Biafra and the conflict of rationality II
One of the surprises I have met in recent times is the fact that over 500 youths would on a week day move in such number to build human fence around the house of a man. Some of these youths might be literates by virtue of formal schooling, some might have jobs, while some might be in the illiterate-no work category. Regardless of whatsoever category they fall, the fact that over 500 youths would on a week day that is not a public holiday move in mass to create protective walls around the house of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu should be of so much concern for Nigeria, particularly its education sector. It is no longer news that education in Nigeria has been a sore experience. Yes, Nigeria’s literacy rate has been on the increase but its quality of education tends to be in gross doubts. I say this because, it is not possible for a citizen let alone 500 citizens to be cowed into death in the hope of exchanging their lives for a man whose descriptions have been made in celestial fashion. Edwin Markham in his poem “making the man” said, “in vain we build the city if we don’t first build the man”. It is a pity that the poor analytical mindsets displayed by these youths go a long way in saying that Nigeria has failed in building the man.
To buttress the above, I believe a bit of historical comparison should help us here. In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville travelled to America to understand why the nation was excellently competing with then European powers. Tocqueville’s findings revealed that the thorough public education system of America was the secret. America’s education system was so revered that one who successfully completed “grade 2” was already literate enough to hold a public office. Pathetically, here in Nigeria, we have successfully made those who go through our schools “educated illiterates” and we keep churning them out annually. Tell me, how can such persons be independent minded via developing abilities to think for themselves and at least understand when a cause isn’t worth dying prematurely? How can such persons build the country we hope to dwell? Why won’t such persons be bitter with gall of ethnicity and varying chauvinisms? It is sad to accept the truth that Nigeria’s education is valueless in national morality, culture of innovativeness and self-independence. To say the least is that those in power wish the masses a pedagogy of the oppressed (a kind of education that keeps them in perpetual servitude). This gap is what Nnamdi Kanu exploited just like every other ‘Roman Brutus’ we shamefully hold in high esteem as leaders of this country.
I have long before now asserted that we have a problem that have marred the productivity of those who lead us. I keep saying, “it is an error that one who was educated to be a clerk turns out to be a president”. A clerk only learns how to obey powers that be and still suffers the disadvantages of not astutely thinking for himself. When this clerk finally becomes President of a nation, what difference does it make, especially when such a person has blatantly refused to learn further outside the walls of clerkship? Every right thinking human who is not an ‘oh yes clerk’ should know that when things are not shared fairly among people contempt and conflicts would definitely be imminent. It is worrisome that a country with 6 geo-political zones and over 250 tribes would have its President who should act in a father capacity, would use his position to foster hatred among his children due to inequitable distribution of resources and opportunities. One who had an education meant for leaders and certainly not for clerks should understand this simple logic. President Buhari might have refused learning but I wish that he learns and finally moves away from acting like a clerk answerable to some cabal like figures who have no iota of national morality in them. Courtesy of recent governing enterprise in Nigeria, it is very sad that scholars are now trying to understudy and conceptualize a new term in Nigerian politics called – “nothernization”. While I choose to refrain from x-raying details of the obvious meanings of the introduced concept, I must however not fail to state that Mr. President has put a knife on the things that hold us together. The bitter truth is, the to-be-born-Nigerian wishes not to be born now into an atmosphere of hate and chauvinism courtesy of Mr. President’s 97% and 5% dichotomy. It is much more a pain that Mr. President’s folks in cabinet and of same ethnic origin have refused to make Mr. President understand that he needs not keep acting like a clerk but a leader with national morality and impeccable value for Federal Character. Therefore, while we seek to entrench quality education as a protective tool against campaigns of calumny and aspersions, those who hold power must imbibe strict national morality in building on the gains of making a quality man in a quality city.
In furtherance, should it not be argued that our army given their enterprise in the “operation python dance” have made obvious that they are clerks with guns? In saner nations, army personnel when provoked by civilian populace disperse them with substances that do not occasion dead casualties. In some cases, they shoot using ‘rubber bullets’. They display more love than hate and are ready to give in their lives for the people they protect to live. Let’s not go so far. Sometime this year, an army officer in Ghana was mobbed and killed. It was discovered that he had a gun but he refused pulling the trigger, either in the air or at anyone. He was finally killed by fellows whose education were that of the “oh yes clerk” [you can’t build a nation with such kind of people]. Why would such sanity displayed by a Ghanaian military officer even at death point elude our own military in Nigeria? The imbecility of education at that level is the terrorism tag placed on IPOB and the counter-statement made when it was discovered that due process was not followed. Are we now going to say that we should be recolonized or re-educated, since our education has apparently amounted to nothing evident in all shades of our leadership enterprises? I will stop here for now and make my humble submission to be – “half-baked education makes the people vulnerable and deplores both the city and those that dwell therein”.
Thinkers corner: If being human is being born, then all animals would be humans. Being human is a responsibility to be a mirror through which the next human would gladly appreciate the reflected image.
Thank you and God bless you.
About the author: Agwu, Prince Chiemeka is an academic staff with the Department of Social Work, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has his specialty in social policy and migration studies. He is the founder of The Rhetorics Consult, a firm reputed for value reorientation and communication consultancy. He is a radical social worker, researcher, public speaker and social commentator.