By Ogunjimi James Taiwo
“The role of the revolutionary writer is to embolden the masses, not to depress them with social diagnosis after social diagnosis.”
As I sit in the corner of my room and think of this nation called Nigeria, I pick up my pen to write a few words of the ills that have been done to this nation, of the injustice that flows on a daily basis, of the impunity with which the ruling class loots the treasury, of the flagrant disregard for the rule of law, and of the carefree attitude of the ruling class towards safe-guarding of lives and properties of the citizens. As my pen continues to graze the surface of the paper before me, I think to myself, why on earth do I even need to write anything? What do I want to write that has not been written? What will I say that hasn’t been said?
You see, the problem with us is not that we don’t know what’s wrong; it’s that we know what’s wrong, but our knowledge has failed to transform into action. So many social commentators cum writers today have always done justice to words when it comes to analysing the problems of this nation, but what they have failed to do over time, is to so write that though their words lack that poetic agreement, it does more than satisfy the poetic craving of the masses; it emboldens them and builds a consciousness within them of the urgent need for change.
In countries that have attained a certain level of development and stability, the writers may be forgiven if they dwell on frivolties, such as daily analysing of problems without proffering, but in a nation like ours that stands dangerously at the edge of abyss and sits dangerously on a keg of gunpowder, we cannot allow ourselves that luxury. Our writing must serve a purpose. Our words must not be written to merely satisfy the inner craving of some people for poetic agreement. Our words must serve as a gong that sounds calling for change. Our writing must be like a signpost that shows the masses the way.
We know the problems. We want the solutions. We no longer need to be reminded of the extent of the damage that has been done or be reminded of the havoc that has been wreaked on our land; we know all that. What Nigeria needs are people that can make it their life’s work to awaken the consciousness of the people. Nigeria needs writers who will not continue to plague us with tales of how deep the rot has eaten, but will point out to us the way we need to go.
Nigeria needs you! Nigeria needs me! This is a trying time for Nigeria and She needs us to lead her out of the wilderness our evil rulers have led her. Enough of the diagnosis; give us cure!
Ogunjimi James Taiwo