There Is Fire On The Mountain



Rhymes Nursery are very important to me. They remind me a lot of my childhood and I believe that our children should be taught lots of these rhymes, to help them with learning language and using it correctly.

Rhymes like ‘There is fire on the mountain’, also serve as an introduction to poetry and helps to showcase our ability to use and understand language. Language that is used to express concrete ideas, thoughts and feelings with metaphors and other interesting figures of speech, all starts off with the simple rhymes that we learn.

So I was thinking about the school term, less than a handful of parents have paid school fees so far, I thought about the state of the economy and guess what came to mind? ‘There is fire on the Mountain, run, run, run!’

The fire is now burining our economy, our politics, our Education sector, these are systems in place that run our communities and of course the Mountain is Nigeria. As I write this, unshed tears well up. How did we get to this state of affairs?

I usually prefer to write about the classroom and what we should be doing for the children. But I am forced to think outside of my box and look at the bigger box, the bigger picture,  because it is affecting the classroom and will continue to do so for generations to come, if we do not do something about it.

As someone who grew up at a time when Nigeria was experiencing its first decades as an independent nation, full of promise, I continue to wonder how that very Nigeria that I experienced when I was a child, became this Nigeria we are witnessing today!

That Nigeria had 24/7 electricity, this Nigeria can barely give its citizens electricity 1 hour a day! How many 35 year olds, in Nigeria, actually know what ECN was, or are aware that we used to have 24/7 electricity? There is a solution to this crisis, but until we become problem solvers and not problem pickers this will not happen.

Here is my take on this issue, the children must learn the skills to think and problem solve, they must be given the tools to understand and know their country; meaning History and Geography should be given its proper place in the educational curriculum. We can no longer let everything go to ruin, or the problems will continue and eventually destroy the good nation that God wants Nigeria to be.

That same Nigeria was exporting cocoa, groundnut, kola and gum, amongst other products, but today this ‘oil-rich’ country is exporting crude oil and shamefully importing the finished product,  back for use in the country.

Wouldn’t the acceptable state of affairs demand that even if you are exporting crude, it should be for the use of the countries that buy from you? Whatever fuel consumed by the people of Nigeria, surely should be refined in Nigeria, for Nigeria! But that is not the case: both diesel, petrol, kerosene and even the by-product from crude oil used to make nylon bags are all coming from countries that have wisely invested in the technology needed to refine the crude oil; they really have very little oil of their own. Put this fact another way, if they refined only their oil, these companies would not be able to remain a viable industry. So Nigeria is helping these foreign industries thrive while we produce nothing! There is fire on this mountain.

There are some illegal bunkering industries that are being destroyed even as I write. The government is unable to refine our oil, then the people who come up with a way to do it are being shut down, their businesses are crushed because the authorities that have decided to sell our birth right, don’t want others to prosper. We have been asked to think outside of the box. So here is my outside of the box solution to bunkering.

  • call the erring business men for a meeting,
  • find out what they are doing,
  • regulate their activities,
  • correct and help them with their knowledge base and
  • give them a quota to fulfil,
  • develop this cottage industry, into a big industry that will sustain and enable Nigeria to export refined and not crude oil

This will enable us to eventually get a better price on the dollar for our oil. This is just an opinion. The more we put our heads together to put out the fires the more solution orientated we will become.

The Naira that used to be just one Naira to the British pound in the 1970’s has now in one year jumped from 250 Naira to nearly 600 Naira to the pound! There really is fire on this mountain!

So back to the problem with school fees, workers are not paid, they must feed their families. School started and some families are yet to bring their children back to school, the term is more than half gone already! There is no money in circulation. What kind of future are we building for the next generation if we do not look at ourselves and change one by one?

It is time for change we want to put out the fire on the mountain! The leadership is rotten to the core. Law makers earn at least 1.5 million naira monthly while the minimum wage is 18,000 Naira!

So we are thinking outside the box, right? That is what our President has urged us to do. Here are a few things I think may help, this in shrort is my quota to thinking outside of the box:

Each person should look at themselves for their children’s sake and truly start changing the way we view life and our role in the society.

  • Law makers cut your salaries drastically
  • Start using what we have to build what we need, reduce importation of oil and increase our own production
  • Farming, Each state should create their own agriculture units that produces food and cash crops: Food for all should be the way we do it. Please don’t take all the land over and become the agricultural guru, just because you are the senator, governor etc, etc.
  • Revamp the Education sector: Let’s teach History and Geography in schools, and make Mathematics and good Language acquisition skills available to all.
  • Don’t go and borrow any more money, let’s use what we have, the cuts in excessive salaries and allowances can go a long way.
  • Pay salaries to the workers, the lower class they are the ones who don’t get paid not the senators, house of reps, directors etc.: ensure all gets food,
  • Build roads improve the infrastructure and Nigeria will rise again from the present ashes.

There may be fire on the mountain but we can put it out. The solution will not be Run, run, run, instead together we can make it better. We certainly do not want our portion to be like USA and UK. Look what their little fires has made them do!

This rhyme will not be our portion! Or will it?

There is fire on the mountain

Put it Out!

I would love to know what you think, tell us your on take on these issues. Do you even agree that there is fire on the montain? You don’t have to. You may have a completely different view point on the issue. Leave a comment below.

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