Mina Ogbanga: Facing the crux of the matter – Who are we up against?



Not too long ago, I watched in amazement how Nigeria was classically humbled by the boisterous, goal hungry, fast paced team called Spain. Clearly for many reasons, I had grown used to the Nigerian mentality of “positivism” inspite of all the odds. I had not only predicted a 2-2 draw, I even came close to predicting a Nigeria win! So you will agree with me that the wound to lick surpassed the comfort of my positivism. The question still remains though; “where did we go wrong? How much did we know of the team we were up against ahead of that painful loss?
In life’s journey, it is imperative that one studies and understands the issues or your opponents – their strengths and weaknesses, to be forearmed.
Recent happenings have not been too different, we all watched with amusement the dramatic turn with which the fight against “child bride” took. While some took time to understand the core issues, others were more than relieved to simply vent their long held anger on just about anything. The impact obviously differed and would have, at some point, been counter-productive if common sense did not prevail.
There may be need for advocacy at the state level with a lot going into law reforms. So it matters less if the Senate was debating Section 29 4(b) which was about renouncing citizenship but the recognition that citizens outcry has brought to the fore the need to revisit the child right act and by extension checkmate the states which are yet to even domesticate it. So knowing who you are up against is what many call “working smart”. We will ignore the plea by some who endorsed the bill “in error”. The reasons were as diverse as they were humorous clearly showing that they were not prepared for that particular fight and did not know who they were up against when it came to child sensitivity.
Sad that some may still think Nigerians have gone totally dumb. To track issues, you need to carefully collate facts.
In view of the recent outcry against endorsing gay rights, while Robert Mugabe insists on “chopping off their heads”, others took a characteristic U-turn in justifying their philosophy and rhetorics. Also, until the spokesperson for Catholic Church came up with “the Pope must have been too tired from the long trip and surely did not share the views of the Catholics”… many had wondered if heroes should be chosen on their religious learning as they too may be vulnerable to the whims and pressures of prevailing circumstances.
However, Nigerians appear to have a shared vision of not being distracted on that issue. Many have not forgotten imperialism and this to them is core “disruptive imperialism” and they appear to know what they will be up against if norms like this are endorsed and applied irrespective of those who may on their individual basis be practicing homosexuality.
Personally, if for nothing else, I know for a fact that procreation does not happen with same sex or else our human existence, race/population would have been extinct by now. Just like there are some things money cannot buy there surely are somethings science will shamefacedly leave for nature to address.
So, to ensure we understand what we are up against we need to understand our environment and priority issues, prepare facts for any possible fight, untiring follow-up and capacity building amongst others.
To make progress as a nation, we need to understand the consequences of not addressing priority issues. Are we all keen on going forward? Then let’s start by facing the crux of the matter and also remember that “Those whose palm kernels have been cracked for them by some benevolent spirits must also learn to be humble.”


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