Just before you accuse me of being an un-proven and un-tested preacher who, like many of our leaders, would turn to dealers in power giving a chance,let me issue a disclaimer here that I’m not trying to portray a picture of sainthood nor one without his baggage of inadequacies but a call to honest service for a common weal.
This piece is highly necessary given my recent experience discussing with some friends and their perceptions about private/public offices.The prevailing understanding among young Nigerians is that public office is a means to self-service,self-enrichment and self-aggrandizement.I was with a couple of friends who by all standards,were doing relatively better than myself presently.We got to discuss about Nigeria and the latest EFCC trial of fuel subsidy scam suspects.My friends were not hesitant in praising the very people whose actions led us into morass of under-development,poverty and backwardness over years.To them sleaze is smartness.I felt like I was living in another planet especially when one of them advised me”To sit down there”.
It is sad that our realities have been driven into the consciousness of young Nigerians who should be generation of nation-builders, that political appointments are occasions to revel in aggrandizement. Too many occupants of political space are simply out to occupy space. They come armed with no clue, talent or will for making a difference nor solutions to our myriad of challenges(sic).They thrive in Nigeria because the country is an address where ineptitude and mediocrity are often rewarded whilst the truly talented are often disdained,disempowered or disesteemed.In fact, the going precept and practice of the Nigerian state is to reward the most versed, versatile and unconscionable practitioners of the crime arts. The grander the crime committed in Nigeria, the higher the reward.(Apologies to Okey Ndibe)
Let us do analysis of I-go-chop-my-own syndrome and under-development that we experience everyday.First of all,this syndrome is borne out of greed,myopia and narrow-mindedness.It has stifled creativity,innovative minds and entreprenuerial spirits among young Nigerians.It has bred mediocrity,low-spiritedness and low morale.It has killed dreams and strangulated hopes.Most of the entreprenuers doing extremely well in the system are those benefiting from cronyism by virtue of their fathers’,mothers’,godfathers’ connects etc.There’s nothing bad in standing on one’s parents’ shoulders to get business connects that yield profits but when done on the basis of crony capitalism,it tilts wealth towards wrong hands without any value creations to the general well-being of the people.This accounts for official growth rate in GDP that creates next to zero jobs,hence; high rate of unemployment,high crime rate,unimaginative workforce and a host of others.
We should all remember that for every naira stolen wether in private or public office is a naira less for some public/societal needs: a school, a street lightbulb, a road, a library, a museum, a park, a sewer, hospital,food production,research,sporting activities,pension fund,strong security system,etc and if private sector,it’s the erosion of shareholders’ funds for expansions/investments,job creations,tax for government,standard of living,peace,progress and prosperity for the nation at large.Hence,these erosions complicate the existing unemployment problems.For example,the activities of the rogue bankers in the recent past led to job cuts,outright layoff of staff of taken-over banks like oceanic bank,intercontinental bank etc.
The bottomline is that for this nation to grow,we all need a change of mindset.There is enough in the land to satisfy common need but never sufficient to satisfy everyone’s greed.If it’s tatooed in the heart of your heart that you are out to ‘chop-your-own’ when you ‘get there’,as you are ‘chopping’,remember the armed robbers,militant,religious fanatics,tribal herendists,touts,urchins,assassins,prostitutes,avoidable deaths that your selfishness and greed are causing the nation.The bridge that could not be constructed,the homes that could not be built,the rail lines that could not be made available to decongest roads of heavy duty trucks,the drainage that could not be provided to avoid flood,the electric power that could not be provided to transform national economy,the Microsoft,Facebook,Twitter,Google,Internet inventors etc, that you kill.
May God of creation not only direct our noble cause but also guide us right and help us the truth to know.
So help us all O’God.
Please follow on twitter @amdegreat