“Manliness consists not in bluff, bravado or loneliness. It consists in daring to do the right thing and facing consequences whether it is in matters social, political or other. It consists in deeds not words.”
? Mahatma Gandhi
When I was a kid growing up in Benin City-Nigeria, I was taught right from an early age that personal responsibility is what moulds an individual to succeed in life. Today we now live in a country where all facets of the society has been bastardized by a clueless ruling class thereby erasing any form of personal responsibility and replacing it with pointless finger pointing.
It is all too easy to blame the Government of Nigeria for all the ills that affects the country. They more than deserve this blame. The track record of our Government cannot be defended. If out government was a drug, it would have since passed it expiration date. I have come to a non-empirical anecdotal statistic that 30% of the problems in Nigeria are caused by the Government but an overwhelming 70% is due to personal responsibility and lack thereof.
Our National Anthem and Pledge both invoke the spirit of Personal Responsibility. In The Nigerian Anthem, there are lines like “Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey. To serve our fatherland, With love and strength and faith”. The Government albeit brazenly corrupt, is not the root cause of our problems. Prison they say is where society sends its failures but unfortunately the Nigerian society in general is failing.
On Sundays we troop in our millions to churches seeking divine intervention for our problems not realizing that 90% of them are self-inflicted. There are common sense things the average Nigerian can do to make the country better. We complain of extra judicial killings by the Nigerian Police but every now and then, I watch videos and read stories of suspected criminals(including petty thieves) getting burnt alive without having their day in court or judicial due process. When I am speeding home after a night out in Benin City, do you think my biggest fear is what the FGN would do to me that night?
We don’t need the government to tell us to pay our taxes, we don’t need them to tell us not to defecate in public, we also don’t need the government to tell some of us that kidnapping, robbery, cyber-crimes, cultism, fraud etc is inimical to the image of our dear country.
Personal responsibility translates to societal empowerment. The reason our government has taking us for a ride is because they have also figured when given the opportunity, some of us would do worse than the government we so eloquently oppose and denounce.
Personal responsibility equates to love for ourselves and our own people. We need to stop allowing others take advantage of us because they have realized some of us can be gullible. We have unknowingly sold half of Nigeria to Lebanese, Indians, Europeans and the Chinese with the other half going to corrupt politicians.
In a country of 170 million people, it is a shame we can’t make our own phones, automobiles, technology. We have outsourced our own existence without even knowing it.
Personal responsibility would make the hell we are going through right now in Nigeria to be a bit bearable for everyone. JFK once famously said “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you — ask what can you do for your country” So I am making this same appeal to my fellow Nigerians lets embrace personal responsibility.
My blogsite is www.naijadimes.blogspot.ca