Hypocrisy is one word I really don’t like using but when I think of Nigerians and some of our attitudes that seems to be so ingrained in so many. I can’t help but say we are hypocrite, quick to judge others and accuse them of the same thing we know deep down inside us, we are also guilty of without batting an eyelid.
Typical Nigerians you would say, what makes Nigerians quickly come to mind when we think of all of the bad vices that can be, we complain that we have bad leaders , that our leaders are this and that, or that our leaders are not doing this or that, but do we stop to ask ourselves, what kind of followers are we?
We all, whether we accept it or not are leaders in one right or the other, how do we fair in our leadership roles or even as followers?
Agreed that our leaders are not making things as easy as it should be for us, but in our own right , do we know that we are as guilty as our leaders?
The last subsidy issue is a recent reminder , if we seem to have forgotten so many others, the federal government on the first of January 2012, announced its decision to remove subsidy on fuel thereby increasing the pump price of petrol from #65 to #141,(of course we remember some of the happenings thereafter and the reactions that followed this announcement by Labour union, Trade Union, the save Nigeria group and Nigerians as a whole, but am not going there right now) immediately the prices of goods and services sky-rocketed all over the country.
Following this reaction, the federal Government was forced to rescind on its decision and the price was brought down to #97 as against the #141 earlier announced by the federal government.
Like typical Nigerians, and the typical saying of Nigeria: what goes up in Nigeria doesn’t come down, most marketers of goods and services refused to bring down the prices of their goods and services, which they had taken into double or triple the normal price in some cases. Anyway, as at this Buhari era 2016, it’s bad. The price is #142. All Nigerian goods are now expensive.
Oshodi Area in Lagos
Nigerians! Do we expect our leaders to walk into the streets and market to ask them to cut down their price, even when we know we pay more for what we get. It is in Nigeria the market woman would pad her measurement tin and still sell at the normal price and the annoying thing is that we know we are buying less than the normal quality but we still accept it without complain, typical Nigerian I would say.
Even at filling stations (this I find very annoying) they adjust their meter in such a way that when you buy into a 25 liter gallon, you have like 23 liters inside and you still pay for “gallon charges” whatever that means or wherever it originated from, I don’t know but I find it annoying because it is just like begging them to render a service to you when it should be the other way round.
A typical Nigerian sees nothing wrong in taking advantage of others, after all everybody does it is what they say, the commercial bus drivers are another set of service providers I have issues with(though I may not say much about them now) they tend to fix their price as it suits them, they don’t care about their passengers, the same route would have different fare rate in the morning, afternoon, mid-day, evening and late in the night then I begin to wonder if they use more fuel in some certain hour of the day than the others. Infact the more the crowd at the bus stop, the higher the transport fare…tell me what our leaders have got to do with this?
Typical Nigerians feel comfortable inconveniencing ourselves, make the other person pay through their nose and go through hell before they get something we know we could give easily.
A typical Nigerian would find nothing wrong throwing dirt outside the window of a vehicle on the express, forgetting that these dirts go into the drainages and block them thereby causing trouble for residents and users of such area and roads during the rainy seasons.
A typical Nigerian would feel good selling a fake product to fellow Nigerians without batting an eyelid. A case of a brothers friend that bought a phone at the popular Alaba market only to get home and when he tried to put it on found out that it was “FUFU” that was packed in it, Alas! A different phone from the one he was shown was given to him without him knowing about this “intelligent swap you would say”, and the same amount was collected from him, unfortunately he bought it from a roadside vendor, whom he never saw, like he disappeared into thin air, well foolish, you may want to say he is for leaving a known store for a road side vendor, but of course we buy things from street vendors in Nigeria.
A typical Nigerian would want to skip protocol, would go to a place and would offer bribe even before it is demanded. Even some of our pastors and imams are greedy and guilty as well, no one is a saint, even me. When people are out there they are quick to judge others and point fingers at others but when they get in, the story changes, I don’t want to mention names.
In churches, the rich are hailed, while the poor are made to feel like they are of no benefit to God because they are not rich, in mosques, the rich are praised, while the poor man who make sure that the mosque is clean every blessed day gets little or no attention.
It is true that the bible says:owo ni keke eyin rere(money is the bicycle of evangelism)
but then I don’t think it did say it should be the criteria to judge who does it better with God.
Allah says in Quran 13vs11
“Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves”
We are very good at pointing accusing fingers at our leaders , yet we fail to see the ills and rots among us the followers. See why I say we are hypocrites.
You may want to ask, now what is the moral of my story? Which way forward? if we remember some years back, the Ministry of Information under the leadership of Professor Dora Akunyili, launched the campaign for re-brand Nigeria, well, I wouldn’t say I see the effect of that campaign anywhere around me today ( I stand to be informed and corrected) despite the millions/billions of naira spent on it, well, maybe the media campaign, the fliers, but I don’t think that is the solution to the typical Nigerian syndrome(TNS).
You may want to say again that the National Orientation Agency does lots of campaign to orientate and re-orient Nigerians on attitudinal change, but well, just my observation, I don’t seem to have seen any changes on the street.
It is so sad that the typical Nigerian is so quick to point fingers at our leaders when we know we are like 80% responsible for our own problems.
Typical Nigeria is where protectors of lives and properties are the ones taking it, supposed preventers of crimes are the perpetrators, recent research report I came across says you are more likely to be killed by a Police than any other person, and I couldn’t agree less with the stories here and there of police killing innocent citizens, then I begin to wonder, whatever is the criteria for enlisting anyone into the Nigerian police. Whatever the criteria are, am suggesting that brain check/test should be inclusive in order to certify the mental ability of anyone willing to join the force.(issue for another day)
Like I always say, collective change starts with an individual, the best way for now (I mean the most viable and costless way) of achieving a “better Nigeria” and entirely doing away with the Typical Nigeria Syndrome is to begin as individuals to change our thinking, don’t ever say again that a fish in or out of an ocean cannot make a difference. Let your own fish stand out and see if it would not make a difference, as those who know, lets inform who do not know.
Allah says in Quran 3v104:
“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidden what is wrong. They are the one to attain felicity”.
Why not make yourself be among the few, do something different, like I take it upon myself to tell my family members, friends and people I see around me to avoid throwing dirt through the window of a vehicle when I see them wanting to do so, well you may say what effect does this have, but in the long run you would get to know.
No doubt, people would talk and call you over- sabi, I get strange stare in the bus when I tell people to stop throwing dirt, they look at me like, where is this one from? Yeah, like am not the typical Nigerian, but am not bothered because I know somehow am saving some people and I feel good about it, besides, stare or comment, they still do as I say at that point, no throwing of dirt through the window!
Don’t care about what people would say, they know the right thing but they won’t do it and would not just keep their mouth shut to allow those who dare to be good just because they see them as a threat.(that’s just the simple truth). Just believe as an individual you can make a difference, as a market woman don’t say because every other person padded their measurement you have to do the same, use the normal size and if you have to add a little amount for doing that, it would pay you better than deceiving people. Sooner or later, you would find those who would appreciate your honesty.
As students, let’s not say because everybody is no longer reading to pass, why should I? In the end you would come to know that there is benefit in reading for you than going through the way every other person is doing it. That majority does it doesn’t make it right.
I could go on and on with the list of the typical Nigerian syndrome but I know you have the list with you unless you want to be hypocritical about it (another typical Nigerian syndrome).
Let us try to be the “few good ones that would attain felicity”. No African time, no mago-mago, no corruption and all other vices, then time would tell if our leaders would be good or not. Remember, you are as good or as bad as your leaders. Let’s be that individual that look out for others without necessarily expecting benefits.
God bless you!
God bless Nigeria!