My wife has more nursery rhymes in her repertoire than a Red Indian brave has arrows in his quiver. I on the other hand get constantly ribbed by her; she consistently implores that I should not taint and muddy the crystal clear spring of erudition from which our son takes his daily sips. Since I did not attend the kind of posh and exclusive schools she went through, most of the rhymes I know are those in my local lingo like the one about cigarette metal containers, excessive carbohydrate consumption and farting culprits (in Yoruba, it is titled “Pangolo Cigar”). But for some reason, after seeing a hawker advertising his pastries in a kiddies verse book as a child, the hot cross buns rhyme was seared on my mind like a Ranchers coat of arms on a bullock’s hind quarters.

Recently I saw the aforementioned baked rolls in a supermarket’s catalogue and asked the wife to get me some but to my surprise; I could not abide the taste of it. It ended up being a waste. But what was the big deal, anyone can afford to do away with a couple of buns that cost a penny or two. For crying out loud, they are dirt cheap.

The history of Africa is riddled with sacrificial killings like holes in Swiss cheese and it’s so sad that the advent of education and enlightenment have not extirpated these abominable acts. Some times I think the most western education has done for a lot of Africans is window dressing. Clothed in suits and frocks, most peoples mind are still barbaric and cannibalistic, even the most educated and elite amongst us. That is why ritual killings and murderous rites still abound and not necessarily the slitting of throats on pagan altars.

Back in the day, it was normal for young virgins or lads to be killed or buried alive to help a dead king achieve seamless crossing through the underworld. In our day, young children are killed everyday by malaria and other diseases because the funds that would have purchased their drugs have been used for the councilor, local government chairman, Governor or President’s latest travelling machine. They are sacrificed to ensure these people have groovy rides. Thing is in this part of the world, there is little or no value for human life. Human beings are ridiculously cheap.

This truth like yeast permeates the dough of this nation and that has contributed so much in keeping us behind in the race of life with other countries. Irrespective of how much our natural resources might be, without human resources this nation will not go anywhere. No good General ever toys with his men. The reason behind the exodus from our land even at the risk of death sometimes is because other nations place value on our people more than we do. An average American would gladly die for his country because most of them ran away from death, pogroms, famine, racism, and segregation to a land of liberty that gave them the opportunity to become presidents, billionaires, industrialists, moguls and titans of businesses. A value saturated environment helps the realization of potential. This is why somebody who is nothing to write home about in Nigeria travels abroad and becomes very successful and valuable to his community.

Pre-revolutionary French aristocracy placed little worth on its common citizens and what did they get in return, anarchy and their heads chopped off during the French Revolution.

The basis for which a father provides for his family is because he loves them and they are of great worth to him. A dad with a different view goes on the lam. In the same vein, a nation that places great premium on its people will provide a conducive environment for them to grow and flourish.

The lack of value for human life shows up on our roads with their pot holes and craters, veritable traps for motorists. It is revealed in our transport system where people rush for buses like rhinos on a stampede. My pastor travelled to a first world country and saw that the vehicles used to transport animals have more dignity than the rusty cans of destruction used to move people here.

How would you explain the short and long sleeved haute couture that was formed from people’s limbs using machetes during the Liberian civil war? It is absolutely insane.

I walked into a general hospital recently and was heart broken to see the laissez faire attitude of the medical crew while patients needed urgent attention. A friend of mine told me that while he was doing his house job in a government hospital, the husbands of bleeding pregnant women were the ones holding the infusions while the patient lay on the floor due to shortage of beds and drip stands. He confirmed that blood pressure measurements could not be taken because there was no blood pressure measuring equipment.

Lately, there has been a spate of loss of lives in which armed robbers attacked inter-city buses and passengers who had been robbed were asked to lie on the road and were crushed by the buses. What about the fact that there is no water for our firemen to quench raging flames despite the fact that we are in a tropical area with heavy downpours and famous rivers?

In spite of all these, our leaders have become inured to it all. They steal from the national treasuries and talk about elongating their terms.

Jesus said that the worth of a man is more than all the cars, money, houses and everything in the world. He understood the value of a human life and that is why as befuddling as it might be he put his life and the lives of his men into jeopardy to save a crazy man living in a grave yard (the continuance of his work was riding on those disciples) yet he braved the storm with them to save a loony that had been given up on by his community. The man was of no use to anybody but the son of David knew no man was ever a waste. He saw worth in a supposedly worthless man. After his healing the lunatic became sane and profitable to the ministry of Jesus. The former fruitcake became a marketer for his Saviour’s product in 10 cities and we all know that the best advertisement is by word of mouth.  VALUE TURNED A NUT INTO AN ASSET! How many certified mad men do we have walking on the streets of London? How many do we have in on the streets of Nigeria?

Beyond our leaders, the buck also falls into our laps, the way we treat the people around us is an indication of how much value we place on them.

During Israel’s slavery in Egypt, mothers willingly gave up their new born children to be murdered after Pharaoh’s edict but Moses mum refused because she tagged her son special. Her son went ahead to become a great leader. It’s the value you place on your offspring that will prevent you from surrendering them to the pharaoh’s of abortion, ignorance, lack of care and attention and all the other ills to which children are exposed to.

Truth is until we stop putting a price tag as cheap as that of hot cross buns on human beings, throwing them to the dogs will remain instinctive. We have to start seeing our people as invaluable, if not our country will remain bogged in the quicksand of despondency.  A person that is just worth a penny cannot be of much value to himself or his country

The organization Jesus started two thousand years ago is still waxing strong because he gave worth to his men. He provided food, security, medical insurance, training, dreams of a better tomorrow and ultimately died for them. The most worthless person’s value increases when he sees another give up a life for him. His value and esteem shoots up astronomically. The guys returned the value their master placed on them and gave their all into propagating and developing his business. Most even gave up their lives.

For nations, businesses, marriages and families to survive and flourish, we need to place more value on our people and loved ones. What you give is what you get. It is all about value my friends!



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