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BOKO HARAM: WHAT MANNER OF CHANGE


Rather than striving to change the society or other people, we must first change ourselves inwardly and outwardly. In other words, we must be the change we wish to see. It all starts by respecting ourselves, respecting others and our relationships with all creation. A myth persists especially with the intrusion of the culture of materialism that: "everyone is for himself and God for us all."

This is simply the culture of individualism and competition which has eaten deep down into every facet of our nation. Every individual pursues his own gratification without regard to the man next door. A cohesive society cannot be built with each individual pulling in different directions.

To achieve harmony and cohesiveness as a nation, we must accept the fact that we are inter-dependent, inter-related and inter-woven and are meant to be working together to build a humane society.

In our journey as a nation, it is not enough to respect individual human beings. We must also respect different cultures, different ways of life and different belief systems. Danger lies in our becoming competitive, in believing that ours is the only way and the best way and attempting to impose our ways on others.

Religion, according to Gandhi, is the beginning of a spiritual journey. Thus, when we come to understand religion properly then we have reached an understanding of spirituality that is: the acceptance and respect for different ways of worship. If we are embracing the virtue of respect, we have no reason to want to impose any religion on the state or the nation or even kill one another in the name of religion.

For those who started, those who joined half way and those who have become die-hards of Bokko Haram, the time to have a change of heart is now. It is never too late to retrace one's steps. Unless we change individually it is difficult to expect change at the level of the collective. For generations, we all have been waiting for the other person to change first. A change of heart cannot be legislated; it must come out of pure conviction.

Finally I implore all individuals in public office to have a change of heart. Stealing from the collective purse to satisfy your selfish desires will only increase the activities of insurgents by whatever name you want to call them. Its your actions in government that has brought us to this high level of insecurity.

Once a peaceful nation can no longer sleep with her eyes closed. Let this rebirth and transformation agenda of the President begin with all in public office only then can we experience peace once more.








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