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Nigerians : the problem with Nigerians

It is no longer news that the entity called Nigeria is tilting towards extinction, no thanks to the perpetual plethora of problems plaguing all sectors of the economy. It is normal for people to complain, even when there is no justification for it. It is not a surprise that Nigerians are continually insatiable. Are we not tired of our unending vilification of our leaders? Have our destructive and constructive criticisms of our leaders yielded any positive result? Most of these critics throw stones, even though they live in glass houses. Are we not fed up with sycophancy?

A good society produces a good leader. How do we expect to have it rosy in the leadership of this country, when in our day to day lives we exhibit worse traits than our leaders?  Most of the federal roads in the south east are death traps, even when billons of naira have been ploughed into them. Who are these people who have siphoned the funds meant for these roads? Are they not south easterners? What have we done about it? Nothing, except to prostrate before these criminals asking for alms. If we cannot hold our Local Government Chairmen, lawmakers and governors accountable, why are we so quick to point fingers at the top?

When I visit Bayelsa State, I wept. Not that I had expected to see a London or a Dubai. The sorry sorry state of infrastructure there, made me imagine if the state was actually a crude oil producing state or palm oil producing state? I make bold today that if the Niger Delta leaders do what is required of them, the inneficiency of the federal government will be felt less.

In the midst of the fall in oil price, government officials, despite inability to pay the usual peanuts called salary to workers or undertake critical developmental projects, still stash away billions of naira in foreign accounts.

The problem of Nigeria is Nigerians. We have the type of leadership we deserve. When a class prefect pilfers money meant for condolence visits, or traders dupe unsuspecting customers (despite the normal prayers before sales in every market), or a clergyman channels the resources( supposedly meant for God)  to his personal use, to mention but a few, what moral right do we have to criticize those at the top? When given the opportunity to rule, you could do worse!

A typical Nigerian (except a negligible percentage)  does not wish his neighbor well. When I read stories of secession by certain parts of the country, I laugh. You want to pull out of Nigeria, but you have not even put your house  in order. You want to secede but you kill one another, betray, hate, dupe, cheat yourselves. What a joke. I  am not saying that the developed countries are better off morally, but you will observe that their citizens have a common goal.. .the good of the country.

I don't want to sound pessimistic, but I have to be realistic. Everyone wants change, but no one wants to change! That Nigerians are suffering today is not because of the fall in oil price. Even if oil sells for one trillion naira per barrel, it will only increase corruption, and countries like Switzerland will become richer when billons of dollars start breezing in.

We are not yet serious with ourselves. We are not yet ready for a positive change .  We want a miracle, but we have refused to make our environment enabling enough for it. We should stop complaining and get busy.  The change we crave for, must start from the grassroots. As far as we keep living the type of life we are living, we will keep experiencing even worse scenarios.  True change comes only when attitudinal change is done. It starts from the family .

Anagbogu Chukwudi


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