#SAYNOTOXENOPHOBIA – Just another hash-tag?- By John Olonade

A great man once said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing”. There are many woes and fangs of injustice plaguing our dear nation, Nigeria not because we do not have the capable hands to combat them but because these capable hands are more willing to talk about the problem than fix it.
I remember vividly how tons of Nigerians took to twitter to join the duo, Folarin (Falz) and Femi Falana trend the #freeshowore campaign. Sadly, the Presidential aspirant is still cooling his feet behind the bars of the DSS prison walls and the noise seems to have died down with the heat with which it had risen. About three months ago, the media was awash with debates swaying for and against the COZA controversy. Today, the matter is forgone conclusion and those clamouring ‘crucify him!’ have suddenly developed cold feet. This same trend has been the same for many of our agitations in this country like the #freeleah and #bringbackourgirls campaign. It seems that we all, without exception are just eager to ‘lend our voice’ to every hot and trending topic out there but we are not ready to do what it takes in reality to back up what we say. We all want to appear savvy on this fraud called the internet. It’s a crazy world where we all want to follow the crowd just to we are not seen as mere spectators.
Yesterday was about #freemarley. Today, it’s about #saynotoxenophobia and I am afraid that this too might just be another hash-tag. Talk they say, is cheap. We can go on and on to rant and banter about the news of the father who raped his three year old daughter or the woman who got killed as a result of domestic violence or even hang the gay activists fighting for same sex marriages but we are comfortable with leaving our kids watch operas and reality shows that clearly exalt this profanity with impunity. We can condemn kidnappings, internet fraud and ritual killings but we do not see anything wrong with the lewd music willfully promoting these dastardly vices. We can go on social media to rant about the South African killings but we keep fuelling the fire of strife and hatred with our actions. We can go all the way to trend on twitter with hash-tags of #blacklivesmatter when in reality we act like our lives do not really matter!
I’d rather work with he who sees a problem, says nothing but comes back to address that problem than he who sees a problem and blabbers for the whole world to hear but does nothing. Enough of the empty agitations and tireless protests made in futility. The world we live in needs more of the doers and less of the talkers. To bring an end, to the myriad of evils confronting us, we definitely need to do more than just TALK. If all it takes to effect change is talk, then Martin Luther King’s oratorical “I have a dream” would have died as just another dream! So, before you go ahead to comment on that nagging issue on the social media, ensure it doesn’t just end up on the screen of your tablet without proffering constructive solutions. We must take proactive steps to ensure the unity, purity and security of our country and Africa as a continent if we do not want #saynotoxenophobia to end up as “just another hash-tag!”

Written by John Olonade
From Ibadan