Nigeria: A country located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. She is known to be very rich in vegetation and has a favourable weather. From this definition, it is impossible for Nigeria to be bad, as her location, weather and vegetation is one of the best in the world. She does not suffer from natural disaster and is known to have low risk of that. The conclusion here is that Nigeria is definitely good.
Nigerians: These are the citizens of the country, Nigeria. Some live in Nigeria, while some live outside. It will be generalization to say that Nigerians are bad, as stereotyping a group of people is most times seen as shallow. People are formed by their characters and whether they are from Nigeria, England, USA, India or any other place, the truth is that some people are bad, while some people are good. It does not necessarily have anything to do with where they are from.
So if Nigeria is not bad and Nigerians are not bad, where exactly is the problem coming from? We will have to keep exploring more option.
Nigerian culture: Now before we jump into a conclusion, we have to, first of all, look at the meaning of culture. What is culture? Our social studies teacher will tell us that culture is the day to day living of man. So to say that the dressing culture of Nigeria is Aso Oke for Yorubas, Isiagu for Igbos and Babban Riga for Hausas will be wrong, as culture is not past but present continuous. The right thing to say, therefore, is that the dressing culture of Nigerian youth is blue jeans while that of the working class adult is a two piece suit. With this clarification, can we now say Nigerian culture is bad? The answer is that a culture can’t be classified as good or bad, as culture is always emerging and never static. It is just culture! That is what it is. It is the way of life of a certain set of people.
Nigerian Root: This is sometimes mistaken as Nigerian culture. Nigerian root is where Nigeria emanated from. It can also be called tradition of old. So is the Nigerian root what we can call ‘bad’? I seriously doubt that, as history has it that things were not this bad in the olden days. Corruption was not this high and poverty was not this rampant. Robbery was almost absent as the fear of the gods was the beginning of wisdom then. People dealt with each other with integrity and sincerity of heart. Though there were some barbaric practices like killing of twins and the likes, most of those ill acts occurred as a result of ignorance. I might have not been born in 1875, but it is highly improbable that Nigerians were this angry then.
Nigerian system: Ha ha! Some people are already thinking ‘this is it’. What is a system? (1) A set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole, in particular. (2) A set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network. In elementary biology, we were thought that the smallest unit in the human being is the cell. A group of cells is forms tissue, a group of tissues forms an organ, a group of organs forms a system all the systems form the human being. So if the systems are faulty, the human being will not move. Let’s for a moment imagine a man whose digestive system, circulatory system, reproductive system, locomotive system, respiratory system, nervous system and all other human systems are all bad. What exactly will happen to that man? Immobility, unconsciousness and numerous diseases that we can’t even begin to count will be his lot.
How is our legal system, agricultural system or education system? What about our immigration system, our defence system, or all other systems that make up the body? My dear readers, I don’t think I need to mention the obvious here. Our systems are bad so the body is sick.
The purpose of this article is just to explain that Nigerians are not bad people, Nigeria is not a bad place. So when next someone says Nigeria is bad or that Nigerians are bad, let’s be quick to correct them. The system is our undoing, proper diagnosis of the diseases and sincere willingness to correct the system is the only thing that will solve our problem.
Writer and poet