We are where we are as a nation because of who we are as a people; or better still, what we have allowed ourselves to become!
A casual glance at the attitude of a “typical” Nigerian seems to give credence to the saying that “a people deserve the type of leaders they have.”
Yes, we may want to argue for and against the above notion. A short piece by an unknown writer with the title: Nigeria; A COMPLEX NATION WITH MEDIOCRITY TRICKLING ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE GRASSROOTS” gives a clear picture of the matter.
Just take a look at his narrative below and draw your conclusions.
“I tell you this, we have the kind of government we deserve. The government we have is a true representation of who we are as a people collectively. So before you further criticize this and that leader, check out these factors:
– Setup a personal business, employ regular people including your siblings. If you don’t pay aggressive attention and be brutal, they’ll run you down – _ it’s the government’s fault_
– Let the government release funds to build hospitals: our sisters, brothers and parents will loot the funds as it goes all the way down to execution. Let the facilities be built, we will run it down with mediocrity; maximum profit, little efforts, lame unqualified workers. No excellence – It’s the government’s fault.
– Build anything and we’ll run it down because the funds meant for maintenance will be looted – It’s the government’s fault.
– Build state of the art toilets for public use, pay people to maintain it, ‘bros’ give it time. You’d be sorry when you come back some months later – It’s the government’s fault.
– You use public toilets like a pig, spit and pee on the floor, mess up the whole place, leave it dirtier than you met it. It’s the government’s fault na.
– You are employed in an office, how do you execute your duties? You are paid but spend the time browsing the internet and social media. Your boss gives you a job to do – “It’s good enough joo, I can’t come and kill myself”. – It’s the government’s fault.
– Give a job to an artisan, pay him/her well. You’d be sorry at what they’ll deliver; talk about “bros, it’s ok now” – It’s the government’s fault.
– You steal public funds and go buy houses, etc – It’s the government’s fault na.
– You are paid a salary or got funds released to you to execute a project and you deliver lame substandard jobs – It’s the government’s fault.
– Get appointed to head an establishment and you decide to introduce excellence, determined to hold everyone accountable. They’ll hate you, go to places of worship and ask God to kill you the enemy at work, connive and have you removed or killed in some extreme cases – It’s the government’s fault too.
– You use the office data for YouTube and social media, watching and downloading movies, waiting for closing time and then end of the month expecting a salary – It’s the government’s fault.
– When was the last time we had someone like Dora Akunyili in a public office? – It’s the government’s fault na.”
Despite the currency of these attitudes amongst us, when we talk about national transformation, we tend to focus on the government and those at the top.
Socrates, the great philosopher once said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”
For our talk and work for a New and Better Nigeria to work, we need to first and foremost take some time to critically examine our attitudes and make necessary adjustments in line with the vision of the new country we desperately want to see.
Dearest friends and citizens of our great country, this simple act of introspection and personnel adjustment, is the first sign of our readiness and willingness for the task at hand. And brushing the points raised above aside too quickly and moving to something else is a clear indication that we are still not ready to do things differently.
So, where do we go from here?
Image from: borderlessnewsandviews website