The Nigerian man is a fault finder, he sees the problem of the society as the making of others and tragically looks away from his unfulfilled obligations. Like the ostrich, he always buries his head in aloofness. Everyone is complaining of a bad system including the governing and the governed. Who then is the destroyer and the salvager? All of us want Nigeria to be governed well but we don’t want the rulers to enforce the law. I have witnessed with disgusting relish, the outcry that greeted many attempts at bringing those who tempered with public funds to justice. Tribes rose in unison, religious faithful mobilised in multitudes, politicians deployed massive propaganda tools as they come in ways of the anti-graft agencies who dared to make the alleged abusers of public trust account for their misdeeds. Collectively, these non-state actors provide cover of protection to looters and the nest of corruption is fortified. Ironically, these set of saboteurs are more vociferous in shouting corruption when in real sense, they are the frontline aiders of corruption in Nigeria. A society gets what it desires, the very reason we are where we are as a nation is because of our collective national ethos, which aids the wrongs than it strengthens the rights. As someone opined, “Only Muhammad Buhari understands Nigerians very well.
When they nudged him to behave like GMB, his former self, he knew they were hypocrites, if he did just that, they would turn around to call him names saying, this man is a wicked man too. Nigerians can demand action, whereas their appetite to blame you when you strictly follow the rules is unparalleled. You can’t be full of sentiment in judgement and at the same time demand for brave leadership”. Similarly, a story was told of a village ravaged by the menace of thieves. The people cried and blamed the king to bring forth solutions that would end the reign of the night marauders. The king set out measures and one of the thieves was apprehended. The villagers rolled out drums and celebrated the capture of their cause of nightmare. The thief was staked to a tree as the villagers poured scorn and sand on him. By the time they were returning from their farms, it was already dark and the tormentor was still tied to the tree and all hell let loose! ‘Una wan kill am’, rented the air as the villagers condemned and protested the inhuman treatment of the thief by the king. Yes, they marched to the king’s palace and revolted against the king’s harsh treatment of the thief! This is the lamentable reality of today’s Nigeria, they vilify those who want them extricated from the grip of their oppressors and praise in reverence, their oppressors. The citizens, who ought to be the soldiers behind Nigeria’s President Buhari in his fight against corruption, are the same people denigrating him and labelling his efforts against corruption as selective- as if they expect him to clamp everyone into prison. To fight corruption, you must select from the population which ultimately comprises of those around and afar from the president. A thief has no right to ask that his fellow comrade in stealing should be punished first before he too is made to face the mirror of the law.
In punishing crime, there is no hierarchical order, you atone for your deed the very time the law chooses to call you to reckon. Until every Nigerian citizenry begins to see himself as the government, providing needed leadership at the home level, workplace and even on the street, we are stuck with the same perennial woes of governance. Nothing changes until the mind changes. Lawyers must be guided by the rule of conscience instead of the age-long dictates of rule of law which protects the accused more than it protects the innocents. Doctors must come together, guided by the pledge to save lives by providing the desired leadership in the medical community, the public servants must see their workstations as their homefront, putting in all their best, all stakeholders in the Nigerian project must join hands to do the needful for national development. Greatness can only be achieved by the deliberate sacrifices of all citizens irrespective of class, party, tribes or faith. No single individual can make Nigeria great but all citizens, united by the national ethos of patriotism, discipline and nationalism. No nation grows when everyone is right and no one is wrong.