– By Albert Udoh – With additional comments by Naija Noise Makers
Nigerians make up Nigeria. When something happens and nothing happens, everybody will think nothing will happen when something happens. There in lies the foundation of lawlessness. Nigerians break laws because they know they can wriggle out of it one way or the other. Law enforcement agents take bribe because they know that even their big oga at the top will call to release one son of one big oga from somewhere. Besides what’s the ratio of gendarmerie to citizens and what’s their conditions of service to boost committed service without looking out for bribes to make ends meet (I’m not excusing bribery here). Once you commit a crime and you know that there’s no way out no matter how highly placed, the last time such crimes will be committed will be the first time. While we have higher literacy rates, the most law abiding people are the unlearned. Those countries may not have woken up one day and decided to be law abiding. Where is our MAMSER, now NOA (National Orientation Agency)? I accosted one NOA official one time and expressed our displeasure at their lack of activities to reorientate Nigerians and he said, they’re starved of funds. The little they’re doing is due to CSR from private organizations. Who starve them of funds? Nigerians who owe the citizens a responsibility to change things and enforce compliance. Everything remains at rest or continues in its motion unless an external force is applied to it. That’s Newton’s law. Who will help Nigeria? Nigerians! But which Nigerians? We, the people! There’s no Nigeria without Nigerians.
lawlessness is not congenital anywhere in the world, neither is law breaking. The propensity to obey or disobey laws is developed in line with the consequences attached to such actions. If Nigerians are not law abiding it is not cos they are worse than any other Nationals but cos consequences are not incurred by such behaviors. This is a problem of leadership rather than lawlessness of Nigerians. No individuals of any Nation will willfully obey laws where there are no consequences to disobedience.
The same Nigerians who never queue on the line at Murtala Mo’hd International Airport (MMIA) to board Air France, queue at Charles de Gaulle Airport Paris on arrival in the same aircraft.
We shall tell the truth in love. As we do the right thing we will infect others to do same. Using the tools of love and respect we will depopulate the community of wrong doers in nigeria. Don’t worry the right attitude will eventually win. It may take some time. Some doing the right thing may get injured along the way no problem. We won’t give up until we get the Nigeria of our dream. Individually and collectively we shall get our nation back to her feet.
As a matter of fact, watch some foreigners who have lived in Nigeria for sometime – those that have Green Cards when they arrive MMIA. It’s easy to distinguish them from 1st time foreigners at MMIA. Try to be observant the next time you arrive MMIA. Are these foreigners who have lived in Nigeria for sometime the problem? If there’s a certain denominator for both Nigerians who were born and bred here & foreigners who have lived here for sometime, then you know what the issue is.
First things first. We should all have a sense of remorse. Repent and roll up our sleeves and get back to work. No one will do the work for us. Na we go do our thing our selves.
Let me even correct a wrong impression. Nigerians aren’t bad people. They are certainly very very good people. Lets honestly stop branding our people bad. Our people are not. The system molds them to be the way they are. Hence we need leaders who are determined to change the status quo. They’ll take the baby steps & this will be achieved. How do I influence the speed of a car when I’m not the driver? I keep shouting & the driver who is “drunk” is determined to waste my life and his own.
Nigerians are good people jor. They are also intelligent people jor. The system is the issue. Lets work on the system.
The shame is on the man that shunts the queue at the airport as, he’s shown bad example of leadership and the man that throws stuff outta car window – you bet such is leadership by bad example. That’s the point. We are all leaders in our areas of influence. If we all do all our bit by pointing in the right direction, we would make some impact. We all have our hands in the cookie jar – both the leader and the led. It’s Ying – yang.