Nigeria: Behind All The Propaganda
Just like many other countries in the world today we see Nigeria through the eyes of the media, through our own personal experiences, through the thoughts of friends and colleagues, we argue at newspaper stands and develop complex juicy conspiracy theories and facts. We feel happy when the people around buy into our national idiosyncrasies or when you seem to be victorious in the ensuing arguments.
It’s a national hoopla whoopla back to back on a regular. A greater percentage abase the national image with reckless abandon and puts the blame on everything and anyone. In spite of all the propaganda however, it would be wrong to reign in the excesses of the country’s misrepresentation without first acknowledging the primary critic stimulants.
>> We live in a country where a lot of things are done very wrongly or not done at all and any average Nigerian in the streets would have more bad things to say about Nigeria than good. The government and the society as a whole have abjectly failed to live up to expectations. This abysmal failure has been a bane, a tumorous situation with seemingly innumerous roots that have cut across all types of people and all sections of life in the country.
A lot of things are done wrong or not done at all in the national assembly, the house of reps, the state houses, local governments, schools, civil service, all the way down to our homes. The trail blazes through relentlessly. I cannot exhaust the collective systematic failures that have led to the kind of Nigeria we have today. It’s simply just too complex to have on print.
Far from aboriginal however, these malignant paths to failure can be seen in several other African countries in different levels, grades and shades. It’s therefore not a wonder when people say Africa is still being milked and colonized by the rest of the developed world because they are not wise enough to take the bull by the horn and lead there people to economic and social redemption. The president of Gambia Yahyah Jammeh has ruled for more than 21 years and an international human rights group Amnesty International has reported disastrous human rights abuses in Gambia since he came into power.
Sudan is in a midst of a bloody civil war. Nigeria is battling terrorism. All across Africa there is endless poverty, lack of true leadership, over dependence on International Aid, Persistent violence and regional conflicts. It’s one big mess after another. All in all, the barefaced truth is we are being colonized by our very own selves. A great majority of our misfortunes where orchestrated and piloted one way or the other by our very own African brothers. I refuse to delve into the messy argument and propaganda that comes with the state of the nation as it might become abstruse and would just lead to an unending roller-coaster of facts and counter facts. Instead I’d rather write about what’s behind all the propaganda. What constitutes a route to a solution?
Behind all the Propaganda, We all should be aware that Nigeria is what it is because and only because of who we are, who the people are. Nigeria in truth is only a nomenclature, the actual content is the people living within its borders, the people at different levels managing one aspect or the other. The president, The Senate, The governors and Deputies, Local government chairmen, Permanent secretaries, Heads of Departments, Principals of schools, National youth corpers, class prefects, Priests, Fathers and Mothers in the home, the list goes on and on. We are Nigeria. So if Nigeria is bad there is something we are not doing right.
I accede to the fact that the onus to create effective changes lies more in the hands of those in leadership positions much more than it does in the hands of followers. So therefore it is imperative that leaders more than anyone should look inwards and ask themselves if they really are doing the best for their delegates of if they are only serving themselves a share of the material and immaterial benefits accrued to such a position.
You are a Police state commissioner…How safe is your state and how disciplined are the officers under you?
You are the Inspector General…How safe is the country and how effective are your commissioners?
You are a school teacher…How good are your students and how well do you teach them?
You are a Principal…How good are your teachers and how often are they in class?
You are a Local Government Chairman…What happened to the federal allocation for constituency projects?
You are a contractor…Why did you deliberately plan to execute a substandard project to reduce cost and unethically maximize profit
You are a successful business man…Do you seek further aggrandizement or did you use your money to open a charity
You are an importer…Do you ever think of exporting or manufacturing in Nigeria to help the country balance its foreign exchange earnings.
You are a Judge… Do you uphold the dictates of your profession or are you swayed by political or financial partisanship
You are the government… Do you make it easy for people to live or do business in the country or do you embezzle every dime that passes through your office while neglecting altruism and ignoring the pains of the people you are meant to be serving. Do you strive to improve processes of government and leadership style or to you trample bloody civilians underfoot?
The questions go on and on. The answers? Your guess is as good as mine.
Okafor Nnamdi Gabriel. Member Organisation for Global Youth Peace Empowerment and Development Initiative aka GYPEI.