Nigerians cannot be classified as special specie of human beings going by their attitudes towards their leaders but can rightly be described as those without conscience and patriotic education to defend and protect their fundamental rights. I may be wrong in my assessment but the fact cannot be denied if critically examined. Nigerians subscribe more to ethno-religious sentiments than what binds them together as citizens of same country.
Human beings, throughout generations, had been and are still, collectively, interesting! They are not only interesting but also interestingly complex wherever and whenever. This is one of the reasons why academic disciplines in the humanities and social sciences are important contributors to the efforts at continuous studying of reasons why human behave, inconstantly changing manners, the way they do. These reasons are, no doubt, linked to the high capacity of their brains when compared with those for other animals.
Well, some may be quick at asking for reason behind such comparison! Nevertheless, this is not the platform for such argument. The essence of the seemingly controversy of making comparison between humans and ‘animals’, is to reiterate what has been well documented concerning the human race, coming a long way. Doing this, they have been able to determine the course of world’s ‘development’. The word ‘development’ is used in relative rather than absolute term here.
Irrespective of several generations of human advancement, they are still humans! They are still exposed to numerous factors influencing their behaviors. We have this in mind when looking at our present Nigeria, the way its leadership is being constituted, their behaviors and the responses of those being led.
As it stands today, with the exception of few people, it appears that most of the vulnerable Nigerians, at the brink of extermination, are cooperating with their potential exterminators to succeed in exterminating them! The reader may not believe this but it is the truth! For instance, how do we explain the deafening silence, in almost all parts of the country, where we now have unbelievable economic downturn, newly well festooned corruption and insecurity becoming the new normal way of our living?. No, we are not, in any way, saying that these socio-economic ills were not there yesterday. What we are saying is that these challenges are on the increase despite several promises of defeating the challenges by those in leadership during the 2015/19 electoral campaigns.
Yes, it is no more news that these challenges are increasingly becoming entrenched to our chargrin in our daily lives! It has been so pathetic that those promising solutions through the Change mantra to earlier versions now sit comfortably relishing the ‘peace of the graveyard’ that seems to be existing in Nigeria. It is more painful that Nigerian citizens without social security (safety net) against the aforementioned malaise are the ones sustaining the laxity of these age long ruling elites gathered in glaringly rudderless ships. The ships were well designed but they were deliberately made rudderless! The current and most past ruling (ruining) elites have no navigating maps, no specific direction, and no definite final destination, beneficial to the whole country. Presently, All People Conniving is same old wine in new bottle with a catchy label but same with People Deceiving People that was a victim of political rascality and hate speech in 2015! Unfortunately, the people at the lower rung of the socio-economic ladder are still unable to “emancipate themselves from mental slavery”.
The strategies for mental enslavement are well anchored on many factors mostly those that revolve round primordial sentiments. These and other sentiments including fear of the unknown have made many compatriots to currently suffer from “Stockholm Syndrome”. Using a simple dictionary definition, Stockholm syndrome may be defined as feelings of trust or affection felt in many cases of kidnapping or hostage taking by a victim towards a captor.
You may ask: What has this syndrome and its definition got to do with Nigeria and its people? Simple, the answer is that Nigeria and Nigerians had long been kidnapped by the ruling elites and their collaborators in various shades! Believe it or not, Nigeria and Nigerians had been made perpetual captives in kidnappers den with no intention of release on ransom. These captives may not know but they need liberation! The capturing, of Nigeria and Nigerians, did not occur today and that is why we have been having some social crisis lamenting for a long time. The availability, in the past and presently, of patriotic social critics whose intention was, and still is, to call attention to this kidnapping and how liberation can be successfully achieved has made Stockholm syndrome unacceptable in Nigeria. It is believed that the syndrome contributes largely to why Nigerians resolved to saying things like: Leave the present government to do what it likes, God will help us! Let us manage it like that because we are all in it together! The president is castigated because he is from that part of the country or practices so, so religion! This is the time for politicians in my region to produce the next president, so do not criticize those in power as our turn is coming! Keep quite because you are not the only one affected by Nigeria’s problem! The government is doing its best (even when the reverse is glaring)! The captors have been so successful that their captives (we) support and celebrate them when they extend their oppressive tendencies toward those that refuse to be kidnapped. Instead of supporting their fellow oppressed they do otherwise by vilifying them. It is only in Nigeria that those who steal public funds and escape justice are celebrated and ‘worshipped’. They are in most cases offered or elected to other responsible positions in government. Nigerian corruption history and maladministration has abundance of examples to justify the analysis.
We were made to believe that this country belongs to all of us, that no citizen has a higher stake in it than others. No citizen is supposed to be a slave in this country but the reality reveals otherwise. The country, not for lack of abundant brilliant minds, is presently painfully run by con artists/charlatans, thieves, rogues and cultists. They empty our treasuries unabated, import harlots from Asian countries and compete with fellow thieves in displaying stolen wealth while majority of citizens are forced into second slavery, begging and petty crimes. These shameless characters lacking moral values have taken governance of the country to the lowest ebb in the country’s history. These – for long are the real kidnappers who have successfully kidnapped many of the rest of us! In fact, we are already apprehensive about what may likely happen if the country is messed-up by them the more and beyond what we are experiencing now. Thus, Nigerians should wake up from their slumber to ask necessary questions and put these clueless groups including future leaders to task. This is not impossible! Let us discard the primordial sentiments used in dividing us as a people and unite to fight our tormentors. This will definitely go a long way in providing cure to the unfortunate malady known as Stockholm syndrome. It is in Nigeria that a thieving public office holder gives orders to security agents to do his unholy bidding against perceived opponent or critic. Security agencies are not helping matters! Most of them are captives by their captors but have refused to see reason because they are parasitic, greedy and sycophantic. The few good ones are sidelined and confined to critical duties as indirect punishment!
The most ideal and appropriate time is in 2023 to reshape the destiny of our country, chase away the undesirables in power otherwise referred to as our elitist kidnappers that steal blindly from our commonwealth and enslave us with same stolen wealth. We should resist all intimidations, threats of arrests and extra-judicial killing and face our tormentors with courage and confidence. That we can do and succeed once we are united, focused and determined. We can do it and succeed!
Lest I forget, it was reported by a cross section of the media that the wife of a former minister, Halima Turaki was paid N75million from public funds earmarked by the ministry for special duties and inter-governmental affairs that was presided over by her husband without executing any contract or service. Her only qualification for such an amount was being a wife to a thieving minister. Was it not same Kabiru Tanimu Turaki that aspired to be the governor of Kebbi State in 2011 on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) but God saved Kebbi State by scuttling his tall ambition? Not done, Turaki appeared on the political scene for the presidency on Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform in 2019 that failed. Again, God saved Nigeria! These are some of our tormentors that we should fight to the last.
Muhammad is a commentator on national issues