A nation is a sum reflection of her people, the greatness and otherwise of a nation is inherent in the character dispositions of her people. The ethos of a nation is the manifestation of the citizens. Nigeria is what it is today not by chance but by the deliberate input of every citizen. Sociologist calls it functionalism; it connotes the reality that a system is but an abstract entity without the deliberate sacrifices of the people to make it work. We are where we are as a nation because of our collective actions and inactions as citizens. In hinging to natural law of reality, it said that whatever you give is what you will get! This is the lamentable reality of the Nigerian nation. In this clime, everyone takes turns to lament, wail and bemoan the non-functionality of the Nigerian state. No one takes responsibility whatsoever. In aloof posture, we blame the system, forgetting that the system is a mere geographical reference without the people giving it life. Those saddled with the defined responsibilities of the state blames the citizenry of indolence, civil disobedience and unpatriotic orientation. The very same way, the citizens would lampoon those in government of sheer ineptitude, incompetence and gross abuse of power. ‘Last last’, as they say, it is a rudderless journey of blame game where everyone is innocent of the rots in the system and everyone is undeniably guilty of the quagmire we find ourselves in as a nation.
Take as an example, the policeman who extorts money from motorists is a Nigerian. The nurse who never takes her job serious is a Nigerian. Even the teacher who shortchanges pupils is equally a Nigerian. The lawyer who argues in the court in defence of what is wrong is also a Nigerian. I can even tell you that the lawmaker who makes the law but paid percentages as budget cut is a proud Nigerian. It will shock you to note that the market woman who hikes her wares indiscriminately is also a Nigerian. Can we also absolve the man and woman who take money from builders and look away from the strict guidelines of building regulations? When the structurally deficit building comes crumbling, be rest assured that the same people who cut corners and looked away would be on the rooftop blaming the system for the collapsed building. Let’s also add that the list is endless, what about the religious leader who turns his altar from the realm of salvation to a patronizing pulpit at the expense of celestial rejuvenation isn’t he also stakeholder in the ruination of Nigeria? And the lecturer who instead of teaching and mentoring the young ones but choose to collect bribe/sex and other aggrandizement for mark is also a Nigerian.
Now, let’s do the mathematics when you put the antics and unpatriotic manifestations of all these Nigerians together, you have a Nigeria that isn’t working… Ironically, all these critical actors who made Nigeria what it is today are the same people complaining that Nigeria has failed and not working! We shout the most of a failed system but we are undeniably the architects of what we have in our hands. We throw the punches of blames and we are never ready to take an introspective trip to where we have missed the roads with the hope of making amends. This culture of convoluted blame game has to stop, this is the time to be truthful to ourselves by agreeing that we have collectively failed Nigeria.
Funny world we live in, we use our hands to ruin our land and turn around to complain of a non-working system. You get what you give, do good and expect beautiful harvests. The poor and the rich who are more interested in personal gains are all Nigerians. Those gifted with the task of governance are not left out, they fail in their responsibilities, cut corners, undermine and usurp the system by channelling state’s resources to their personal gains. Until we change by making Nigeria work, we shall continue to wail in a ceaseless circle of stagnation. As Saadah Wahab, a good governance advocate beautifully opined, ‘ We want change but we don’t want to change! We have to change to get a change!’
The hypocrisy must stop, we must halt this culture of delusions and discard the tradition of pretence that dominates our national consciousness. So hypocritical we are that we start a meeting with a prayer rendered by spirit filled members and lie throughout the meeting and end the meeting with a closing prayer sealing it with more lies.