The Miracle Seeking Nation

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Today, I had the rare opportunity to be driven in a car across some part of Nigeria. I consider it a rare opportunity given the numerous tales of kidnaps and many other vices hindering our livelihood. Howbeit, during the ride, I was forced to ruminate about the many issues that concerns our nation. These issues I speak of are seeable. They include; poor road networks, corrupt security forces, disobedient citizens, brain drain, man-made insecurity, needless strike actions and many more.

Like the biblical leviathan beast, our many issues have without relent, continue to upset goodwill efforts. Shall we therefore conclude that our problems are without causes? Only a daft fellow would be dismissive of historical evidence. A story is told about a certain man who once worked in a construction firm earning three thousand naira daily. He had worked for a cumulative period of five years. Howbeit, he was always fond of praying to God saying “Dear father in heaven, please gift me a million naira and I will bother you no more”. One day, his prayer got answered but in no time, he lavished the money on frivolous things. Whether he went back to ask God for another million naira is of no consequence.

Nigeria represent that man. A land so blessed yet never ceasing to beg God for a miracle. As I ruminate on how we got here, I began to understand why the British Author named Richard Dowden would title his book “Africa; Ordinary miracle, altered state”.

Our inability to optimally utilize our resources (natural and human) have spiralled into doom. Often times, we are inclined to cast all of our woes on our leaders. We blame them for the most trivial issues there is. We blame the government for inadequate provision of light, good roads, traffic gridlock… Howbeit, we downplay our own wrong doings such as; disobedience to traffic rules, poor management of scarce social amenities, dishonesty, bribe offers…

Once I heard a man say “We always exempt ourselves in a complacent manner by suggesting that our leaders are our problems but these leaders didn’t descend from space instead, they grew up from amongst us”.

In other words, we taught them to be lead via tribal yardstick, to loot and to carry out all manner of ills. In other words, the people of the society were given the opportunity to mould the kind of leaders they want and they ended up moulding a replica of themselves to lead on. Again, in our clime, I deduce that most Nigerians are  okay with leaders  when they syphon funds.  Howbeit, they are only angry because they are unable to get a share of the loot. That is why leaders are able to manipulate the conscience of the citizens at will.

In addition, we are quick to allude our failures to a section of the country. For instance, it is often assumed that a bulk of our problems is primarily an Hausa/Fulani thing. Therefore, we satisfactorily await the birth of the beautiful ones to save us from self. A collection of blamers is what we’ve become over the years. Like that man who prayed for a million naira miracle, we continue to pray for what has already been provided. Until Nigerians decides to start doing things the right way, our salvation from the bonds of national failure will continue to provide a  fertile atmosphere for further failure.

– Olayinka Kayode writes from Jibowu, Ogun State.

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