Today we are going to be taking a very critical look on our society. Nigerians have become masters of playing the blame game, we are very swift in shifting the blame on the government whenever anything goes wrong, students fail their exams and we blame the government for not upholding the standard of education, accidents happen on our roads and we blame the government for not providing good roads, when our National football players lose their matches we blame the government for not equipping them enough for the task and the blame game continues. I concur with the fact that the Nigerian government is not doing all it takes to cater for the well being of the people but today we are shifting the gaze away from the government for a while and taking a look at ourselves the followers.
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We used to have a society where integrity and honesty were core values that were celebrated and appreciated, a society where corruption was dreaded, a society where a good name was far better than riches, the adage ‘remember the son of whom you are’ was very weighty and functional back then because our fathers placed a lot of value on the family name and woe betide you if you do anything that brings shame to the family name in fact some people would rather commit suicide than to soil their family name, a society where neighbors had each others interest at heart,a society where love is felt and shared, a society where the name of God is highly respected and his commandments kept, age and good character earned respect.
Our society cannot be compared with what it used to be, decadence has eaten deep into our core value system, mediocrity is celebrated instead of excellence, corruption now thrives successfully in our country, its quite east to judge the leaders but have you noticed that today our measure of trade is in itself not accurate. Filling stations now adjust their meters in such a way that what you are paying for is completely different from what they are selling, the market women have a special padded bowl for measuring rice, beans and garri.tape rules are being adjusted, grinded pepper(ata gigun) is mixed with both coloring and kolanuts. Recently a group of traders were arrested in Sapele for injecting their ponmos with chemicals that will aid the swelling of the ponmos, they didn’t even mind the effect the chemicals will have on the human body system (very pathetic) oh what cruel society! Examination malpractices is no longer a new thing students don’t bother to hide it anymore because it is now the parents who pay for special centres and expos for their wards, everyone is quick to accept bridges motorists are even the ones who offer the policemen bribes because the reality is most of them drive without a drivers license and incomplete papers and so everyone is looking for ways to cut corners.
The corruption that goes on in various offices and agencies on a daily basis is worse than what some government officials do. If you need to procure a document in Nigeria, after paying the regular fee you have to pay extra greasing palms fee in order to get what you need in due time if not it will be delayed unnecessarily. I read a book one time of a young boy who carried a lantern out in the streets in broad day light and when he was asked what he was looking for that he couldnt see he replied ‘honest men’ yes it has deteriorated to a level where honest men are hard to find. Some of our lecturers tell us to buy their books for outrageous prices if not they’ll fail us.how many of us citizens obey traffic laws, how many of us stop at Zebra crossing to allow pedestrians cross safely, how many of us keep our thrash so as not to litter the streets,we pile up thrash on the road and then call on the governme to clean it up. We envy the way developed countries do their things but we are not willing to pay the price they paid.
This article is not to justify the action of the government because in actual fact they pushed us into doing some of the things we are seeing but it is for us to sit down and re evaluate our value system, if we ache to see the Nigeria of our dreams then we need to join hands together to make it happen ,if the citizens are accountable to one another then it would be easier for us to hold our leaders accountable for their actions. ‘Good People Great Nation’ is who we are. President Buhari was indeed right when he said ‘change begins with you and I’.