Occupy Yourself, Occupy Nigeria By Malcolm Fabiyi

Malcom Fabiyi
By Malcolm Fabiyi, PhD

Throw a coin in the air on a Sunday or a Friday in any hamlet, village, town or city in Nigeria and it will likely fall on a person doing their homilies, bowing during Jumu’ah, speaking in new tongues, or engaged in ablution. The nights are never silent, but filled with the voices of the Christian faithful, raised in countless vigils and marathon prayer sessions. Without fail on a daily basis, the early dawn is heralded by the Muezzin, calling the faithful to Fajr, the first of the five daily muslim prayers.

Talk of God never leaves our lips. Spiritual verses are liberally served up in our conversations. We allude to God in every discussion about our conditions, our hopes, our aspirations, and even our private deprivations. Our leaders, even those most enmeshed in the vilest throes of cultic depravation, who reek of corruption in very marrow of their being, mouth their subservience to God. Their every sentence is punctuated with references to God’s providence. Their victories, won through devilish contracts, voter manipulation, the elimination of opponents and the subversion of the political process, is celebrated with hymns and thanksgivings, with generous donations to the churches and Mosques that serve as event centers for their perfidy.

In a former time, the corrupt embezzler would squirm through a worship or prayer service. Every word spoken from the pulpit or altar would be as darts, piercing mercilessly with the sting of truth. Today, such offenders would have front row seats in the carnival that our worship has become. They would be publicly acknowledged for their generous donation, and held up as models of generosity and philanthropy. When did we lose the fear of God so completely, that we find it acceptable to bring ill-gotten wealth, proceeds of corruption and blood money into a house of worship believing that it is possible to subvert the justice that must surely follow? When did we become so arrogant as to believe we can bribe God? When did the speaking of truth to power become a rare commodity, even in the house of God? When did our hypocrisy become so brazen?

The same pocket that holds the prayer bead is the one that houses the bribe. The same hand that is raised in worship and folded across the chest in supplication is the one that signs the fraudulent check, and squeezes the trigger on a defenseless soul. How did we become this whore mongering people, this nation where majority of our daughters, even those who cannot blame need or deprivation for their actions, are only a phone call away from sexual trysts with men they do not know. Where students can sleep or pay their way to high grades. How did we become this nation? How did we descend down this path to perversion so quickly?

How have we become a people that are able to see the perversion and corruption in our leaders, yet fail to recognize that the same greed that animates them to steal in the millions and billions is the same one that motivates our corruption and greed in the lowliest of places? How have we come to believe that the thieving politician or Permanent Secretary is any different from the clerk who charges a thousand naira to discharge a duty which he is paid to perform? When did we become this nation that has elevated relativistic morality to a religion? A philosophical and spiritually confused place where corruption is justified and scales of equivalence are applied to moral absolutes of right and wrong.

When did we become a nation where everything and everyone it seems, can be acquired for a price? Where uprightness is mocked and scorned and those who are patient and law abiding get no bone at all. A nation where those who maim, steal and kill are celebrated and praised.

A nation is the sum total of its people and Nigeria’s moral compass cannot fare better than the collective morality of its people. A nation may not always get the leaders that it deserves, but the way we know that a people are more deserving in the leadership that serves them is to see that they, the people, are far nobler than those who lead them. Can we truly say today, that we are nobler than those who lead us?
 

The struggle for Nigeria’s soul begins with the most difficult protest of all, and in the language of the moment, that would be the Occupation of one’s own self.  We have many problems as a people. Some we can solve, others we are powerless to change. The occupation of one’s self is well within our power to achieve. If we fail in even that most fundamental of tasks, then we will, as we have done for the last fifty years, simply continue to lament, what could have been. The occupation of Nigeria must start first with an Occupation of oneself. Occupy yourself, then we can Occupy Nigeria.

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ideas can end corruption not the rusty guns of boko haram

Truth is that the Boko Haram nonsense, as Professor Wole Soyinka has pointed out, is an ethnic agenda, not of the entire North anyway, but of a few sub-humans in the region, who are well aware that they cannot win any course on the basis of superior argument, and now have to stoop to inadequacy, assaulting our sensibilities with objectionable behaviours. It is despicable that while there is a loud voice across religious divides all over the world against the shedding of innocent blood, some lower animals among us rather think that the blood stains of the innocent is what would justify them before a just God, who in his abundant mercy, sustains both the righteous and the unrighteous. It is low, wasting my valuable time

Politician

In life, I have come to realized and adopt a principle "Never judge people by first appearance" by what I have read so far from Mr. Malcolm, I "think" his more of politician than advocate of good moral. We all know how it works.

Anyway, I enjoy reading you a lots, please keep it up and may your pen never run dry of ink.

This is probably the best

This is probably the best article I've read on Sahara Reporters in a very long time - brilliant analysis, clearly expressed, easily digested. Very good indeed.

But will they listen? Will the Nigerian ignorami pay any attention?

Many Difference

Why are you trying to fixe something that is unfixable??? Do you think it will work? If yes why & how. The truth is that people tell lies even to their parent. But maybe the real fact will emerge.

Yes, He is Correct !!!!

@ Alex Aidaghese
Your assertion is wrong. Like it or not, at face value, we as Nigerians are devalued by 40% because our bad outweighs our good in the eyes of the world.We live in a world where people stereotype, judge and assess people different from them differently. What Dr. Fabiyi has written here is a true characteristic of our society. If you are over 40years of age now, you would realize that our values over the years have changed negatively. Our society lacks decorum.

Stop Barking At the Wrong Tree

Stop Barking At the Wrong Tree! Malcolm's judgement is right.

Not Rocket Science

When a young girl or brother or even parent can be greedy to their own then what do you make of that. It cuts across all tribes in Nigeria. There are clean and repentant Nigerians. But majority are unclean. If they have their chance, they will do worse than the cabals. What stand do you want him to take? Nigerians find it very hard to understand and agree. I guess it can be attributed to any of ignorance, low IQ, natural tendency to oppose blindly and without reason or talk gibberish (talkative). Lots of noise without any concrete point or movement.

Not Rocket Science

What this man has written is not rocket science? I understand it very well. You need to interact with Nigerians home and abroad to understand. Corruption is a canker-worm that has eaten so deep into the Nigerian soul. The British first introduced it to our leaders but it has now become pervasive among so many of our citizens. Few are left out. Not everyone is unclean in Nigeria but consciously or unconsciously, many are not clean. Being clean is not 100% as no one is perfect. I am saying this because I have interacted with Finns or Scandinavians that are known to be the most honest in the world yet their actions at times leaves a lot to be desired. Only few out of many act like that. So the sum total of their people like an average of the values of all the people in the north equates to honesty.

Yes, He is Correct !!!!

@ Alex Aidaghese
Your assertion is wrong. Like it or not, at face value, we as Nigerians are devalued by 40% because our bad outweighs our good in the eyes of the world.We live in a world where people stereotype, judge and assess people different from them differently. What Dr. Fabiyi has written here is a true characteristic of our society. If you are over 40years of age now, you would realize that our values over the years have changed negatively. Our society lacks decorum.

MR FABIYI:A SUBTLE APOLOGIST FOR THE CORRUPT POLITICAL CLASS.

One can sense that Malcom Fabiyi wants to sit on the fence,there is a calculated restraint in his works published on this forum.He critisizes but at the same time apolgises for the rotten Nigerian political establishment,he wants to eat his cake and still have it,hmmm.
Mr Fabiyi seeks to put the angry masses on the leash through his write-ups,he tenders elitist alternatives like "occupy yourself" or more impolite stuff like "shut up and move on" which clearly are unrealistic in the Nigeria of today.
Mr fabiyi for some reason belongs to the class of Nigerians afraid of a radical or drastic solution to our problems in this country.Could it be that this gentle looking man has ambitions for the corrupt political terrain,could it be that he is just taking a break from his electoral humiliation in the recent past?
Whatever the answer is,I find Fabiyi a brilliant person who is yet to take a stand.

You Are Very Wrong

Leadership defines the attitude of the governed, not the other way round.

I am not of the Yoruba race, but Papa Awo and his party proved that leadership matters. Some people would say that Nigerians are gullible, other would say they are subservient and obedient. Whatever definition you ascribe, depends on what you intend to do with the Nigerian people - exploit their negative side and laugh your way to the bank, or dwell on their positive side for the good of all. It is a leadership choice.

You stated: "A nation is the sum total of its people and Nigeria’s moral compass cannot fare better than the collective morality of its people."

My friend, I totally disagree with your reasoning. I am a quintessential global gentle man of unparalleled nobility and I have met Nigerians of similar attributes at home and abroad. Your thesis is intellectually stimulating, but it does not hold water with respect to the facts on the ground in Nigeria. Nigerians elected Abiola fairly.

LET US START WITH RETRIBUTION AND JUSTICE.

An example has to be made of our corrupt political class,Nigerians should find a mechnism of positive retribution,the corrupt looters have to be purnished for thier enormous crime against the Nigerian masses before we start looking at ourselves.We cannot successfully look at ourselves in a system operated by thieves,logic demands that a house cleaning be done before a new dawn comes,revolution,executions and long term imprisonments is the basis for a new begining.Nigeria has to redefine soceital values,the glorification of corrupt politicians and ill-gotten wealth must end.
The families of corrupt politicians must be made to forfiet all loot,they can no more be allowed to intimidate and corrupt other citizens,it should be a moral duty to advice a family member involved in the plundering of the economy as well as report inexplicable wealth to law enforcement.Civil soceity has to push for anti-corruption legislature through strikes.

Possibility of occupying.........

Possibility of occupying in this concept is far from personal possibility. It cannot be achieved. Why? Cos Nigerians are corrupt from womb. A country were a child in the early primary school can think of cheating as the only solution to success? We shout on our leaders as being corrupt, are we then moraly better than them? Visit the most relevant ancient book( the Bible ),read Hebrew 4 : 12, you will see a true source of Change.

The Best Solution to our lingering problem

This is the best article I have ever read proffering solution to our problems as a nation. Let's put our individual selves in order, then we will see how our leaders will follow suit. It is said that the way we are as a people, that is how our leaders will be. We condone, tolerate, accommodate and even praise our leaders for the atrocities they are committing because we are also guilty of the same offence. Let us just change and we will see how our leaders will miraculously change.

Nailed Right on the Head!

I completely agree. While looking inward, we must also re-appraise religion and our roles within it. God is not an equipment the remote control of which some manipulative religious leaders have in their possession. It is high time we shed the toga of docility and speak out against leadership shenaniganism in religious places. If only through strict religious adherence we could hold people - from lowly to highly placed - truly accopuntable for their actions... or inactions! See also http://saharareporters.com/article/occupy-nigeria-movement-and-tacit-betrayal-church-dr-%E2%80%98leke-otunuga

Truism

I completely agree. While looking inward, we must also re-appraise religion and our roles within it. God is not an equipment the remote control of which is in possession of some manipulative religious leaders. It's high time we shed the toga of docility and speak out against leadership shenaniganism in religious practises. If only through astrict religious adherence we could hold people - from lowly to highly placed - truly accopuntable for their actions... or inactions! See also http://saharareporters.com/article/occupy-nigeria-movement-and-tacit-bet...