By Olusegun Hakeem-Adebumiti
Love for ones neighbour was one of the messages preached and emphasised by all the prophets of God sent to mankind from time immemorial.
This message had since been transferred from generations to generations and its often used diplomatically to sue for peace and to also find a common ground of interest among warring nations.
Love for ones neighbour as oneself is a very common feature of the lessons taught to us when growing up attending Sunday schools and was the message we learnt from our teachers when passing through the four walls of the Madrasa (Islamic meaning for school of knowledge).
It is this same love that had been part of our socialization processes as we grow in age that is now missing among us. What exactly can we say is responsible for this development?
This lacuna could be traced back to our various religious institutions for lacking that will to continuously reconnect mankind to the message of old, the message of moral and the message that says fear God and that one day we will be held accountable for our deeds.
Salvation is now missing in the messages coming from most pulpits. What we hear from time-to-time is prosperity even without recourse to the means by which we acquire such, as the end always justify the means as the saying goes.
It is this notion that has led to the husband killing his wife for “blood-money” without no iota of respect for her dignity and vice versa. This has also led to friends selling themselves off for peanuts to ritualists and nations waging war against others in order to amass wealth. Love has indeed become a missing part of our history. It has now taken its toll on us.
Imagine Nigeria, a country that harbours refugees from other neighbouring nations surrounding her, now houses over 3 million internally displaced persons known as IDPs across the country.
Though this was a fallout of the activities of insurgency in the north east that has fester for long beyond our imagination. Love was indeed missing as we looked away with arms akimbo from their plights.
From the start of the war to the present state in which we are, most Nigerians care less about their plights. Can this be attributed to our differences in ethnicity or religious beliefs? Or basically we are just being indifferent to others plight?
Not forgetting the Chibok girls as well whose anniversary of abduction was commemorated on 14th of April barely some days ago. These girls’ parents need our support. The government cannot do it alone.
Interestingly some donations are being made for these vulnerable people by individuals, philanthropists, non-governmental organisations and government, but that cannot be enough.
The rich ones among us should go out there to support these vulnerable people either in the north east, the recent Agatu victims of herdsmen violence, or any IDPs across the country while not forgetting the plight of the parents of the Chibok girls.
Even as we find a lasting solution to all these senseless killings in our nation, we should look beyond that by taking it upon ourselves to visit these people on vacation. Instead of visiting Dubai on vacation, let us visit these vulnerable ones to encourage them. Provide foods and shelters for them, Pay their health bills or their children school fees if possible. We now hear that some of their children applied for National examinations, this is an opportunity for us to gain reward by lending a helping hand.
For polygamists among us, taking some of the women who had lost their husbands to the crisis as wives won’t be a thing out of place. This will give those who are willing to remarry among them a sense of belonging.
“It is up to us” like the Malaysians will say. After all it is their turn today, it may be ours tomorrow. Let us help these people to reintegrate into the society.
Hakeem-Adebumiti writes from the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo. Follow on twitter @Hakeemadebumiti