Nigeria Obituary Of No Decency Standard Or Class: Not Yet

How has the mighty fallen? Below our worst prediction or fear but there are people still standing unbowed to the vast decadence around us. Sometimes it takes some foreign observers to shock us into reality like the documentaries of families living in hazardous and environmental dumps around the Country. We raise our voices and deny such existence in our dear Country because we fail to notice what is glaring below or above.

What we have right now is worse than the class and stratified society we tried to level so that everyone could have an equal playing field or the opportunity to compete base on individual abilities and not what class or who your family was. There was this Indian teacher in high school that told us communism was no different from capitalism. One military class or civilians just replaced another and become complacent in decadence.

We are at a point where people with high moral character, attitudes and behavior are going broke because they are too stubborn to bow and make new money. By the time the military got power and started overthrowing themselves, people of low moral characters started throwing money to whoever could jump high and grab it as long as they could serve their whims and caprices.

There were these guys in St. Louis Missouri years ago talking about Nigeria as the best place to make money if you could hold your noise. They wondered, what could so many Nigerians be making anywhere else that they could not make much more at home, like them. It has since gotten worse, some would not even go to Nigeria at any price but could find someone less qualified and willing to risk his life if the right money is offered.

Qualification, standard and efficiency became irrelevant as subcontractors mushroomed to perform shoddily. The only efficient companies would not trust local labor with bogus qualifications or those introduced by relatives in position of power over well qualified Nigerians. Trying to sort real qualifications became a battle, another excuse not to hire locally. So foreign companies only trust those they brought into the Country themselves.

Let us be sincere with ourselves, our engineers from local universities would rather push papers than get dirty. Those willing to get dirty that were locally or foreign trained get paid less than their counterparts brought in by foreign companies and even less than those recommended by politicians. If we can imagine this in a company and multiply it with most of the foreign companies in most fields, we got the picture of mediocrity.

It hurts when the same foreigners throw it in our face knowing full well that we cannot dispute it. There was this conversation between a Kenyan and a foreign worker in a plane on their way out of Africa. Whether it was made up or not, the story repeats itself all the time that Africans created their own mess because we expect others clean us up.

Ribadu in his hey days, had to smuggle documents out of Nigeria for foreign courts because no court of law would convict in Nigeria! When Oby Ezekwesili cried out about what everyone knew of governors during OBJ reign, they were ready to tear her apart and sue her in court unless she came with proof that governors were diverting local allocation into their accounts. Could one of those governors be Ibori or Tinubu?

Class! How art thou fallen. Decency and standard where art thou? Women what have happened to you and your pride. They used to set us straight because nobody would give their daughters to a man of disrepute we do not know where he made his money from. Their parents investigate to make sure the family that wanted to marry them were not killers, marauders and fraudsters. Women now have a way of making their money.

During the Lagos State gubernatorial debate, Chief J. K. Randle mentioned a dirty word that turned some people off - pedigree! Here we were trying to forget class, high moral and old standards that favored certain group. The Chief was longing loud or thinking loud about the days we used to wish and emulate people, not for the money they had but for the training and upbringing we all wish we had.

Well, pedigree has been overthrown. What we have now is new money that cannot buy Nigeria the standard and class we lost. Indeed, those that still have that standard left in the family would rather starve to death than walk up to money-miss-road for crumbs. The new or oil money is worse than drugs. Saro say na poor I poor no be craze I craze o!

When you watch brains being wasted and idled, when those with unused talents grab money in billions, at some point you wonder why you entered the wrong profession. If you think you are so smart and your brain is for research in universities while those with no brain cut your laboratories, raised students' fees and refused to pay your salaries; you might as well go out and compete with bums and beat them at their own game.

Good people still remain in Nigeria, what is baffling is how they survive. One of our best research scientists that Americans tried to lure to stay was Dr. Sunny Kuku. This man bolted to Nigeria, for research and teaching in the university. The last time we saw him in the papers, he has become the Director and partner in one of the banks.

Wait just a minute; we knew some of his classmates. Patrick Ani and Jaiye Randle were the accountants and arts students not Sunny Kuku. They are our brothers that laid good examples for us to follow even when they were in high schools. So was Segun Osoba that later becomes a politician. Well, we cannot complain if we leave politics only to undesirables. But, Segun Osoba to Tinubu. How does he ask Tinubu for favor or money?

Call it decency, standard, class or pedigree. Nigeria has lost to Vagabonds In Power. We worship money and would do anything for money. Therefore it has lost its value. When poor people still remain classy and elegant without much money flowing through their agbada or people like Nwabueze at his age wondering which Nigeria he found himself.

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Articles by Farouk Martins Aresa