After Hundred Years, Can We Not Live As One?, By Saddiq M Dzukogi
The centenary came and passed with groans and resentments of futile leadership that has characterized Nigeria during its first hundred years, whether it was true that the Nigerian institute as built by the British was just for the colonialists gains, I don’t know, but what is deep-seated is that they have come and gone, and we are still unable to make that big leap. It is worthy of note and arguable that we have even destroyed the prudently superior institute left by the colonialists. We all have a share of the blame, because since the pillars started crumbling as far back as the 60s the followership has completely ignored its civic responsibility to demand a true leadership.
The educated lots share the greater weight of this blame amongst themselves.
My Mentor once told me that the leadership of this country has been freed to our second eleven, and now they play us around obliquely.
Nonetheless, I am calling on intellectuals alike from their room, libraries, and classrooms and beyond the superficial walls of the University community, to rise above regional and religious sentiments, to unite in one voice that will smash to smithereens, the folly of the elitists, who have used religion as a powerful tool of disintegrating our voices.
Religion as far as Nigeria is concern has stood in our way to development, because the clergy portion of the population is jazzing to the drums of the elitists and brainwashing us with what is not religious convictions.
I think it is time to bring these walls into rubbles.
Away from the folly of religious wag wash, I intend to focus on how the centenary was celebrated within the ABU campus. Well, it wasn’t celebrated! Yes, how such an important event could just pass unobserved, less attention was paid to it as you would of a walking man’s shadow. It wasn’t surprising as students on campus were having a mouthful of the CBN-Presidency-NNPC saga. And discourse raged from fast food joints and recreation centers.
Sentiments ran implicitly from the lips of religious, regional worshipers. I overhead a student cynically insinuating that he will quit journalism: “I want to work in the NNPC, so that billions will go missing inside my box”. Well, centenary is still the issue here, but this type of statements be it a joke or not, frightens one, it gives the perception of how the new students think, and that, what is happening up there has a direct influence on their psychological make-up. This indeed is a scary circumstance and the wrong footing for any country that seeks development. The Universities are where thinkers and leaders are made. They might be taught within the walls of the class room what makes a good leader, but the best teacher is the practical example shown by our public officers; looters who have mastered the art of ‘lootocracy’.
Still on the centenary, I found many who were not aware of the event, many who didn’t know what it was about. Someone even opined that it hasn’t been hundred years since independence. But Creative Writers Club afforded me the rare privilege, during its weekly Thursday workshops which coincided with the centenary celebration. The Topic for an hour of intellectual discourse was based on the celebration, “Nigerian democracy; is colonial heritage worth celebrating?” It was an interesting atmosphere whereby the school’s intellectually inclined students engaged themselves in a scuffle of intellect, to make superior arguments on the issue of the centenary celebrations and how far Nigeria as a country has gone. The air around the house was that it was worth remembering, but celebrating it in the manner which the Federal Government did, was not only a waste of resources but at worst shows a lack of sensibility of our government, giving that the centenary coincided with the increased tempo in the BH insurgency and the Yobe killings. It was the Yobe killings that drew more sentiments as majority suggested that in a country whereby its leaders have the masses at heart, any life lost to the carnage of terrorism must be acknowledge or be commemorated by the one who is saddle with the security of the Nation as its chief security officer. In cases of that magnitude, a visit by the President is expected to commensurate with the bereaved families.
The leadership is at fault, as much as the followership. The leaders we choose are chosen from within us, and even by random selection, for us not to have been fortunate to pick one who will make us proud, shows the rot in the core of the society, this society needs cleansing, and reorientation. Illicit activities are fast proving to be societal norms. Vices like corruption and ethnical bigotry are stitched to the fabric of our consciousness, reducing us to myopic lots that fail to see reasons that are beyond our sentiments. Yes, they are bad for us, the leaders, but we are also bad for them, and most importantly, bad for ourselves. We let them be what they are, while we grumble in reclusiveness, the pillars holding our dear country continue to crumble at an alarming speed and consistency.
Can we not be one, equal in our struggle for nationhood that is devoid of sentiment and bigotry? Can you not join with your country man to fight against your kinsman, that is corrupt and looting the country dry? Can you not cease to hide the shame of your brother and let him stand to face the consequence of his actions, so that the society shall be free from the shackles of ethnicity?
We clamour for change yet we haven’t changed a thing that is bad about us. I am not a good man to myself, how then can I be a good man to the society. You’re a bad woman to your husband, a bad mother to your children, how then can you expect the society to be a good home to you.
You are a selfish brother, a bad element of the family, how then do you expect your blood line to assemble behind you, in support, when your legs are frail and failing. You abuse the leaders; call them names, while you also abuse the privilege of your small office somewhere in your community. You scream and wail at how badly the man at the helm is at managing the affairs of the country, while you too have failed your family even though your job can provide for you and them. But you have chosen to feed someone else, the beautiful lady who out forms your lady in bed and you spray on her the sweat of your labour in a misguided and illicit orgasm, promise her that your family shall no longer feed alongside her from your wallet.
Let’s be better people then we would have the decency and right to demand a good leadership. Unpatriotic citizens have no right to good leadership, yes you can yell at me now!
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