Nigeria: Blessed But Cursed – by Musa Usman
My involvement in everyday conversation with regards to Nigeria is not a hidden one to everyone that is familiar with me. I have always said a lot verbally but not to let everything go into air, my very own friends japheth omojuwa and alkassim abdulkadir asked me to pen down my thoughts, share with my fellow compatriots and for posterity.
It took me time to think of a particular topic to write on, I turned on my search light as move from one topic to another, considered decayed moral values, but I asked myself if I could write that without the inevitable corruption?I was not satisfied with my answer. So I moved on in search of a better topic and my mind came across the crude oil which has caused more sadness than happiness to our lives ? Or the forgotten agricultural potential which could employ the youths and feed the nation? I became confused on which topic to select so I decided to combine the three and see how it will lead me to my conclusion blessed but cursed.
When God was allocating resources to nations, other nations were jealous of nigeria as to why she is favoured and given fat share of resources, then God responded by saying, do not be jealous,wait and see the kind of people I will put there. Our nation has been blessed from the beginning, endowed with natural resources that hardly any country in the world possess but at the same time,no country in the world has the kind of citizens with empty patriotic characteristics and no evidence of sincerity of purpose as nigeria. I will share some of the problems in paragraphs
MORAL VALUES AND ETHICS
Every nation needs a moral code to govern her own affairs, the rules and standards should be layed for man to follow. As we move from one generation to another with time, the human behaviour has suffered a lot of setbacks as to how man thinks and act, the depletion of our positive human characteristics which are part of our human completeness as homo-sapiens with higher way of thinking and acting is alarming. A renowned scientist Albert Einstein said this on morals and I quote,
“The most important human endeavour is the striving for morality in our actions,our inner balance and even our very own existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life”.
We cannot continue to concede our thoughts to evil, as long as we continue to feed ourselves with evil thoughts,it grows stronger to become part of us. We cannot be pressurising ourselves on building infrastructures without moulding and shaping good institutions that will yield quality graduates that will develop those infrastructures. Talking about these institutions, family is the primary and first institution of every society, what is the attitude of parents towards their children these days? The chase of worldly possession is primary and important to parents than the required parental guidance and care they ought to offer. It is a norm now, giving birth to children without taking proper responsibility of our actions added more headache and burden to the society.
These same attitudes have been transferred to our academic institutions,just when you think things will get better, discipline and morals will be instilled in students,am sorry the result might be a negative one. Several times, I asked myself these questions wanting answers, why do students cheat? Why do lecturers take bribe to pass a student?why do female students get harassed sexually by lecturers? I came so close to the answer,in my opinion, it is the lack of willingness in us to do the right thing. As long as we keep thinking negatively and acting negatively, we won’t have good yield as a nation. Lecturers are meant to be the leaders in the academic world that will shape and prepare quality students for the outer world, unfortunately they contaminate the students with virus that is harzardous to the outside world. Any student who cheats in an exam right from the school days lacks the quality to be a good leader, and any leader who is a bad influence in the society was never a 100% principled person from the word GO. But is this moral decadence only common to the educated ones?sadly NO,it is a virus that has eaten every class and human stratification of the society, from the security guards to the drivers, the brick layers, it is a norm now that quantity over quality is the standard and be ready to be short changed in every dealings.
We’ve been caught up in the thick spider web that I asked myself, when shall we build a positive way of thinking,positive way of doing things? I still do not have the answers but with the help of a good leader, human behaviour will change.
Corruption has never been our problem,it is only part of it, we lack the zeal to do the right thing, it is the negative attitude in us that pushes us to act negatively and one of the several effects is corruption. Corruption is a two-way thing, he who encourages it and he who welcomes it, two people must be involved. For corruption to take place.
Nigerians are so negative in the sense that it affects our everyday development due to cutting of corners and this attitude of “you chop, I chop” has made us a laughing stock among our mates and other nations that have been looking up us as a big brother. The present day civil service is nothing to hear or read about,when money is released for projects, the corrupt practices starts from the procurement,tenders are released to fool nigerians that due process is in course, unfortunately nepotism overtakes everything and there we go, OGA gives projects to his loved ones, families and friends, sometimes girlfriends. All these favours are awarded at the expense of competence and capability, after taking his own money, the contractor will cut his share, the staff, and down to the least expected. When the money finally gets to its point of purpose, it will amount to nothing,as a result of this we settle for mediocrity, we settle for quantity instead of quality, these are the domino effects of our negative attitude.
This is just one example of how the corruption affects us, the corruption is in our attitude and our attitude is negative, there are so many examples as to why corruption might end soon unless we change our attitudes.
We’ve made a big deal out of what we have, instead of making a good use of the resources,we specialise in claims as to who owns the resources and who is not a member. Other nations have what we have but the difference between us and them is that we have everything but they lack one or two. The fertile lands in the north can be used to cultivate the food products for the nation, solve the problem of unemployment because it is one sector that does employs the educated and uneducated skills, least I forget the hot sun in Yobe, Maiduguri and Kano cannot be left to waste, it is about time we diversify our source of electricity generation and using the sun to tap the solar energy.
As I move through the geographical regions, down south there are numerous resources here but one that caught my attention is the crude oil which is responsible for feeding this nation right now,but also abused and stolen in a manner that nobody is really sure of what is left. This crude oil is responsible for the nation, this oil is responsible for the salaries and welfare of the citizens, we budget base on crude oil bench mark, what happens when the crude oil is no longer available? What happens when the price of oil falls below our bench mark?
The questions are many,I cannot think of that which nigeria do not have,from human resources to natural resources we all have in abundance. Every nation should operate its policy based on its own situations, as other nations are diversifying and finding long lasting solutions to their problems, it is a MUST we play along to be able to compete with our colleagues in this modern times. If we cannot change our attitude towards the positive side of life in other to make use of the natural resources endowed upon this nation, then the bitter truth is that we are blessed but cursed.
Musa Usman (firstname.lastname@example.org)