Encouraging Ineptitude

O the joys of laziness and failure! The ingenuity of Nigerians to make pathetic excuses for themselves is astonishing. I say “themselves”, because I truly wish to be excluded from the mass that continually makes excuses for non-performance.

Pardon my outburst; it is due largely to the responses I saw on my friend’s page about Nigeria’s failures – the actual and impending ones. We tend to blame our leaders for everything, but now I am beginning to think there is something fatally flawed about the Nigerian; flawed by a resigned hope, oft expressed as “e go better” and a seemingly unending capacity to adjust to lower levels of abysmal failure and discomfort.

For crying out loud, that the country is a failure is evident! The blind men see it! The deaf can hear the resounding bells of the Nigeria’s failure. The dumb even manage to shout in amazement at the colossal level of decay that has taken over every facet of the country’s existence. Yet, in countless internet fora, one comes across pathetic excuses being made for the country and by unwitting extension, its woeful leaders.

Of all the excuses that have riled me, none has ticked me off like “Nigeria is still a young country”! Young in what sense, if I may ask? A country that gained independence 50 years ago does not qualify to be called young. With the notable exception of Chief Anthony Enahoro, most of the members of the independence constitution parliament are long gone. For crying out loud, Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s first grandson is over 40, so what’s all this nonsense about being young?

Does this imply that all the lemons who have had the opportunity of ruling in one capacity or another are all under 50 years old? Did common sense or a sense of propriety begin its evolution in Nigeria 50 years ago? Or, the Nigerian variant of electricity was discovered on October 1 1960 and we are still experimenting with how to harness it safely? Lest I forget, all the infrastructural facilities that were in the county pre-independence were destroyed on the eve of 1 October 1960!

To paraphrase Mr. Abu, the Brits rolled all the roads, airstrips and rail tracks back to Portsmouth when they left Nigeria! And all the education – formal and informal – acquired by individuals before independence vanished with the last ship that set sail for Liverpool at independence. If you go to Whitehall, you will see time capsules of Nigerian knowledge lost at independence. Shio!

I think there is something wrong when a people are only willing to compare themselves with the past and not set expectations of the future. So these 50-year apologists are quick to compare Nigeria with 19th century United States, or medieval Europe or some equally ridiculous instance. It seems there is a primordial part of our being that is firmly rooted in the 18th century and all the comparisons are made using the 18th century as a base point. Oh, there was no electricity in Ebute-Ero in 1800, so today, if NEPA/PHCN manages to bring a wick called electricity for 2 hours every week, we say “we are a young nation”! Pathetic. Of course, there were no tarred roads in 1800 in Otta, so the excuse of an express-way that links Abeokuta to Lagos is a quantum improvement. Right?

If we make an excuse for the age of the country, then perhaps our assessment of our rulers should be tempered with an understanding of how difficult it must be to rule an adolescent country. In this regard, we should appreciate Gowon’s profligacy in mismanaging the country’s oil-boom of the 70s. Afterall, Nigeria was just a gangling teenager then!

So we should actually give a sainthood to General Babangida who managed to keep the country going whilst it was a mere 30 year old! Imagine how arduous such a task must have been for him. It is in appreciation of his outstanding abilities when he ruled the 30-year old country that we are pleading with him to come back and rule!

There are countries that set themselves on the path of economic and technological recovery after our independence and they are light years ahead of us as we speak. So what is all this dribbling drivel about “we are 50 years”?

And for the 50-year apologists, please point out one area of the nation’s life that has witnessed consistent and continuous development over the much-touted 50-year time line! A 50-year old who is still in nappies by the way, is either a retard or an underwear bomber (a la Mutallab!).

So please make up your minds to face the reality of the nation’s failures and assess yourselves against best standards across the world or else just SHUT UP and accept the leaders you have and make heroes of them, after all, they are all under 50 years old abi?


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