Three things are certain in life: rain, tax, and Nigerians bashing their government for glaring ineptitude. Small pockets of conversations, large gatherings, a night out with friends, and commuter small talks have lamentations of irresponsibility on government’s path as a core feature. And this discontent that gives rise to criticism is valid. There’s no reconciling the abundance mother nature bestowed on Nigeria with her dismal socio-economic state.
Therefore, I agree with every knock citizens choose to land on the handlers of Nigeria, however, I was hoping we’d do things a little differently. And by this I mean paying a little less focus on government and looking at how we can improve in our own little corner of the world.
I have always maintained that the bigger problem we have as a people is how we treat one another and not how the government treats us. It’s easy: even though the government was elected to serve, in this part of the world, things work differently. The electorate is the subservient one. Government officials are high up there while the rest of us ever the same people who should be answerable to us; an anomaly by every standard.
Since we have people who do not care in power, it suggests that the masses have only themselves to lean on, however, what happens is that the common man, instead of showing empathy for his brother, opts to take out the aggression of a barely-working country on him. Customer service providers who act as though the customer is a burden with their lackadaisical attitude, fuel station attendants who consider themselves demigods and make the process of buying premium motor spirit cumbersome or demand a bribe before doing what they are paid to do, and the unthinking irate mob who would rather set aflame a petty thief than allow the course of justice to run come to mind.
Okay, the country is bad. There are no jobs. COVID-19 is on its second onslaught. Electricity tariffs continue to rise. The ones who should be inspiring hope are either clueless or lassez-faire about what to do. It can be likened to a situation where parents have abandoned their children.
In that kind of situation, what’s the option for the kids who have been left directionless? I would think the first thing that should come to mind is how they need to band together, draw support from each other to take on their challenges. It’s what makes sense!
However, what we find sometimes is that these children who should now be best friends and allies turn their backs on each other, becoming rivals instead. Many times, this is what obtains in our society.
When transporters increase bus fares by 300% just because it’s Christmas, and a landlord does the same because he is bent on recouping the funds expended in building his house in the shortest possible time, and traders sell old stock at cutthroat rates as soon as there’s a slight increase in fuel price, it’s an indication that we are no different from the leaders we are quick to criticise and castigate.
The hate on social media…relentless trolls and backbiting and callouts aren’t a thing because Buhari isn’t doing what he is supposed to do. They are products of an evil mind.
The year isn’t even a week old yet and we have seen individuals divulge intimate details of mutual relationships to embarrass their erstwhile partner. Blogs continue to breach the fine line between “catching cruise” and toying with the reputation of people, and I ask again, how is that the fault of the government?
And so before we go deep into the usual sing-song of leaders being the beginning and end of our woes, the new year is a good time to look within and address those areas where we are our own problem.
When you face oncoming vehicles on a lane that isn’t yours, the problem is you and not Babajide Sanwoolu. That time you sold a counterfeit product to a consumer and refused to give them a refund or you scammed unsuspecting investors in your “network marketing” scheme, you were the terrible person. It had nothing to do with your local government chairman or representative in the senate.
Do yourself a favour this year, ignore the government for a bit and see aspects you can improve in your conduct and relations with others.