The vast majority of the Nigerian populace have been deceived for so long and this deceit has become part of us. We look at a problem without identifying the real cause of the problem. Ask 10 Nigerians what the problem of Nigeria is and they will either say it is bad leaders or corruption or nepotism or the western powers (USA, England, and France etc) or regional differences or the misapplication of religion; some will even include the names of past leaders like Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Olusegun Obasanjo etc. But what is truly the root cause of the problem?
Our political parties always campaign on unattainable promises of making our lives better when that of the party members is nothing to write home about. We think that a change in government is the solution; hence we look forward to the upcoming elections with the hope of getting it right. The obvious truth which we often turn blind eyes to is the fact that it only gets worse.
If one critically analyses Nigeria, we will discover that on the contrary, corruption, nepotism, the western powers, regional differences, the misapplication of religion, even our past and present leaders etc are opportunists (like a virus) that found an enabling environment to thrive, grow and reproduce in nature. Ask any doctor or medical personnel, without a conducive environment no virus will survive. What is the problem of Nigeria?
The problem is you and me and our misplaced priority of vice over virtue because of our individual inability to meet man’s basic needs which are food, shelter and clothing. How? You may ask. I will answer using examples. The man that believes bad and corrupt leaders are our problem is actually forgetting that before one launders money out of our beloved country, it takes the services of people like bankers, immigration officials etc (I have nothing against any of these people). It takes 2 to tango in the popular dance of bribery; the giver and the receiver. What do you expect of a people who do not want to work to earn their living, rather earn without going through the process of working? We forget that our failure as individuals produce attendant consequences. If we all sit down, take a minute to really look at this and put the dots together, we will all agree that the real problem of Nigeria is an individual thing.
Have you all ever wondered why someone called up to serve as an ambassador or minister of the republic cannot recite the National Anthem, how then can he or she do a good job? We gradually allowed our politicians to use the misapplication of religion as a tool to divide us, even region. The western powers, being opportunists that they are, are doing a fantastic job manipulating us through our politicians who are somehow related to us (our politicians are not spirits; they are our brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, fathers, mothers etc). Believe me; if you walk into Aso Rock or any of your state government houses in the federation, you are 50% guaranteed to meet your tribesman.
Since the problem is an individual one, hence the solution also an individual one. How? I propose a simple solution that if well and duly observed, Nigeria will be a far better place to live in. We have to first come to the conclusion and agreement that out individual minds and hearts have derailed from the truth which is that there is a difference between vice and virtue. The character our politicians portray (be it greed or megalomania) is a mirror of their respective homes and we all know the popular saying that charity begins at home (a mango tree cannot produce a cashew fruit).Very few families (which is the first school of a child where he or she learns all that are outlandish against our individual cultures), religious institutions and clerics try to sensitise their members on the importance of virtue. Individually, we have to work towards upholding virtue by purifying and enlightening our minds. Only when we start working towards achieving this individually will Nigeria become a better habitable place. Wallace D Wattles once said: “When the majority desires a world without discords, they will create such a world. So long as men and women are on the plain of bestial thought, so long the social order will be in part disorder and will show bestial manifestations. The people make society what it is”. If the majority (because achieving 100% success in cases as this is not possible on earth) of us have truly purified and enlightened our minds, then will we be able to checkmate the deeds of the rest. Finally, an advice from me to our politicians is a quote from Richard Branson: “Any culture (or society) with an over-emphasis on knowing-your-position creates problems that get in the way of relationships, causes resentments and as a direct result of this can interfere with progress and innovation”. My name is Henry Okafor and I am just a concerned youth.
Henry Okafor writes from Lagos State and can be reached on 09096970531or [email protected]