Japheth Omojuwa: Focusing the sun on our activism (YNaija FrontPage)
I call this the National Distraction Album in Nigeria. This is the predictable tactic of those in government to always divert attention from one issue to the other till they end their mandate on a platter of promises delivered on nothing.
In Nigeria, when it rains it pours. There are just more than enough issues per time that need your attention. The mistake most of us make is that just as the rain pours and the water flows in different directions, we tend to flow wherever the wind blows. The danger of this is that, in trying to deal with everything, we effectively end up dealing with nothing. Why not do it the old classic way; one by one with first things first. Remember people will call your attention to new issues and even call you names if they do not see you show enough passion for such, you must by yourself decide whether you are out to succeed by pandering to people’s feelings or you want to succeed by getting real results that are measurable.
There are too many opportunities for distraction, you must be focused and keep pushing until something happens. There are hordes of issues to deal with but the active citizen who succeeds is the one that decides what to focus on based on the resources at his/her disposal. The agents of destruction in government have played the game for so long they know the rules by heart. They know that a bomb blast will refocus your attention from say a quest to get the President to explain how $30 billion got lost under his watch. It takes a focused organization or individual to understand that until the end of a matter is reached, there is no point spreading oneself thin to the point of flagging into insignificance.
I call this the National Distraction Album in Nigeria. This is the predictable tactic of those in government to always divert attention from one issue to the other till they end their mandate on a platter of promises delivered on nothing. As activists, we cannot afford to dance to every song played by agents of the government who cash in on our passion for the society to distract us from one issue to the other.
We are able to get the paper to burn when we focus the power of the sun’s energy on one spot. We may have all the energy of the sun at our disposal but as long as we continue to spread ourselves thin, the best we’d achieve is momentary heat. Governments are used to heat so nothing gets done at the end of the day. To set fire to the rain, we have to think differently and to think differently is to know that we must define our objectives and purpose in clear terms.
This is essential especially for digital activism where everyone is saying something about everything and where you are not able to consistently focus attention on one thing, your advocacy and activism gets lost in the noise of the crowd. To effectively affect government policy, you must know what you want, define it in clear terms and keep saying and doing something about it until your deliverable is right there for you and other stakeholders to see. The internet is a cluster of distractions and only those who focus on what they want get to maximize the power and force of the internet. What focus does is get people on your side. When your advocacy gains traction, it goes beyond you because then other people take it on like theirs and you are on your way to making change happen.
Time is fast running out on Nigeria. The times are clear about where we are. Even laid back and conservative mainstream media platforms are adding a touch of activism to their editorial. These are desperate times for Nigeria and it is time to define the issues and focus our energies appropriately.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.