The elementary fact about man taken in conjunction with other information, help us to compile a list of his most important needs, we can begin simply enough with the necessities of any sort of life: security from attack, a balanced diet, clothing, light and air, adequate shelter, sleep, freedom of movement, opportunity for mental and physical exertion, stable condition for the upbringing of children. A more basic list it would be hard to imagine yet, as we know, there are millions of human beings, some of them in the most unexpected places from whom even this cannot be guaranteed. Once we move beyond some such list as we are concerned not with survival but with a minimum tolerable quality of existence.
CHIBUZOR MIRIAN while serving as a youth corper in a village in Bauchi State, North East Nigeria saw this need to rescue a community from the squalor and abuse of human life. Bigi Tudunwada, according to her, had no potable water. The villagers drank from an unreliable stream until she broke the bugaboo through a community service project, she found waters! She dug a Bole Hole at the village.
CHIBUZOR MIRIAN had long published a book titled “The Girl Who Found Water” and the book reading was held on the 31st January, 2015 at The Terra Kulture, Lagos south West Nigeria. The reading goaded a conversation on the importance of community service as it relates to the Nigerian situation.
Okafor Martins reeled out the significance of just this one story that has brought people together from far and wide. A story of courage, passion and determination. When Okafor called Mirian up stage she had a permanent confidence of a woman who knows what she wants and knows exactly how to creatively get it. When the graduate of philosophy spoke her voice was consumed with the emotions of her sojourn finding vivid expressions on her face. She spoke like a priest who carries the burden of a generation to the feet of divinity. I found out she has a stint for accessing communal needs as she deliberated on the yearnings of change. Mirian’s articulatory exposition draws you closer to the seeming helplessness and abuse of the human life in the Northern Nigeria, storied by insurgency. She reads “one night we had slept late and at 2:45am we heard a loud bang. There was smoke everywhere and our windows were shattered. We woke up and ran out of our rooms in various state of undress. The male corpers carried cutlasses and prowled around outside. The other girls and I were gathered in the common room praying. Cynthia and Miriam cried as the broken glass fell on their bodies… Cynthia had cried so much that her crying induced other girls to cry more”. Her voice dropped visible emotional sensation down my spine. And the goose pimples that crawled to some faces around the auditorium stood glaring as we engaged ourselves on series of thoughts.
Moreso, questions came thereafter and Okechukwu Ofili an author,asked Mirian the stereotypes she had seelved in her mind that were debunked while she journeyed to the North-East. She opined that she had taught nobody spoke English languaged at the region but she was surprised to find people speaking good English at her station.
Pelu Awofeso, observed that many names were mentioned in the book. He would like to know what the reactions of the people were when they saw the book. Mirian answered, stating how grateful they were when they saw the book and the role they played while in service. When the question was asked whether Marian knew she was going to write this book while she was at Bauchi. She said she had no idea she would write a book. Her posting to the North had already subdued her with pains and the horrors of insurgency so she was constantly crying all day. She couldn’t have thought of a book at that point in her life.
Joy Isi Bewaji asked if Mirian had found time in the book to rebuke the government whose sole responsibility is to provide social amenities of which water is one. She commended Mirian objectively for her courage but she lambasted the government for their docility. A government that don’t care about the lives of over six thousand people in a village women and children, suffering in the midst of plenty. Joy took the government on in ways we should commend, the fundamental objectives and derivative principles of state policies has longed been jettisoned by this government. It is true that all over the world, anywhere people struggle for the basic needs of life like food, water, shelter and clothing. It is usually followed by revolts and all kinds of dissatisfaction, the type which instigated the insurgence we have today,hiding under the cloak of religious extremism. Joy posited that above everything we do and share, it is the responsibilities of government to provide community services even though she commended individuals undertaking such projects.
Mirian answered stating that Nigerians are the most patient people on earth adding that she has chosen her path and that is to provide solutions to an abdicated responsibility. She believes the anger that ranges on us forces us to react differently.
Okechukwu Ofili asked again if Mirian took pictures of the horrible state of things in the place to shame this state government as it were.
Mirian addressed the issue stating shouting at the government was a waste of anger. She said she strategically wrote letters to agencies of government and got funds to execute the project.
Subsequently upon that, a panel was constituted. At the panelist were,Pelu Awefeso, Ogo Maduekwesi and Mirian Chibuzor. This part was anchored by Victoria Otono.
Victoria Otono, started out with a poetical rendition laced with an effortless smiles and the conversation took a new life of its own. Ogo Maduekwesi while answering questions directed at her was of the opinion that we must fix community project. That,waiting for the government is not charitable adding that if the government decline the masses bears the brunt.She however thinks that to interpret these phenomenon as a crisis over authority is to go only half way in thinking the matter through.
Pelu believes that because the government hasn’t done much people don’t see the need to take up community service. Ogo would want all to know that there is hope for the youths but they most prioritize rightly. She observed the youths aren’t really ready for change and it shows in the way they use the social network media for the wrong purposes.
When pelu, was asked about his interest in community service he practically showed how he and a collegue of his has taken up the task to clean the beaches in Lagos. He believes there are vast wealth along the coast line that has been neglected for decades. Okechukwu implore us to take pictures of decade institutions like the NYSC where people fling shits over the fence and in other people’s faces for the purposes of bringing the relevant authorities to accountability.
Conclusively, it has rightly been said that no virtue is of any use without courage; and courage is the strength of will not to be diverted by pain or the prospect of pain. Mirian is a true test of the above assertion.
A man can’t be his best unless he comparatively have a polity to live in and if that polity must have meaning it must be that the hungry are fed; the naked clothed, the homeless sheltered and all sons of men given equal patrimony of the world’s great opportunity of health and hope.Mirain made the weeked a resplendent one and we caught to catch the echoes of the infinite.