Free Your Mind

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Ogunjimi James Taiwo

“As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free” – Martin Luther King Jr.


The late Raggae musician, Robert Nesta Marley(Bob Marley) sang, ” Emancipiate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind. . .”.

The fight to break free from the grip of the oppressor is one that started long, long, years ago. However, the people who were actually able to break free were those who knew what to believe and what not to believe. They were the people who knew the truth about their oppressors and themselves(the oppressed). They were people who staked everything and everyone that mattered to them just to break free. They were people who refused to be discouraged even when they had lost a battle. They were people who pressed on courageously even when defeat was staring them straight in the eye. They were people who stood against injustice everywhere they found themselves. They were people who picked up themselves from the ground when they got knocked down by strong opposition.

It was Martin Luther King who said, “Freedom is never voluntarity given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”. If we are waiting for the day when the looters and cabals in our country will get tired of looting and give us what we deserve,then I wish us happy waiting,because it’s never going to happen. If we are waiting for the day when the rulers in our country will listen to us and do EXACTLY what we want,then i say happy waiting,because it’s not going to happen, UNLESS. . .we demand for it.

If we don’t understand by now that our leaders cannot be trusted, then to break free will be difficult. If we don’t know by now that there are some people behind the wheel of our nation that are driving our nation where they please,then we will remain subdued and oppressed. If we don’t understand now that there is no success without sacrifice,then we will remain in chains. If we can’t look beyond today and see that if we don’t rise up and say NO, the way we are serving this “lootocratic” government is the way our children will serve their children, then we are in trouble.

The anti-masses government may have won the first phase of the Occupy Nigeria revolt,but they haven’t seen the last of us. Like Martin Luther King said, “We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope”.

We should go back to our housesand re-group and re-strategize. We should retreat into our closets and think of creating a platform that can neither be bought off nor compromised.

We should not adjust to suffering as the government wants us to. We should remember the words of the late American activist, Martin Luther King Jr, “The saving of our world from pending doom will come,not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a non-conforming minority.”

James Ogunjimi Coordinator, Committee for the defence of human rights, Olabisi Onabanjo University Unit. hullerj@yahoo.com 08134319591

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