Nigeria may not really be a mixed-raced country with racism as a problem. But there’s a silent problem that we have that deals with equal rights. It’s not an unknown issue, but it’s something kept quiet because of the fear of speaking up and or the fact that nothing will be done about it.
What Nigeria has missed is SOCIAL JUSTICE.
It’s something accepted in our constitution and even the 2nd stanza of the national anthem – “living just and true” but the hearts of our people and the government have not truly embraced it.
So what is Social Justice?
According to The United Nations, social justice is “an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.”
Let me narrate what I saw this morning;
As I drove to work, the traffic being terrible as always. Drivers that should have been on my lane, decided to drive on the lane of the uncoming cars. The leading car was driven by a police man and I was so disappointed to see an enforcer of social justice and the law do such.
There was another police man trying to control the traffic and when he saw this, he asked all the cars to turn around and obey the traffic laws. He also explained to them that they would make the traffic even worse. When I saw this, I immediately got excited. The police man shined like Batman in my eyes. He was going to send both the police man and the other drivers back.
The drivers began to turn back. I looked around me. The people on my lane – although they said nothing, I could see that they were happy about what was happening. To cut the long story short the police law-breaker was allowed to pass because of an argument he had with the good policeman.
I don’t know what was said, but social justice wasn’t adhere to. The police law-breaker saw himself as someone above the law and a person with special rights above every other driver.
Now, it’s not just the police that needs to change, but we the people also have to. The people that the police man was escorting were also at fault. They saw their high status as an excuse to not uphold the law and because they were escorted by the police, justice wasn’t served.
There are also many situations like this happening in Nigeria. Some examples include;
- A person not giving a position in politics because of their religion or ethnicity.
- A young girl or boy being punished when the older person was wrong.
- A minister or CEO not being arrested when he/she ran the red light.
When this begins in our Country, peace and growth will take place. You will see that you’ll become less irritated with Nigeria.
So I challenge you today. Examine your actions. Are you really abiding in social justice? And are your actions what you want your children to follow?
PHOTO SOURCE: Statement on Social Justice