NIGERIA is not bad but it depends on what we make it be. Nigeria, as a society, is good but the people have turned it to be a bad and decadent one. To rectify this, we have been searching for solutions over the years. All of us need to pay a price for the survival and liberation of our country from evils that plague it. I, however, wonder how we will do it because the truth is far from us.
The situation of our time has become a period of anarchy, lawlessness, oppression at the highest level, a nation where it seems nothing works, a total breakdown of law and order, a country where government picks what court orders to obey and where violence and destruction are on the increase.
The religious centres which should have served as refuge places erred. Nigeria has the largest worship centres in the whole Africa and probably the world. Nigeria produces more religious leaders even than other countries of the world still it is sad to note that the impact of this fact is not adequately felt. Even one religious leaders out of provocation set ablaze some members and attempted to murder the rest. We build mansion as churches; hardly would you find a street without churches all in the name of religion, not to talk of mosques; despite all these, there is no fear of God in our domain. I bet the truth is far from us.
The society as a whole is morally bankrupt. We hardly could say how far this has affected us. We are tending towards an amoral state where we would be no less than animal in behaviour. There is a project being embarked upon by one of the anti-graft agencies tagged, ‘fix Nigeria’ and I ask if we can fix Nigeria. A country so decayed we want to fix; we should start from foundation all over again instead fixing a dilapidated country. After all, the founding fathers are no longer on the podium but the followers are now on stage, those who know the truth and cannot follow it. It appears our leaders lack the courage to rebuild Nigeria because doing so might lead to the collapse of their own personal businesses. The question is, should we fix a decayed Nigeria? You can determine that, but the truth to fix this Nigeria is far from us.
Our institutions, both public and private have been seriously affected. It is righteousness I know that exalts a nation, not tyranny. But in this our system, it is otherwise. Hence, the society is fast sinking in all aspects. The law enforcement agents can no more be trusted. The mayhem inflicted on innocent citizens is innumerable while their corrupt practices are on the increase. Greed is becoming the bane of the corrupt practices in the society today. Everybody wants to become rich without hard-work. Where is the beauty of dignity of labour? There is more emphasis on acquisition of wealth than the gains of righteousness and truthfulness. No wonder there is oppression, violence and social vices in our land.
The lifestyles of our leaders and the people in government with various degrees of corruption have not sufficiently convinced the general populace and the world body. Government officials keep foreign accounts; money laundering is their state business. Legislators engage in bribery and corruption to impeach people, pass repressive laws and approve illegal contracts. Agencies empowered to conduct elections can disqualify candidates overnight knowing full well that it lacks the power to do so. I am not blaming anybody but I believe it is because the truth is far from us.
If the truth is not far from us, how can we have power failure for months, how can the citizens not enjoy the basic amenities or how can we ride on bad roads? The state of the nation is so bad that it is hard to believe it. If our leaders can stop corruption then the youths can stop cultism and violence. If our police can stop extortion then our young people can stop malpractices. If the government of the day can conduct a free, fair and credible election then we can have solid, strong, and stable foundation for social, political and economic developments and advancements.
But in Nigeria, our leaders do not have the strong mind and willing heart to move the nation from where it is today. Zig Ziglar once said, “Failure to stand for what is morally right is the prelude to being the victim of what is criminally wrong”. If this is ours today, I am afraid of our tomorrow. Let us seek the truth and sell it not.
First published in January 2007 by Peter Adeleye, National Coordinator, African Centre for Citizens Orientation