TuesdayRapAround: What Is The Worth Of Life In Nigeria?
What Is The Worth Of Life In Nigeria? By Michael Ayotunde
This question is one out of the many posers that are begging for attention here and there.
From North to South, East to West, the sanctity of human life has grossly been eroded. In fact, those in positions of authority who ideally are expected to use instrument of power to protect the hapless citizens, have ironically used the same instrument of authority to molest, maltreat, deceive innocent and unsuspecting people of the country.
One wonders while would a chairman of a local government, governor of a state, legislature and indeed, president of a nation under whose watch citizens are being butchered, as though they were fowls, cows, and still has the conscience to cleave on to his or her office. Of course, the tradition is to reel out all sorts of condemnation.
After barrage of condemnations, an ad hoc committee is set up to investigate. But before the investigation commences, another deadly disaster is already in the news.
The unfortunate trend just continued in an endless circle.
The new year eve senseless killings across several sections of the country is, to say the least, appalling.
And sadly, all the leaders across the country could do was to condemn the dastardly acts and that’s all. Till now, no person or persons have been brought to book?
Come to think of it, what differentiate a leader from the led? Or the life of a leader from that of a hapless man, woman on the street – someone whose life is cut in a coldblooded scuffle? And the perpetrators usually have backers. In their right senses, killing, maiming, destructive tendencies are their stock in trade. The perpetrators, their backers, sure are not ghosts. They walk the street freely after committing these their heinous crimes against humanity, unchecked, unchallenged.
United States of America (USA), for instance, can spend a fortune to save the life of a single citizen. Same thing goes for other nations of the world where the right of citizens to decent life and living are not only protected, but expressly guaranteed.
The thinking, in Nigeria however, is never in that line. The government care less about its citizens. As such, hardly can a day pass in Nigeria of today without a soul being drop dead. What a wicked world!
It is only in Nigeria that those in positions of authority are infallible, they can’t make mistake, and so cannot be corrected; they shouldn’t be touched because they are saints, they are superhuman. Everything they do is always right.
What has Nigeria become among the comity of nations? With senseless killings and wanton destruction of lives and property; with government seemingly incapacitated to take decisive but meaningful decisions to halt the ugly trend.
With this happening over and over in an endless circle, one wonders why the need for a reactionary government? Simply put, a government that can’t live up to its billing. A government that can’t nip in the bud a potential danger even before it happens and put a stop to any likelihood of future occurrence.
Why can’t the government of the day put its heads together and for once, embrace proactiveness as a strategic and viable option all in a bid to provide purposeful leadership.
Instead of putting their minds together to do what is just, right and beneficial to all and sundry irrespective of the peoples leaning, yearnings and aspirations, they rather employ the services of spokespersons – the class that would be given the mandate to churn out half-bake truth, lies, deceit, propaganda and all that. Sure, their billing is to react to issues. They can’t afford to be proactive, in that wise, reactionary is the way to go.
But in reality, when the costs of being proactive and reactive are placed side by side, as in juxtaposed, which is better?
This brings us to a crossroad: between public good, people-oriented programmes, services, good governance, public trust and image-making, which ideally should be priotized? Which should form or be the foundation upon which real governance is anchored?
In the Nigerian parlance of today, these so called accidental leaders would rather spend their fortune on image-making to fend off possible opposition. However, in a sane society, performance is the deciding factor. It is the difference. They don’t need to blow any trumpet. Their good works are there for all to see.
No doubt, we have seen events not as calamitous as the ones recorded in Nigeria, where leaders in such areas throw-in the towel – this they have done with every sense of responsibility and uprightness. And sure, history has always been kind such leaders who dares to toe the path of honour by relinquishing power when it matters.
This, no doubt, is never a mark of being a minnow or a lilly-livered person, but just that the pervading atmosphere won’t let things turn out for good, and only need fresh breathe, fresh idea and a new start.
Where such step is not taken, they have instead gone out of their way to identify with victims of such carlous attacks.
Toeing the path of honour is never an option in this part of the divide. If that is the case, how then do we make our dear state, nation truly conforms to best practices the world over?
Suffix to say here that the same systems developed nations of the world have utilized to their advantage, have refused to work in Nigeria. Rather than taking responsibility for whatever failure recorded, learn from it and move on, Nigerian leaders will always chose to indulge in bulk-passing, name calling, blame game among others in that order.
What’s the worth of life indeed in a nation where average life expectancy is nothing to write home about? What’s the worth of life where first-class graduates are roaming the streets jobless, where doctoral holders are applying for driver’s job? Yet, the government at all levels seem unpathorbed.
Nigeria as currently constituted has become a laughing stock – no thanks to a purposeless and visionless leadership of a nation where the real value of human life is not worth a penny; In a nation where mediocrity is celebrated; in a place where tribalism is the order of the day, though leaders profess otherwise; a nation where all hope is not lost even for the dead.
As if the embarrassment is not enough, the government still has the effrontery to justify its unfortunate blunder.
They fail to reason that everyone cannot be as docile as they are, thinking whatever justification they reel out would be accepted and internalize without questioning; they forget that the more such nebulous and pendulous explanations are offered, the more they expose their stack inexperience and naivity to the public – yes, to a more discerning minds out there.
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