by Wobia Akani
As Nigerians, it is our greatest wish that we have a better country. Everyday, we hear people say God has to help Nigeria. Well, God has helped Nigeria all He will and in all honesty, there is nothing wrong with the country called Nigeria. Whatever problems we may have is dependent on what we as a people propagate in our attitudes and behaviours.
Nigeria cannot exist in vacuum or without its citizens. There are basic sins which we commit as individuals which are fundamental to the change we seek in Nigeria. This piece is simply a call for introspection, a call for making sure the wood in our eyes are first removed before we take issues with the specks (or craters) in the eyes of others.
We complain everyday about the problem with Nigeria, but if Nigeria could talk, what would she say was the problem with you.
Bribery – Everyone at the bottom of the food chain accuses everyone at the top of the food chain of receiving bribes. The truth is that bribery begins at the foot of the food chain and progresses upwards. If a clerk does not hide a person’s file just because he hopes his palm would be greased before the file is moved to the next level, that would have been one hurdle out of the way. If one does not request a bribe, and I do not offer one, the war against corruption would be halfway won.
Stealing/Pilfering – Call it what you will, stealing is simply taking what is not yours no matter how little or invaluable we consider it to be. There is a Nigerian anecdote that says that the child who steals an egg today today will steal a chicken tomorrow. Grand theft, and theft in billions begins from stealing little things. So next time before you take that pen away, ask yourself whether it belongs to you.
Littering – We have slums and shanty towns in almost every big city in the country and we all complain that the government and the environmental sanitation bodies are not living up to expectations. Well, no matter how hard they try, if you drive around town and toss things out of your car window, you have no right to complain about the state of the environment. If your house is spic and span and the gutter just outside your premise is blocked due to your poor refuse disposal culture, you have no right to complain. Cleanliness is next to godliness. So if you want a clean and green Nigeria, use the refuse bags and bins in your house and dispose of your waste properly.
Lateness – Work officially resumes at 8am, and you do not show up until about 12noon. How many man hours have you put in to earn a salary at the end of the month? Some of us do not even show up at work, leaving our jobs and duty posts neglected. This in turn creates a back log of undone work, then the money for performance bit comes into play. In countries where people are paid based on their working hours, you find that absence from or lateness to work is at an all time low and workers do not expect full wages. Perhaps if we considered that we could take a cut in our wages due to lateness, we would sit up and quit with being under performers.
These are just a few of the sins we commit against our country and polity. The change we desire is attitudinal. If every Nigerian stood for and did the right thing, we would eventually be rid of corruption which is the bane of our society. Simply change your reasoning and revamp your country.