Shut Up Nigerians, Shut Up!
For some time now, I have been wondering why Nigerians are so loud and hypocritical. Why are Nigerians show people? Why are we always making a noise of everything we have to do? Why are we just down to earth controversial?
I was still wondering in my wilderness of thought when I remembered a book I read long ago titled The Complete Nigerian by the famed journalist Peter Enahohro alias Peter Pan. In his book (which should have been a best- seller if it were for a developed society), he clearly described a true Nigerian and I remember loudness, being full of mischief and hypocritical as part of the many characteristics of a complete Nigerian in that book.
Why then have I been wondering about the loudness and of Nigerians? Why is it becoming a source of worry and concern all of a sudden? It is because for sometime noe is has been assuming a dangerous dimension that if not checked can cause devastation beyond a manageable proportion.
After the last gubernatorial and presidential polls in April 2007, many Nigerians during and after the elections were ragging about the conduct of the elections with particular emphasis on the snatching and stuffing of ballot boxes, harassment and intimidation of voters, falsification of election results, incompetence of INEC staff etc.
The noise and the outcry was so so loud that it was getting to me. I decided then to write a piece for publication titled Shut Up Nigerians, Shut Up! The write up never saw the light of the press as it was misplaced, so how. In the write- up, I asked serious questions about all the noise and hullabaloo being made about the conduct of the polls.
I sought to know why ballot boxes should not be snatched and stuffed with illegally thump printed ballot papers. I also sought for answers as to why voters should not be harassed and intimidated by thugs who were hired, armed and paid by the very people contesting for their votes. I asked why in heavens name should INEC not have incompetent people in its employ. I wasnt expecting answers from any quarters because I had ready- made answers.
Everyday of our lives as Nigerians, these are characteristics we display, thats why. Are we not thieves that snatch things meant for other people everyday? Do we not as politicians and civil servant take funds meant for millions of Nigerians with respect to projects execution? Do we not in our exalted positions snatch jobs meant for those who deserve and merit them for our close acquaintances? Do we not shamelessly connive to take monies meant for pensioners and stash them up in a fixed deposit account so it can yield interests for our benefits while the old people wait and die waiting? Do we not deny people we know admission into the University for those we know or have paid us?
Do we not falsify the number of workers on especially government pay- roll so as to benefit from the monies accruing to the ghost workers? Do we not sexually harass females in schools, places of work, and on the street? Is crime not a part of our lives? Are the criminals not our brothers and sisters? Why wont there be incompetent people wearing INEC uniform when we all close our eyes and allow people get away with examination fraud and have their results released with excellent grades they are never able to defend?
Recently, after the Boko Haram crises, another period of shameless noise making began. I was however very pleased with Mr. Femi Falanas blunt stand on this noise- making issue when he was a guest on Gbenga Arulebas popular TV programme, Focus Nigeria. He decried the hypocrisy on the part of the government and the press over the issue and went on to back his stand.
Lets be objective, is Boko Haram the first case of extra- judicial killings in Nigeria? Why all the hype? What about the Apo Six in Abuja and the countless of these type of cases of senseless killings in Nigeria everyday? What about the case of the young man in Kwara State who arrived Nigeria from the USA only a few days before the bullet of a policemans gun made sure he never returned to the US? What about the polytechnic student that was killed by a policeman when the okada rider he was riding on refused to stop and give the now normal handouts of twenty naira? What about the four people killed in a golf car by policeman in Abuja? The list is endless. Extra- judicial killings now seem to be part of the training now given at the police academy.
What has sparked me into writing about these noise and hypocrisy at this time? It is the noise being generated by about our U- 17 National team, the Golden Eaglets. What about? Over- aged players in the camp. So whats the reaction? As usual, a lot of hypocritical mumbo jumbo in the print and electronic media. A whole lot of criticisms have been flying around as some people have even asked for the players to be prosecuted.
What a shame! Have our civil service and banks especially not legalized the falsification of age? How many people in Nigeria have their original birth certificates? Have we not all been parading with certificates of declaration of age albeit sworn falsely under oath of the courts? How often do we see corps members that are evidently over the stipulated 30 year age mark? How in heavens do we think young Nigerians will not enter for the cadre competition with falsified ages? He who has not sinned in this issue should cast the first stone.
Before I knock off this write- up, let me disabuse your mind from thinking that I am in any way supporting these vices. I am so much against all of them but at the same time against the indiscriminate and outrageous noise and hypocrisy that normally dot them. Lets speak objectively every time we have to talk.