Productive energy and a culture of chaos!
Oftentimes, we are quick to blame our leaders for issues affecting us collectively forgetting that the leadership of any country is a microcosm of its followership. According to the propaganda minister Goebbels of the German Reich, when a lie is said repeatedly, it begins to look like the truth! Small wonder some lawyers will defend the lie that white is black under oath. Intriguing, how a man will find it difficult to stop for senior citizens, pregnant women and school children to cross the road when driving.
Ludicrous, how a woman will sell her child like some jewelry. Amazing, how some medical doctors who swore to the Hippocratic code will rather save their pockets than save lives. Mind-boggling, how some judgments are delivered under the circumstantial availability of cash. Unthinkable, how some bankers will give loans with hidden charges and a disclaimer. Mendacious, how the power distribution companies, DISCOs are selling supposedly free pre-paid meters belonging to them for N45,000.00 and N70,000.00 to consumers. Inconceivable, how some media organizations, journalists, columnists and bloggers will be readily available to propagate lies for a fee.
Puzzling, how an internet fraudster will have a brighter future than a professor of Information technology. Interesting, how a parishioner will drive out of a church service like a demon-possessed lunatic. Stomach-turning, how some politicians will promise heaven and deliver hell. Disturbing, how some religious leaders are quintessential examples of what they condemn. Jaw-dropping, how a businessman will import sub-standard goods, including drugs because he wants to make quick money fast.
Yet, colonial mentality is when we train our children in subjects other than English Language in English and we expect the very best out of them. Worrisome, how somebody will attend a religious service with the aim of stealing. Incredible, how the ATMs will debit but never credit. Ironical, how telephone service providers will cause disharmony between husband and wife unsanctioned. How can a person wake up every weekdays by 04:00hrs in the morning because he/she needs to be at his/her desk by 08:00hrs only to be back home by 11:00hrs and we expect such a person to be normal? Little wonder a man will drive at 100km/hr on a road designed for 30Km/hr and 30Km/hr on a road designed for 100Km/hr.
To such people, a zebra crossing is just a Tom-Tom advert! Small wonder, some drive like animals, driving one-way, beating traffic lights, impatient, prone to accidents etc. When accidents happen out of crazy attitudes like this, they end up blaming everybody but themselves. It is scenarios like these that makes some people glorify nonsense by lying through their teeth. Our sense of humanity has since taken flight with our sense of reason, objectivity, decency, modesty and decorum so much so that a man will jump queues and see nothing wrong with that.
So mannerless are some that they will join a gathering of people without as much as greeting anybody and will feel comfy about that. Some of our graduates are no longer half-baked but parboiled! They look generally beautiful until they open their mouths! Some believe they can actually be bigger than their environment which is why a man will build a N500M mansion in the midst of squalor, penury and hopelessness and feel secure! Same mindset that will make a man drive a N100M automobile on a road that is best used by Agbegilodo and Bolekaja trucks.
To such people, the day their environment will collapse on them is the day they will know the ‘Hawk is a distant relation of the chick!’ It is purely because of mindsets like this that some will want to gather in 50 hours what it took their parents to gather in 50 years and we wonder how progressively minded we are or will be. How can a leadership from such followership not live in luxury while the followership lives in penury? All of these and so much more makes the country a glorified jungle peopled mostly with characters of questionable sanity. Living otherwise is a revolutionary act of courage that attracts sanctions like assault, self and societal denials etc.
Yet, we are just 180 million people, a country slightly bigger than Texas and California in the United States with just about 14% of India’s population.It is not everyone in Nigeria that shares the kind of mindset described above but such people are a tiny minority of the population. They are everywhere but how fast can a tree make up a forest? It is also clear from the examples above that the biggest problem majority of the population faces is mainly poverty of the mind much more than poverty of the pocket.
Yet, money flows from the head to the pocket and not vice-versa. Mahatma Gandhi, it was, who said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It is time to change our orientation and in so doing, change our environment for the better. We can do something with ourselves, with our families, with what we have at where we are, to make a difference. This is the productive energy Nigeria needs to halt this culture of chaos and make progress!
Kayode Adeoye is an energy analyst from Lagos.