"all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Kenneth obi for CRJ

The Motto of Citizens for Righteousness and Social Justice (CRJ) rests on Edmund Burke's saying that "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

In my monologues about Nigeria, I have asked myself if there are more good people in society, how come then we have more evil people who seem to bear rule over the good. I guess we can explain that it was power that made them evil who essentially had a good nature. Some may argue that there was an evil nature that simply blossomed at the ascension of power, so such men had no goodness in them.

 I have played with many scenarios in my head on the matter of why men suddenly become selfish and drunk when they are given power. But none of this has helped me solve the question on why a few evil men will successfully hold down the lives of many good people who simply want to make life better for them and for their children, as well as secure a future that is positively predictable. Why couldn’t the plenty overrule the tyranny of the few?

History is full of how the ‘bad few' frustrate the ‘plenty good’. If we care to rewind history, we will be presented with too many cases like the Idi Amins, the Hitlers, the Mussolinis, the tyrants and despots who have quenched the lights of their nations and reduced their citizens to crawling on an ever widening road of improvement.

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In my country Nigeria, we have had our own dose of evil leadership which has crushed our spirits and maimed the faith of the young people in their great country. Yet when I take a closer look, these national impieties were wreaked by a few men who held the nation ransom while good men kept quiet. This is my concern; when good men do nothing. These evils continue unabated over several locations in our world simply because good men do nothing, or what they do is just not good enough.

When we keep quiet at the wrong we see, when we refuse to take drastic actions against even the petty malfeasance and nonfeasance which we notice in our little corners, we have then silently given consent for evil to rule. It is absolutely unacceptable for a handful of selfish and fiercely greedy people to control our destinies while all the good men keep quiet, or move with trepidation founded on a desire to preserve the self.

Someone put it this way: “The death of a thousand good men is not as tragic as the leadership of one evil man. “ The scriptures also say “when the wicked rule, the people groan. “ No matter how good the passengers of a car are, if the driver is a bad one, nothing can save them from a tragic crash. This is the predicament in many countries today; great people, bad drivers. Have you considered all the wars in history? Check it out! Most were caused by the belligerence of a few proud men, but the casualties were mostly good people.

A story was told of a man who was travelling in a car along with three other people only to observe that the driver was fast asleep yet driving at 80km/h. He slapped him on the arm, told him to stop the car, came down and took over the driver’s seat. Again, a man was on his way back from a trip and hired a taxi to take me home. 

He wondered why the car was unstable on its path till he found out the taxi man was dozing. Because his life and destiny was at stake, he shouted at him, stopped the car, and drove himself home while the driver continued his sleep. Like CRJ and the men in the stories, this is what good men must do in their domains by taking charge; else we are simply an accident going somewhere to happen.

Join us today at Citizens for Righteousness and Social Justice to make Nigeria a better place. When good men do nothing, evil will overtake; it is a simple as that.
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