RE:”A LIFE CHANGING DRAMA by DONU KOGBARA” by Gbenga Taylor

For as long as we have and perpetually seek to maintain a dysfunctional society, crime and criminals will abide and continue to thrive with us. Though no reason should be advanced in defense of acts of criminality, yet we must candidly look at the immediate and remote causes of what prompt and urge individuals as well as institutions into unwholesome acts of criminality and crime against fellow citizens and the State at large.

The sorry, nay gory stories of kidnapping, abduction and seeking and/or giving ransoms must be curbed, tamed and wiped out altogether. These call for holistic approaches which must address the covert and obvious reasons for these acts of brutality which are engulfing our society and feasting precariously on all.

Thus, a multi-prong approach must be evolved and implemented across board. Suffice to note that poverty seems to be the unfortunate and underlying factor usually advanced as fueling crimes in many societies. For me, I do not really concur with this proposition. Poverty, no matter the shade it comes from ought not be alibi for engaging in crime. This I say because I have been in dire (poverty-stricken) situations where for months, I could not boast of having five (5) naira in my pocket or bank accounts, yet I did not resort to any social and/or economic vice unlike many of the ‘the Boys’ are wont to do due largely to their being greedy and lazy. If all poor people on planet earth are to take to crime to assuage their impoverished conditions, then the whole world is doomed for unimaginable chaos and utter crisis of irredeemable proportion.

Creating functional environments and sustaining egalitarian society that encourage dignity of labour, productivity, competition and fairness in terms of EQUITABLE (and not necessarily equal) distribution of the commonwealth will and should be good starts and better ends to addressing and redressing the menace and malaise of crime and criminality being perpetuated under the shade of kidnapping, abduction and armed robbery.

Such functional society and harmonious environment will to larger extent spur and indeed drive our somewhat restive and sometimes slothful youths to come up with practical ideas and indeed engage in worthwhile ventures and profitable adventures at both moderate platforms of business enterprise and expansive levels of socio-economic activities. The opportunities and resources to forestall and curb the maladies and throes of restiveness and criminality greatly abound in this land. Harnessing these resources and leveraging on these opportunities should be encouraged and worked upon by ALL – family, schools, churches, communities, media and governments.

Having functional society will at least help our people to look inwards and thereby aid our people to appropriately maximize the opportunities and resources around them. It is when people truly look inside of themselves, that they can therefrom see the vast potentials and abilities within them which can serve as springboards to taking advantage of the opportunities and resources abounding around their visible environments and virtual space as offered by such functional society. Anything short of these (looking inward and harnessing the opportunities without) will either make the people take to flight and/or fight – fleeing to another ‘lands of and for opportunity and abundance’ and/or fighting their own people within their own ‘poverty-ridden and pain-infested land’.

Our society should not be directly linked to and/or discreetly pointed at as promoting and/or encouraging crime and criminality. The covert inaction and/or calculated action of State actors – political class, social elites, corporate executives, and eminent ecclesiastic plus prominent traditional figureheads as found within the body polity – must not endanger the collective well-being of the people as well as impede the overall wellness of the nation. Never must the deeds and utterances of State managers, particularly those within the corridors and bedrooms of power lure and/or force the people into that precarious situations where some sects and sections of the citizenry and populace leverage on the inactions of the ‘high and mighty’ in a dysfunctional society to make recourse to untoward attitudes and thus unleash untold acts of cruelty on others as ways of fighting back the ‘unjust’ system and ‘unfair’ structures within the land.

A functional society is that one that aptly reinforces the timeless wisdom penned through the hands of Russell H. Conwell in a book titled: Acre of Diamonds. It is on this classic piece I gleaned a life-transforming disposition to my conditions and my immediate environment. My stance has always been and will continue to be: Rather be a king in hell than slave in heaven. Meaning, I will rather stay in my seemingly underdeveloped and/or economically emerging country, work and earn decent wages here, live and enjoy life here, and indeed be treated as first-class indigene here in my homeland than jet (check) out in search of an illusory ‘greener pasture’ abroad, get a menial and/or high-profiled, ‘high paying’ job – as occasioned by the dynamics of the Forex – but ultimately end up being treated and threatened as second-class citizen, if not lower rated human being in a foreign land whilst getting homesick every second of the day staying overseas.

Our society must encourage our people to live here and thrive here. Ours must be a land that helps all to be helpers and be helped. Ours must make real and alive that Yoruba parlance that says: “Ohun tan nwa lo si Sokoto (State), wa ni abe Sokoto (Trouser) wa” which implies that what we often seek in faraway land may (and in most cases, are) right (t)here where we are presently positioned and directly situated. It is when and where we work towards having and sustaining such functional society that cases of kidnapping, abduction and other forms of criminality can give way to peace, prosperity and every other thing that makes for harmonious living. This to me is part of the many solutions and suggestions to preventing and curtailing the reoccurring incidences of kidnapping and abduction as being witnessed in the land.