Wednesday, 11 December 2013
The Problem With Nigeria Is You And Me!
What is the problem with Nigeria, who is the problem, today I dare say that the problem with Nigeria, is Nigerians, part of our problem, is simply put, 'us', 'we', 'you', 'them', 'they'. The problem with Nigeria actually is you and me!
Nigeria, ideally is one of the best places to live in, it is not a Police State like so-called Western Democracies. In Nigeria I can urinate anywhere and not get fined or arrested, I can get a ladder and climb the electricity poles and effect a change of power phases, that is if the problem is not from the nearby power transformer which anybody can repair with dry wood.
For a government that prides itself in placing transformation as its agenda and keeps spending billions for power it is interesting to see how there is no improvement, it is equally mind boggling and baffling that the available power supply is not paid for by both government and the governed including me.
Many persons for good reasons had seen in Jonathan nothing but good luck including you and me, an opportunity for a reawakening despite the roguery and treachery of the PDP. A lot of us had lost hope in the system, the structure, the leadership, but with each passing day, it is becoming obvious that Nigeria may be just an empty plastic cup, to light to hold a cup of coffee cold or hot, because the problem is you and me.
I voted because he was South-South, he was Christian, was Niger Delta, he had a smile, for millions like me and you who never had met him, he seemed a nice guy--well quite early in the morning we are living witness to the result, from labour strikes to expected subsidies and a deteriorating state of security.
I am writing this essay about us because lately I have discovered that I have tried hard to write nice stuffs about leadership, but that is a hard ask, I criticize a lot and hardly give solutions, my reason, simple, there are enough solutions to Nigeria's multi-dimensional problems, enough to fill an American Congressional Library.
Until I am ready, until you are ready, the solutions would remain utopian.
I have watched us being reminded of the successes of far Malaysia and lately nearby Ghana, a success that was championed and achieved simply because of purposeful leadership, a leadership and people that have collectively gone about bringing economic prosperity, industrial strength, intellectual pride and dynamism. Unfortunately I am part of a circus, of both leadership and citizenry.
A new Nigeria cannot unfold, with fast paced infrastructural development, rapid push in human resource development, healthcare delivery, when of the approximately 150,000 graduates expected out this year, only 4% possess a chance of a job, with time the remaining 96% slowly became an unemployable lot with redundant qualifications and no form of entrepreneurial educational, is it not easy to see how we are part of the problem.
Today's Nigeria, lacks education, health and development with all the wealth, we are breeding terrorists, frustrated young men, sad mothers, senior citizens that daily curse the nation because we have refused to give them their dues, children without a hope for the future in light of public school utilities.
This is Nigeria, the rich, poor, and everybody cries and laughs almost at the same time; the difference is the swing of the pendulum, I am part of the problem, so also you, it only depends on when, and how.
The Nigerian big man makes a law, those wanting to be Nigerian or already big men proceeds immediately to look for a way to break the law; he explores loopholes and escape clauses, like the Immunity clause used for stealing.
Ordinary Citizens would do it their own way, they will jump queues on no-excuse, they will do u-turns on an expressway, stop in the middle of the road to say hello to a long lost friend without parking.
How can I say I am not the problem, when in power I love affluence and will do anything to stay put. In religious matters, I fake it; in business, my cheques bounce. In the civil service forget the noise of 'servicom', files get missing and only re-appear when you, and I mean you reading this is given the right price.
The pain of this essay, is we know that we are the problem and rightly so too, but how about the Nigerians in their millions that want to be good for the right reasons. Those Nigerians, not easily understood because they will not give bribes, all their actions are in line with tradition, society's good norms and rationality. They largely are old now, although a few young ones and most times reside in rural areas, though a few stay in urban areas.
They are generally good and untribalized, they believe in the principles of live and let live. These Nigerians are neither the bottom power women nor the moneybag men like you and me. They strive daily to remain patriotic and committed to the Nigerian dream despite the reality, they are disciplined and are hardworking, and they battle the stark reality that as patient dogs they may never have any bone left.
These set of Nigerians suffer the Nigerian experiment because of the larger majority's inability to curb greed, inability for me and you to be fair and rational towards other peoples perspectives, opinions, positions and interests.
My continuous inability to make sacrifices for the common good, and your unwillingness to respect our institutions means that if others do not stand as a people and resolve to fight for what rightly belongs to Nigeria, the problem with Nigeria will continue. Time will tell.