groups employ tactics that are connected to the drivers of political violence, to achieve their aims and objectives? What lawful means can you, as an individual or group deploy when faced with acts taken for political, religious or ideological purposes, which kill you or your group, intimidate you or your group, with respect to your physical security, and economic security?

As a committed patriot, I believe we have to work towards rebuilding the fractured society we live in. However, that is not achievable under a cloak of lies. We must be ready to tell ourselves the truth, hear the truth, face the hard realities and resolve our differences. We must be ready to reconstruct any sense of shared purpose…

You have the power. Those behind these atrocities can be made to face the consequences of their actions if you do your part. Do not allow intimidation, fear or manipulative dramatics drive you to quiet acquiescence. Take pictures of dead bodies, destroyed farmlands, torched homes, abandoned villages and farmsteads. When under siege as we have been, the cost is not only about lives lost, but also in the gravity of crimes committed during these times. Document every atrocity. Documentation and evidence collection is an important step in seeking justice for victims and survivors of these atrocities and a pathway to justice, truth, and accountability in the future.

As a committed patriot, I believe we have to work towards rebuilding the fractured society we live in. However, that is not achievable under a cloak of lies. We must be ready to tell ourselves the truth, hear the truth, face the hard realities and resolve our differences. We must be ready to reconstruct any sense of shared purpose that we may have enjoyed to this point. To purge evil from this land and to rid all antecedents that fed it, our best is what we have to do by every legal, constitutional, and moral means. Be a voice of reason. Be humane and defend humanity. Stand up for the right to freedom and liberty. Let your voice be heard through marches, protests, letters and articles, phone calls and text messages to your elected representatives, and through your social media updates. Take a stand and give other people the courage to stand up for what they believe in, and the knowledge that others are standing up for them.

Hard as I try, I have been at a loss about what President Buhari could be thinking or feeling, with the country getting torn apart under his leadership… Is he truly concerned? Does he want Nigeria as a theatre of armed invasion (foreign and domestic) after fighting a bloody civil war? Why did he fight so hard to be president again? 

I am ashamed that children can no longer visit their parents. I am pained that I can no longer have the joy of a road trip. This wasn’t our bargain for electing a retired General. Hard as I try, I have been at a loss about what President Buhari could be thinking or feeling, with the country getting torn apart under his leadership. I have wrestled with a number of questions. Is he truly concerned? Does he want Nigeria as a theatre of armed invasion (foreign and domestic) after fighting a bloody civil war? Why did he fight so hard to be president again? Is his taciturnity a way of avenging his humiliating removal of 1984? If yes, aren’t we mere onlookers in the power game? Why is he making us pay? Does he understand that the destiny of Africa and indeed the black race rests on Nigeria? What is his political ideology? What are his views of a modern nation, if any? Why am I asking these questions? I ask because I am confounded. I ask because I have not found answers privately. I have not heard, read, or felt a Buhari doctrine on anything. I refuse to believe his, is a doctrine of terror and usurpation. Can a leader seek to fail as a deliberate act?

President Buhari will not be in power forever. We have to develop courage and stamina for waiting him out. While we are waiting him out, we must act to protect ourselves. Taking a stand takes courage and demands the full strength of your convictions. How can you be certain you are right when some around you are certain they are right? When you decide what you are willing to stand for, it costs you everything. It may cost you your job, your friends, hopefully it won’t cost you your family and your life. Keep the company of those who sense what you sense. Doing nothing is the same as allowing evil to reign. The sin of silence and inaction by the righteous, allows the wicked to rule. Take a stand! For freedom and liberty.

Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú, an advocate, strategist and political analyst writes this weekly column, “Bamidele Upfront” for PREMIUM TIMES. Twitter: @BamideleUpfront; Facebook: facebook.com/Bamidele. BAO

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