By Bayo Fasunwon
Nigeria is a blessed country, filled with hardworking, dedicated and hopeful inhabitants, Nigerians are, possibly due to the various religious teachings, givers. However, one could observe that the loyalty and faithfulness of many Nigerians is primarily to themselves, families and selected friends. This personal or filial loyalty is disguised in workaholic behavioural tendencies at work, religious organisations and relationships. Thus, when a Nigerian works assiduously for his employer, it is often to derive personal benefits rather than achieving organisation’s goals.
Operating therefore under Douglas McGregor’s theory X and Y, Nigerians need motivation to work. This motivation therefore is often demanded by asking: “What is in it for us?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not in statutory and or official remuneration. Given the low wage regime in Nigeria, accompanied by inflation, government’s ineffective inefficiencies, and growing dependents, many Nigerians are interested in what comes to them outside the official remunerations. Therefore, the acceptance of obligations is often dependent on the spoils of office attached. That is the underlying cause of corruption.
Nigerians love the good things of life but cannot in any cases afford them, and many would therefore silence their conscience and brain their mind to accept that evil practices are good. For the average civil servant, the remuneration may just be enough to educate their wards in government owned schools. However, the infrastructural decay, incessant strikes and selective dedication of staff towards their wards would lead many into knocking the doors of private owned institutions, with questionable attainments, to enroll their wards. Unfortunately, these come at high costs, hence the need for selective tasks at work in order to make more money for the school fees. This example pertains to acquiring habitable houses, cars, social amenities and even good food. Thus, we have built a generation of Nigerians who would demand compensations for little task (such as greeting you) in order to make ends meet. No thanks to prodigal leaders, few are the Nigerians who are willing to offer selfless services.
Shehu Sanni was on Facebook thanking the two delegates who voted for him pro bono. The two votes were all he could garner, hence lost the ticket to contest for his desired position in his party. Thus, even at primary elections, voting is determined by what the voters can get and not the capacity of the elected to govern. That is the foolishness of democracy. There are many tales of woes about political scamming that characterized the ongoing party primaries. Some who lost out in the race are asking delegates to return their money, which they had given for vote buying. The truth remains that many politicians had doles out funds in millions, camped (kidnapped) Delegates for weeks, only for the latter succumbing to the lure of better offers and in event voting for the highest bidder. In Osun State, a gubernatorial aspirant was bold to tell the electorate that he had arrived with loads of local and foreign currencies to swing voters to his side. That was the topic sentence of his campaign to a people he sought to govern. What a shame! While in a discussion with some Nigerians, two people were raining curses on a past member of House of Representatives and present contender for the position of Senate. They explained that the exploits of a present member of the House who occupied the same committee position as the former had opened their eyes to the fact that ‘their son’ was a looter, swindler and enemy of the people. In other words, majority of the politicians lack loyalty and faithfulness to the people and to the nation, and are only seeking power to extricate themselves and their families from the shackles of pain that had enslaved Nigerians in their fatherland.
If survival had been the major intention of many Nigerians, the level of decay and suffering in the land would not have escalated this far. But, inherent in the nature of selfish rulers, which has trickled down to followers is the gene of wickedness. Only wickedness explains the actions of the Accountant General of the Federation’s alleged stealing of N80billion public fund for personal use. This amount is equivalent to certain State’s annual budget, and could have saved the nation from incessant borrowing and burdens of repayment. Many workers would not have died of unpaid dues, while infrastructural decay in the health and education sector would have been minimized. But since his quest for that position was based on self-loyalty, the nation cries while his pockets laugh. It is a season of exposure, and many more would be uncovered as President Buhari’s administration winds up. It is therefore unsurprising that some appointees who had been convinced to run for elective posts have suddenly developed cold feet, in the name of ‘loyalty to Nigeria’. Loyalty, my foot. They had reasoned that a bird in hand is worth more than two in the bush, and that their current position puts more bread on their table than what official salaries can procure.
Few days ago, a Nigerian made a video of curses on the looters of the national treasure when he saw the ‘heaven’ created in the United Arab Emirates by their oil wealth. He failed to realise that the leaders of that nation were loyal to their followers, the creed of religion and the spirit of their founding founders. Nigeria is assembling the vultures, the hyenas and predators for another round of feast on the nation’s purse, and the hapless citizens are slavishly cheering them on. The followers themselves, being disloyal to the nation are rejoicing that another season of ‘soup making’ has arrived. A friend of mine, and a Professor informed me of the near impossibility of positive change in this country, given the chain networks of corruption and Nigerians acceptance of the nefarious code. We concluded that Nigerians are not angry that leaders are corrupt, but are sorely vexed that they and their family members are not benefitting from it. So, self-love prevails over national loyalty. That is the reason for my angst against consensus candidates. In most cases, political leaders only lift up the hands of those that would remain loyal to the creed of corruption, the hands that raised them up and inordinate ambitions. There would be an absolute zero loyalty to the people they ought to serve, the State and nation as a whole. Asking for militarized intervention is out of the matter because men in uniforms have sabotaged the nation’s security on the altar of self-love and loyalty to their untamed alimentary canals.
What shall we do then to be saved? Nigerians must understand that seeking for personal survival only strengthens our foes and predators. Unfortunately, a time would come that those who had survived the first purge would become the immediate targets in the next purge. Rather than Civil Servants seeking for illicit funds to send their wards to private and foreign Universities, it is time to down tools and seek for the revamping of our educational institutions. The Sri Lanka treatment is not too extreme, neither is the downing of tools by all for a year an objectionable panacea. If we continue like this as a people and a nation, the Predators would bring our generation into extinction.