I think Nigeria’s major problem is lack of electricity, no! I think Nigeria’s foremost problem is the absence of good roads in the country, after all what use is it to manufacture goods if you cannot transport it? Better yet, methinks Nigeria’s problem is inclusive of epileptic power supply, bad roads and poor infrastructure; all of which could be solved if the greater part of the masses were educated. Hence illiteracy is our major problem.
But then, if lack of education is our major problem, how do we solve it when universities and other academes are constantly being eroded by the bane of corruption that keeps the leaders from providing the funds required to revamp the educational sector. I change my mind, corruption is Nigeria’s problem. So how do we fight corruption? this ugly serpentine beast that has poisoned every sector of our economic system thereby forming festering abscesses to which we have found no cure.We will fight it by electing honest leaders, but how do we do so when the electorates do not vote? More to the point, how do we identify the honest candidates from dishonest ones when even religious leaders are hardly to be trusted these days?
Ever since I was a child, even till today I have heard countless arguments, deliberations, forums and conversations that have sought to no avail to isolate, identify and scrutinize Nigeria’s problems. But somehow, each problem seems to lead to the other in an endless circumvolutory motion.
The truth is that with Nigeria’s problems increasing in complexity everyday, it may be totally impossible to label any problem as the “main” problem, neither is it necessary to do so. What is necessary however, is to address the complacency with which Nigerians view every problem. The horrible delusion that causes us Nigerians to regard every problem as though it were an illusion experienced by one person, but mirage to all others. We show this complacency in the ease with which we forget to make petitions about dilapidated roads that cause severe traffic even after we have wasted 4 hours in such traffic. A more practical example is the fact that Southerners largely consider the post-election violence and even the recent carnage being wrought by the Boko Haram as “a problem of the North”.
An old adage says a man who helps his neighbor put out a fire, may just be saving his own house. If we are to make any progress, we must realize that active followership and not docile laissez-faire is the key. We must feel that the problems that affect any part of our country are as important as the very problems at our doorstep. From the followship emerges the leadership; our leaders accrue ungodly sums of money to the detriment of the masses not just out of sheer greed but in obedience to the culture of a people that simply do not care about any problems but their domestic ones.
We need to wake up! and stop passing the plate of blame to our leaders. While constitutional authority may remain in the hands of the (s)elected few, it is a trite saying “Vox populi, vox dei,” that is “The voice of the people is the voice of God.” Should we, Nigerians speak up in unison about specific problems in specific areas, we can force the hand of the Government to work instead of reciting endless jeremiads.