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Nigerians are nice, but the politicians are selfish

30 July 2012, 09:17

Sometimes when I wonder how and why we end up with the set of politicians and leaders we ended up with, I am usually left with several but no good reasons for our misfortune.

One day I stumbled on a strange but true saying that every society ultimately gets the kind of leaders she deserves, in the manner that the leaders were not imported into such society, they are unquestionably a product of the society.

In our own case we have eventually over time conditioned and seasoned the mind of our leaders to be who they are, which is a reflection of who we are as a people. This is reflected in the way and manner we handle the units that make our up society—let’s take an appraisal look at institutions; such as families, schools, corporate organisations and religious organisations even social clubs. These institutions are fraught with plethoric and blatant display of duplicity and sleaze.

It is surprising how the same man who is involved, in his own way, in all sorts of corner cutting practices suddenly find it easy to censure and condemn corruption in our politicians, approximating them to aliens. I laugh at the awareness that our politicians are a part us, in honesty they are our very brothers and sisters.

I read yesterday, a statement credited to Richard Branson that "Nigeria people are generally nice but the politicians are very insane" (You may want to Google “RICHARD BRANSON VERDICT ON DOING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA” for the full sad story). Although he acknowledged the irony in this statement, I was yet amazed at the paradox; are these politicians not Nigerians? Were they imported? This statement immediately reminded me of Khalil Gibran’s poem “Crimes and Punishments” where he wrote;

"Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.
"But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you.

"So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.

"And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,

"So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all."

Yes, we made them what they are. Each and every one of us is responsible for what our politicians turned out to be! We have taught every man to be crooked and hardly anyone is exempted from this ingrained culture of bribery, tribalism and the attendant rots as seen in every strata of our system.

The policeman whose duty is to curb crime uses the same instrument meant for upholding the law to exploit the average man on the street, the average man on the other hand uses his office to skim the next average man of the little Naira notes in his pockets. We have gotten thus far taciturnly preaching, by practicing a dog-eat-dog doctrine for too long.

The imperative question is how further can we go before we self-destruct? I have done a soul searching and found that I needed recalibration of my thought system, I recommend the same introspection for each and everyone who desires a positive change, critical of the change promised by the present government!

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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