By Abdulganiyu Naimat
I have often wondered why Nigeria has turned up so bad and rotten and, I cannot but only ask myself if there would ever be a better version of the country in the future.
This thought has, often, leaves me so puzzled up each time I engage my mind over it. I get lost in my own thoughts. So as an escape to this puzzle, and instead of having to dwell so long over it as it is fast becoming labyrinth of sort, I resolve to engaging the possible and immediate issues that are capable of forming impediments to having a better Nigeria; and, a step further, capable of bringing to life the thought — the fear, rather — of ever having to see a one time great nation settling down in the bottomley of history and in our founding memories.
To do this, I start by seeking to know, from within of course, if the government really is the impediment to the country we yearn for, or we, the citizens, are our own problem, and perchance, we stand a chance to reengineer the cause of the country’s journey to greatness.
These rhetoric notions are not unconnected to absurdity that often characterises our stereotypical views about things. I mean, I have heard teeming majority blaming the governing lots when things are bad. Fair enough, you may say. However, they do this in public places, corporate premises, private rooms, in union and unison — at all fora. You hear a chorus of blames on the government once a fault is detected, not only in the system, also in our personal life.
Government comes handy to receive the backlashes should a bush burn beyond boundary or should erosion erode roads and districts in front of our houses. Blame, blame and echoes of it on the government for anything, everything, and nothing!
As convincing and convenient our incessant bedevilling of government could often seem, a reassessment of ourselves, individually, as citizens that habour desires for a better Nigerian society, could as well do the magic we expect from the ‘irresponsibly overburdened’ government. And understanding the need to do more within our own space and capacity as patriotic citizens is a viable step to changing the course of erosion that is eating down our infrastructures, the burning fire that is nakeding us to hazard, the grunts and brunt in the family that manifest from wife to her husband for not impregnating her (this also is a blame on government) and every other thing — including voting our conscience at polls.
Isn’t it laughable when you hear people shout ‘change’, and when you take a closer look at them, all you see are stock characters? I laugh. I see our rustic wheel of perspective that has refused to run of the mill, get lubricated to allow our psyches to rejuvenate. It is safe to say there is no, by any means, any feasible change in the ways we think and operate.
Also on the same height of our folly tower, I have heard Nigerians ask why the country can not be as neat, fashioned out with an eye-soothing landscape as other countries, then I laugh again. I do because this is coming from people who after eating puff puff, dump the remnant and the nylons on the street. And when challenged, the government freely becomes alibi. You hear them say the government needs to provide waste bins everywhere for them to dispose of their dirts (even in our individual houses, I often add). Until we stop making excuses and blame the government on the little we ought to do out of discretion, we may be heading neitherward.
People tag the government as an institution of monsters for embezzling and squandering public funds. I say to myself, pathetic how this is coming from people who would inflate transport fare and extort fellow citizens in the name of ‘It’s festive period’. I ask, must festive money be made at the expense of your fellow humans whom you might even be better off financially…and in spite of what the government is putting the commoners through?! Now, who is more inhumane and cruel? Isn’t it the best to say that we are all accomplices?
We lament the government is not making efforts in curbing the recent virus which is spreading like wildfire, how are they supposed to curb it when we the citizens won’t even adhere to the least of safety procedures laid out by the medical experts? And yet we go out hauling blames on the government when the statistic graphs of the casualties break the ceilings. I ask again, isn’t it appropriate to say we are all hypocrites?
This is not in any way to justify the government’s ineffectuality, complacency and the daylight cruelty towards the people and the country. It is to make us see the need to call a spade and spade. And why we should see that change can not happen overnight as Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Premised on the aforesaid, I conclude that it is not by making mouth and blaming the government every time. If we desire change, we start by changing ourselves, we must live above the habit of making excuses to shadow our irresponsibility as people. Change, as much as it is a process, is also procedural and these procedures should be everybody’s business. To achieve a fast and vast transformation process, every hand must be on deck. It takes efforts, collective efforts and Will, alongside positive attitude and the fear of God. The process for the desired change starts from the within, and that is you and me.