How did we get here?
Majority of problems we face today as a nation are a combined result of the different situations at different time points of our evolution as a country. However, one common consistent factor is the idea of Colonialism and Imperialism.
Colonialism is assuming control over a nation or a group. Imperialism is the political and economic control. So, Colonialism is a practice and Imperialism is the idea that drives the practice. . . . Shekina!
Going by our political history, I believe Nigeria was on a path of gradual development in the 60’s and 70’s however; the seeds of ethnicity and difference were equally being planted. The mostly corrupt political class (leaders) who were like our second colonial masters, rather than promote shared culture (nationalism) were nonchalantly busy promoting their colonial powers through institutions and cultural activities. What they failed to realize was the ripple effect their colonial styled dominance had on the people. The people were being recolonized culturally and this phenomenon is known as CULTURAL HEGEMONY.
In Marxist philosophy, cultural hegemony is the domination of a culturally diverse society by the ruling class who manipulate the culture of that society—the beliefs, explanations, perceptions, values, and mores—so that their imposed, ruling-class worldview becomes the accepted cultural norm.
Now the problem with this is that, if the colonial dominance is perceived as ideal and oppressive at the same time, the people naturally will begin to connive in their own oppression BY acting in means they assume to be of their best interest just to partake in the activities that are part of the dominant culture. As we know today, most known means of trying to fight such oppression is either harmful or illegal.
Nigerians and Nigeria leaders failed to grasp the real problem in its entirety and resorted to providing cosmetic solutions that are at best, temporary. As SITUATIONS worsen, these illegal partakers of the dominant culture grew in responsibilities and influence, just like the original colonialists. Consequently, THAT WHICH WAS SEEN AS A MEANS TO AN END HAS EVENTUALLY BECOME A MEANS WITH NO END. Two principal reasons for this; the insatiable nature of human wants and the continue regression of standard of living in the society.
Let us list some of the current flourishing illegalities and criminal activities in our present society: Corruption, Cultism, Robbery, Kidnapping, Exam Malpractice, Yahoo-Yahoo, Nepotism, Prostitution. . . the partakers, while attempting to solve their problem have ended up becoming a problem itself.
A better Nigeria?
As a writer, I try to be as objective as possible. As a thinker, I want to constantly process thoughts that would solve real problems. In the case of Nigeria, it is a collective effort that will be thoroughly backed by functional systems. Anything shy from this is scalar to our development i.e. magnitude without direction.
I react to stories these days by saying ‘We are all mad in Nigeria’. I mean, we are so lost in our problems that everything is considered entertainment. The world is evolving each second and we are yet to solve our “factory” problems otherwise known as follow-come.
Curing the entire nation is going to take a process, not necessary painstaking but deliberate and sequential. Only a DREAMER can lead us down the glory path, unfortunately, the only way a dreamer can become president of Nigeria or attain a pole political position is in his/her dreams.
We need to do better with our thoughts as individuals and as humans, it is a reflection of our choices. While people celebrated President Buhari during the last presidential election, I was clear about my choice and it rests on the system that saw President Buhari and Former President Jonathan as the ONLY people who could lead this country forward. Our problem was never Former President Jonathan neither is it President Buhari, yes they can be considered a problem too but the real problem is right there in the systems (situations). Until we begin to address systems and tackle situations, the result will be the same if not worse off.
I recently scanned through a documentary about SILICON VALLEY and I kept saying to myself, there is power in thinking. Reading some success stories of the big brands that started from Silicon Valley and how they have reshaped the way we see and live in our world.
Isn’t it funny how we have enough competent and qualified professionals in Nigeria yet we have remained a 3rd world country? It is important we start identifying real problems instead of promoting hypocrisy and individualizing problems. Our society and institutions are being built on illegal platforms, when a problem grows beyond its population, then a massive fall is eminent.
Strangely, I am not big on reading books but it is important we train our thoughts. I would recommend to my friends a book titled HOW WE THINK by JOHN DEWE, A professor and one of the fathers of functional psychology. It was published in 1910. . . creepy yeah? I have the soft copy and I am willing to share.
We neither read nor think in Nigeria and oyibo man will say, critical thinking is the skill required to transmission the solving of commission problems in transmission, transmission. . . Please, I’m sorry.
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think” -Albert Einstein
“We don’t narrate things as they are because we see things as we are”.