Patrick!Point-Blank! P!PB!: Nigeria(ns) In General
Even in writing this piece, I must have spent several hours rewriting or deleting out of either dissatisfaction at the choice of words used or as a result of having not properly said my mind. The truth is, to describe Nigeria and Nigerians in general, one can’t be too careful as regards what words to use or what expressions to employ. The situation is one of utter confusion and sheer uncertainty.
I ran into a lady in the elevator and I asked her “please, are you going down?” to my total amazement, I got the most unprecedented reply of my entire life time, she told me bluntly “God forbid, I will never go down, I’m going to the bottom floor of the building”. I couldn’t help laughing, immediately she flashed me a stern look that killed the laughter instantly. I can imagine the disgust on her face when she attempts to relate the incidence to her fellow religious fanatic or colleague. Equally, it got me thinking, this is the extent to which the average Nigerian has become conscious of what comes out of their mouth, thanks to the Pastors and other religious heads that have spared nothing in teaching their followers the power of the tongue. At this point I dare ask, is this actually what we need? Is this the attitude we must cultivate to excel and have better standard of living as Nigerians?
Though true, what we confess does matter a lot but what if I told you that positive confession alone doesn’t fix things, what if I told you that a matching positive attitude and sense of responsibility does more. If for anything, what I see is a Nigeria that has become a religiously misguided set, we are so religiously oriented that when compared to other parts of the world, Nigeria should be considered a center for various religious pilgrimages for the wider world.
Nigerians in my opinion are the most unpredictable people, I am not even sure unpredictable is the word that best qualifies us, I will let you in on my thoughts and subsequently allow you pleasure of sorting out the right word to describe us.
In church on Sunday, we pray on top of our voices, practically screaming at God for success, uncommon favour, undeserved glory, money, money, money, the kind of grammar used to qualify what they want will definitely stop you in your tracks be you a mere passerby, been quite a long time since I heard any sermon about holiness and heaven. These people want everything, the best cars, cloths, jewelries, houses, luxury lifestyles at any cost. They decree with faith things that might take decades to accomplish legitimately and they want it in a rush too, now that’s the problem.
Church is over, it’s Monday morning, everyone is dressed for their hustle, marketers for banks, insurance companies, ladies precisely, dressed provocatively, going in for the kill, prepared to do whatever it takes to get accounts and policies, slip into bed with whoever necessary to beat their target, brothers defraud their companies and pay huge tithes, managers employ church members ahead of better qualified non members. They ignore others on the queue and attend to church members during banking exercise for example the bank verification number exercise among many others. Outside the religious circle, the regular Nigerian is always very loud and easily heard complaining about societal ills and government failures to perform their duties judiciously they say the government is corrupt, undisciplined, blah, blah, blah, but at the slightest opportunity, the same Nigerian full of self righteousness, won’t hesitate to jump queue at the filling station for fuel, will sit and drink countless bottles of beer at a bar located right on government designated pedestrian walkways and flower beds, same person can’t take the trouble to go turn at the appropriate round about, rather they follow one way gbam! Same person will pay for special centers for their children’s exam, settle lecturers, some even are the ones at the receiving end of such bribes. Some get jobs with fake certificates, pastors pray on parcels of illicit drugs so they can pass through custom, immigration and NDLEA checkpoints unhindered, they anoint known corrupt politicians and assure them of victory at the polls, using phrases like “God uses instruments of the devil to achieve good” to justify their deeds. Haba! I tire o.
Let’s go down to the younger generation, they have no educational challenge or urge anymore, they are all opting for careers as street dancers, musicians, comedians, and worse still the girls see prostitution as the most lucrative alternative ever. Intellect has been relegated to the status of boring while stupidity has become the new cool. Everywhere you turn, it’s a show of absolute shame, the budding generation is gradually turning into nothing but a bunch of nil witted zombies, living the madness they see in music videos. This is not to say their totality belong to this pool of fools, but a great majority of them really have little or no dream or ambition beyond clubbing, riding luxury cars, whoreing and day dreaming about superstar lifestyles.
To be candid, so many things are going wrong in the society and everyone seem to only notice what the government of the day has failed to do, not stopping for a minute to identify what we can do as individuals, we only stop to condemn and blame government for all that is going wrong. Yes! Government does have a huge role to play, but we seem to be forgetting that those in government cultivated their habits as ordinary citizens growing up in this otherwise lost society, they can’t give what they don’t have. So as people, we need to stop to check ourselves first rather than run to God screaming for things we need to fit into this class crazed society, we should begin to consider how to start raising our standards right from our homes.