By ADEWALE OLAYEMI
I am constrained to join the discussion on the direction in which our country is heading after 20 years of civil rule so as to lend my perspective to the conversation and share my thoughts on why we are the way we are as a country.
It is so easy to sit at our hitherto comfort zones that is now becoming very uncomfortable given our recent socio~political and economic realities.
The bulk of the educated elite in Nigeria are ethnic bigots, cheats, naira and kobo persons who are irredemably corrupt that they cannot stand for anything noble.
These are people who find it difficult to apprehend the principle of ‘noblesse oblige’. As far as they are concerned, they owe the society nothing, but are desperately looking for the means to steal and plunder the scarce resources of the state whenever the opportunity presents itself. In other words, they are in the wings ‘waiting for their time’.
Now, we pretend as if the idea of railroading us into the path of tyranny by the rulership now started yesterday. Of course, such an assertion is far from the truth.
It all started when those who are educated failed to key into their historical role of a pedagogy of the oppressed and ensure that millions of our people get educated so that they can operate from a position of strength in their quest to participate in running the affairs of their country.
The unfortunate situation we have to grapple with today is that millions of these people left behind by the system, aside being a threat to the survival of our country, they have now constituted themselves into what late Mallam Aminu Kano warned us against breeding ~ ‘the army of the future revolution.’
For us, it just did not sink into our consciousness that the level of progress we make in education is directly proportional to our development as a country. No wonder after almost three scores of independence with numerous technical colleges, polytechnics and universities of technology, we still cannot contribute anything to the world technologically, instead we rely on technicians from China, Israel, Italy and Germany to build our bridges and roads.
As a people we are so planless, chaotic and unorganized that ours is a country of anything goes. No standard is set for anything and the ‘fire brigade approach’ has become a mantra and directive principle of state.
In view of this chaotic situation, it has been impossible for us as a country to come to an agreement on how the Nigerian state can run for the benefit of all. For instance, we have no well~defined and acceptable leadership procurement process. This is why it is a situation of ‘everybody come inside’ now. Instead of running a representative democracy with political parties in the real sense of the word, we are more comfortable with loose associations that are run by gangsters, power mongers, ethnic warlords, clannish religious bigots, crude Merchants of Venice, Godfathers driven solely by the profit motive and all sorts of characters that see politics not as a service to the people, but an easy way to get rich quick.
Against this background, it is more appealing to us to thread this road to Golgotha while we cherish our label of deeply religious people and poverty capital of the world where asking critical questions that could solve our self inflicted problems is forbidden. On a daily basis. we shout on top of our voices to God to help us solve daily existential problems at churches and mosques.
Nowhere will tyranny, despotism and fascism fester and get quickly enthrenched than in an ambience of ignorance and wanton poverty.
Today majority of our people who have been left behind by the system are struggling hard to eke a living. They are less concerned about basic human rights or what goes on at the three tiers of government here. Instead of being active participants in a robust democratic experience, they are mere spectators needed to validate the four year ritual by the ‘political class’ who has captured the state for selfish and personal aggrandizement.
No doubt. we have walked this path time and time again in our political history. Must we make it a tradition to go to the trenches at every turn we are close to the precipice? Why can’t we treat the disease once and for all instead of wasting energy and resources on the symptoms?
At the point we were welcoming a fresh air of civil rule in 1999, the refrain then was, ‘NEVER AGAIN’ after many of our patriots paid the supreme sacrifice. Why are we navigating another dangerous bend twenty years down the line?
If I can offer a solution to end this quagmire, I would say we need to fix those issues that are the cog in the wheel of progress of our country and by so doing we would have taken care of the enemies of an open society.
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