When you know what to do but decides to do otherwise, you are using your hands to undermind yourself. When you think you have no business protecting a common heritage because it belongs to the public, the day you lose it becomes a great regret that you wished it never happened.
The culture of self discipline and self jealousy is very important for an individual well being as a people. No nation, no people ever develops beyond the level of their discipline. There are two sides to discipline: self control and obedience to laws and constituted authorities. We keep talking everyday about how our systems have deteriorated and how bad the situation has manifested, but yet no action on our part to address it. A nation’s civility and exposure is measured by how much obedience to the rule of law. It is not because we are too many that is making it difficult to control our and obey the rules. Many examples abound of nation’s that are large or small in number but very disciplined.
Most nations teach their children from the elementary level the act of discipline and obedience to law the consequences of same and the grow up with them. That’s why you see democracy very strong is some countries while its very weak in other places. Developed nations have in place,laid down rules of democratic engagement and are so religiously observed that the institutions of governance are automatically activated to play their roles of monitoring, evaluation and implementation. Every institution has its strong rules and those who administer these institutions only guide the implementation.
As i said last week, the Holy books of God teaches us many good things about life and how to live it to the fullest. There’s no aspect of human endeavour that is not covered by the provisions of both the Bible and the Koran. Both the holy books are so rich in content that if we can obey it just a little, things would go well and the level of impunity will not be this much. When things are done rightly, even the doer himself or herself is at peace. The culture of impunity and disdain for rules and regulations in our society today is so alarming that one can only imagine what benefits people get when they wilfully and intentionally violates the law.
The rules are a symbol of civilisation and maturity that tells that people have come of age and character and can rely on themselves for their own personal good ,progress and development. In Nigeria today, even the devil bows to some people because of their skills in creating offence and the act of sin. There are offences that the devil himself may not have contemplated but human beings are doing them,and yet always end up blaming the same innocent devil after being caught.
Today’s column is another wake up call to everyone in the country, both leaders and followers to renew their minds and get things work again in this country. All of us are guilty of one thing or the other at different levels and yet we continue to blame each other for the way the country is going. The leaders are being accused of many things while in the true sense of it, most of the issues are provoked by the followers. We keep a circle of life that goes and comes around us. Yesterday while I was observing a traffic rule in Abuja, a road safety official in a same vehicle with a policeman violated the traffic regulation. I pursued them hotly and caught up with them and asked why they( in uniform) would do that and expect others to comply. While they tried to move I blocked and mobilised people against them. When they saw that the gathering crowd would not bow, they apologised and we freed them. But be sure that if they had guns with them, they won’t have apologised and we won’t probably have pursued them because of fear of both the known and the unknown.
Both the Bible and the Koran made it clear that righteousness exalts a nation and sin is a reproach. Sin is equivalent to impunity.We have thousands of churches and mosques located strategically in every nook and cranny of the country and there is no time that prayers are not being conducted in such places every hour and minute, but yet,we are lawless. Our actions don’t reflect the godliness we profess with our mouths. It is not translated to much action. If not that God’s mercies and kindness are unending, it can only but be imagined what would have happened and how the nation would have looked like.
If we say it’s because of our large population that is making it difficult to obey the rules and obey God, that would be most laziest an excuse for consideration. This is because there are many nations that are more than us in population and yet very orderly, peaceful and developed. Our level of lawlessness and disobedience is second to none in the world. It is not an exaggeration to say that even the devil is scared of our level. Someone was jokingly but graphically demonstrating how the devil shouted when he heard that a Nigerian minister spent #139b to paint an aeroplane. The devil was like, “ whaaaaat? Even me sef I never think of this. This one too much na. I do my own small small with sense but these people no fear God at all. They go do this and later accuse me( devil) of instigating them. This one I no know oh. I no get hand for this at all”.
Remember the two cases of the snake and the monkey swallowing money? The devil was said to have also raised alarm when the JAMB account official said a snake had swallowed some hundreds of millions and monkeys have eaten some other millions contributions at the national assembly.
Another person gave this story.” Satan was seen crying one day, seriously crying and in tears and when he was asked what happened he said. “I know I am Satan and is guilty of doing many evil things but not all evils are committed by me. My pain is that even what I don’t do is ascribed to me and its deliberately been done by those who claim to know God.There are many things I don’t know anything about but yet being accused and that’s why am crying. Please tell your people to stop tarnishing my reputation”. The devil said, “There are offences I can never do not because I don’t like doing them, but because there are many others doing them on my behalf so no need to duplicate them”.
These jokes are too deep to be laughed over and ignored. It tells of the level of rot, moral and spiritual deteoriation that is on ground. It tells of the danger that is sweeping our society on account of impunity. It also tells of what huge and costly moral and spiritual consequences to expect if we allow these to continue unabated.
Impunity stops when people know that there will be severe consequences for their actions. The main problem of our nation is lack of leadership. Leadership is one thing and the absence of it is its complete opposite. Where leadership fails to enforce compliance to rules for any reason, a whole structure or organisation or community collapses. If we must move forward and progress as a nation, we must refrain from the culture of impunity, lawlessness and disorderliness. We must individually and as families and groups seeks to discipline ourselves and teach our children the best way to go. We must demonstrate our civility by adhering to rules and due process in doing things. If you break one small law and go unpunished, you will break a bigger one too. We don’t have to do it for fear of punishment, but because it is the rightful thing to be done. Being law abiding is what promotes a society. The United States of America is today the most Liberal and free society, but its the nation with the strongest law system where impunity is not condoned. No matter who you are and how big you may be, once you break the law, the due process of redress must take its course. It has the biggest prison and the most organised administrative judicial system. That means that the liberty and freedom guaranteed by the constitution is monitored closely and diligently to avoid abuse.
As a people, we must cherish our progress if we must develop and catch up with the rest of the world. If we think we can cope with this escalating rate of impunity, we are deceiving ourselves. God forbid, it can get to an uncontrolled level where dog will be eating dog. Once morality is removed in human beings, the beast in them manifests so freelyl. We should not see our individual efforts at promoting the rule of law as too small or little to make an impact, neither should we see it as a waste. If all of us do our best to respect and obey the law, we will be shocked and surprise to see the gains. Many Nigerians who travelled abroad find it so easy to obey the laws of their hosts and even make reference to them,but back home they cannot do same. Who do this to us,why are we like this? Godliness is of the mind and action and not of the head and mouth. We must obey our rules to make God Almighty happy and to bring peace and prosperity to our nation.