AS REVOLUTIONARY ANXIETY GRIPS AFRICA, NIGERIAN DIVERSE MASSES MUST REACT WITH SUPPORTIVE AND PEACEFUL EXPRESSIONS
As peaceful uprising fills the air of Africa, the days and weeks ahead could pose questions for other near and far countries in the continent, and underneath the turmoil are traces of corruption, unemployment, underemployment, brutality, dangerousness and lawlessness. These painful factors remain realistic and vivid in the hearts of ordinary Nigerians, and these are tests for the power-that-be, who find themselves constantly being suspicious of each other, cruel to each other, killing each other, bribing each other, mis-educating each other, lying to each other and pilfering from each other.
These daunting and never-ending forces and pressures on the people have in the last decade created gross societal and institutional neglect as evidenced in squandered treasury, deadly roads, school mismanagement, oil exploitation, inadequate healthcare, rampant violence, electric supply instability, poor policing, and other misguided institutions. Nigeria has become a country where accountability, transparency, objectivity and high standards in governmental and private practices are almost void, and leadership is defined in fragility due to being accountable mainly to godfathers/godmothers rather to the people.
These signs of institutional tensions should bring the people together in spite of their regional, socio-economic, ethnic and religious differences, and help create a peaceful uprising, protest and revolution. It now appears that the people have in the process internalized these leadership problems and tensions, and as a consequence are turning against each other, resulting in peculiar or abnormal practices as in kidnapping, religious violence, family brutality, cult slaying, ethnic strain, cash laundering, and general insecurities.
The painful and recent history of poor law and order, and the shaky political/economic insecurity, which mainly threatens the lives of ordinary Nigerians, the students, market women and struggling workers especially, makes it proper for a revolution which must be constructive and peaceful with a focus on provoking positive change. The Nigerian people are known for just wanting to live their lives, and as we all know rallies, protests and outcry for social justice have not traditionally been a part of their collective or individual psyche. So the desire to spontaneously express and peacefully lash out against spoiled Nigerian leadership will not be easy to reveal itself. But what is clear is that the signs to anticipate popular outcry for change appears to around the corner, and as the April elections draw near the people will be justified to demand for their right and freedom through a participatory, responsive and God-fearing democracy.
A national unity among demonstrators will have more power if good-faith Nigerians in the diaspora, in America particularly, tell those at home that help is on the way, and actually go home, and present a show of collective force against leadership who need to be held to higher standards. As we all know April, May, and June are fast coming and the world is watching as to when change will be in the air in Nigeria!
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D, DABPS, FACFE, is a Forensic/Clinical Psychologist and an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Science, North Campus, Broward College, Coconut Creek, Florida. [email protected]