By Jesupemi Are On 28 June 2020.
Nigeria like every country has its fair share of problems. If you were to ask a few random Nigerian citizens on the streets what they thought Nigeria’s problem is, I bet ninety percent would probably say it’s our leaders. We as Nigerians are quick to throw the blame of all our country’s shortcomings on our leaders, without actually realising that most of us are a part of the problem.
We have come to normalise certain lifestyles and fail to see how wrong and problematic they are. Our leaders should be blamed for many issues we have in Nigeria, but if you are guilty of these things, you have no right to put all the blame on our leaders as you are a huge part of the problem.
You Still Dey Trowey Dirty for Ground (You Still Litter)
I’m sure at one point or the other, you have talked about how dirty the streets are, comparing it to countries abroad with neat and tidy streets. Who do you think made the streets so dirty? The leaders? The ratio of leaders to citizens is pretty low, so there is absolutely no way the leaders put all that dirt there. You finish drinking from a sachet of water; you throw it on the ground. You finish eating snacks; you throw the wrapper on the ground. It has become a habit and it doesn’t occur to most people anymore that littering is wrong. And you still wonder why our streets are so dirty? Now, you might want to argue that there are not enough bins on the streets; a simple solution to this is to hold on to whatever you want to dispose of till you find a waste bin. Your hand will not rot away if you do so.
This popular photo shows a policeman collecting bribe. | Photo Twitter
You Give and Take Bribes
Sadly, we have come to see and even expect our leaders to be corrupt, but this corruption also dwells greatly among us the citizens. Giving and taking of bribes has shockingly become one of the most normalised wrongdoings in this country. We have come to expect to be asked for “small something” or even offer it before we are asked, just to get what we want. Teenagers are not left out as some bribe their way in and out of school premises. There is no doubt that there will always be some official who asks for a bribe to perform a duty that should normally be free of charge, but what then do you say when the citizens themselves quickly offer bribe without being asked? Before you call the leaders corrupt, ask yourself this: Are You Corrupt?
You Are A Tribalist
It is quite easy to deny being a tribalist, after all, you are friends with people of other tribes, right? This is until you properly examine yourself and realise that sadly, you are a tribalist.
If you believe in and spread negative stereotypes about other tribes,
consider Nigerians of a different tribe as inferior,
blame some of the country’s problems on another tribe,
wrongfully favour someone over others just because they are of the same tribe as you are,
swear that you and your family members cannot marry from a particular tribe,
I hate to break it to you but you are a tribalist. It doesn’t take fighting and killing those of other tribes to become a tribalist, it is as simple as attaching negative stereotypes to them. It is very wrong to dislike a person for something they had absolutely no control over.
You Condemn All Things Nigerian
We all know Nigeria isn’t where it should be, but this is no reason to condemn all things Nigerian. From Nigerian made goods to even Nigerian languages, we are quick to label all things foreign as superior. This is one reason why the knowledge of Nigerian languages amongst Nigerians seems to be dwindling. If you refuse to speak your Nigerian language or even forbid your kids from doing so, you are a part of Nigeria’s problem. If you choose to condemn all “made in Nigeria goods” without trying them, you are a part of the problem. How can a country progress when its citizens do nothing but condemn it?
More Examples on Simple Interest
You Do Not Vote
If you do not vote and a bad leader gets elected into power, you have no right to complain since you did not do your part. It is widely believed in Nigeria that your votes do not count but it definitely will not if you don’t vote at all. Sitting at home to complain won’t put good leaders in power, but going out to vote can. As bad and corrupt as the country may be, we must play our part as citizens. There is really nothing to lose by voting but a possibility of something to gain if you do, so why not vote? If you still choose not to vote just because you don’t want to, again, you are part of Nigeria’s problem.