There is always cause to an effect. When certain things fail and are not working, there is underlying causes. Nigeria project has not been working; and to put it on the progressive lane, we must find out the foundational problem.
The real problem with Nigeria is not the citizens or the leaders per se; though for ages each side of the divide has been pointing accusing finger to the other. The problem with Nigeria is in its foundation.
Have we not wondered that thousands of new leaders emerge during every new election years? Those new leaders were once normal average citizens but when they get to the center, they are swallowed by the system; like the mysterious Bermuda Triangle. So our ill fated leadership experimentation has continued till date without yielding expected dividend for growth and a sustained change.
This is the evil of the colonial masters: they put too much of power and resources to the central government. The stronger ones fight to take it and the rest who could not get to the corridor of power look helplessly waiting for the crumbs that fall down from the table of opulence. This evil is further entrenched and made us think we cannot change for better.
We have come to term that government is unquestionable and cannot be held accountable – above board and above the law. We have come to think that citizens are pawns to nourish the existence of government and those who hold the rule.
We became independent as a nation bodily but our souls are still enslaved to the pattern of government used to govern the colonized nations.
The colonial masters have a different system for ruling their subjects back in their native land and another yardstick of government in their colony.
In their native land, the government is positioned to serve the people, to satisfy their interests, wellbeing and advancement. The leaders see the people in their native land as their own citizens and are respected, ensuring that their self-esteem is preserved. Citizens of the colonial masters are protected in any part of the world. In return, the citizens are ready to give back whatever they have to preserve and move forward their common interest. Thus, this fulfills the law of give and take.
Down in their colony, the colonial masters do not go there to serve but to plunder. They colonized nations to usurp power and take advantage of the weak nations. The sole purpose of colonization is trade and exploitation. Thus the people in the colony are seen as errand boys, servants and the low class; the inferior people. The colonial masters see themselves as the superior race (the elevated citizen of the world) that must be worshipped.
In order to perpetuate their dominance, they apply force and cruelty. Goods and resources are moved from the people’s domain back to their central government in their home country leaving the nations they governed impoverished. The expression of their governance clearly shows that they are not out in the interest of the people of the colony; instead the people are seen as tools to sustain the government of the colonial masters.
This was the kind of government handed over to Nigeria in 1960. What changed was the skin colour of the leaders in government, the white man is gone, the black man turns in but the heart is the same. We kept doing things the same old way: for the art and objective of governance remain the same; to plunder.
A son who all his life watched his father bully his mom may not know any other way of handling a woman. If he does not undergo a personal rebirth or reorientation, when he gets married, he will think that the only way to win a woman’s submission is being high handed.
The first generation leaders were tutored about the art of governance by the colonial masters. Through observation they learned so much from the white men. When the masters were gone, they took turn to loot, exploit and steal from the people. They saw the white man taking advantage of the vulnerability of the citizens, so they learn to do the same. The new leaders after 1960 see themselves as the new “white” who must be served and not to serve. It has become seemingly incurable syndrome growing in magnitude by the day.
The average kid today sees leadership in any sphere or sector of the nation as an opportunity to loot and enrich oneself. To further grow the expanse of greed, we keep making the center of leadership attractive with “unlimited” opportunity to wealth and power that it becomes easy to miss the mark of leadership as a call to serve.
Going this way, we will never get it right. It is time to make the needed shift from aristocratic style of government leadership to people centered leadership.
It is time to unfold a new kind of change – The sustainable positive type!