By: Moshood Muhammed
“Hypocrisy is the greatest impediment to our liberation”
One thing that is peculiar and as well synonymous to every society in the world is the urge and hunger for progress; leaving on its own without much dependence on other nations and societies of the world. This struggle requires and demands several efforts to achieve this lofty dream as a people.
Sometimes, I feel utterly perturbed and regrettably sorry by what has happened to the country of my own. I’m cock sure it is same with many of us who are conscientiously watching events and monitoring the ever-unending but tiring issues unfold in the largest black race on earth. Though, our point of regrets may differ, depending on what is being viewed or considered as aberration or sardonic among the very many myriads of obscurities available for our consumption as members of the social system.
It should sadden the heart of a seriously bereaved and unhypocritical Nigerian that it’s only in this country that things are done awkwardly, against the international and reasonable standard as largely visible in advanced societies.
Hardwork, going by my upbringing as an African nay Nigerian and minimally or to say the least Yoruba culture (not in category but in a generalized rank) which am a descendant teaches that hardwork, morality, humility and other good behaviours are greatly valued and appreciated with good commentaries, eulogies, remarks and perhaps in highest term with awards or and other recognitions of sort. But, what do you say when those practices are fast eroding on our own very soil?
These days, awards and recognitions are visibly and apparently not won on merits. Not only this, chieftaincy titles, offices and positions, are never won on the platform of capability but rather on trivalties and irrelevances, majorly dominated by affluences, riches and and other materialistic basis and conditions, available to and can be met by only by a few.
This practice, incontrovertibly cuts across all sectors and parts of the country, viz a viz politics, religion, entertainment, education, artisanship, among so many others to mention but little.
Awards have been dolled out to some Nigerians, most especially politicians and the affluents in the country. Recently, Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mubashiru Obasa; Honourable representing Remo at the House of Representative, Hon. Ladi Adebutu were both reportedly honoured by City People Magazines. The list is endless as well as categories and series.
Giving the awards is not the problem, but the problem is with the selection and criteria for emergence of the awardees.
More often than not, the process leading to the emergence of awards nominees are not usually in the public domain. If it is, would be open for public scrutiny and assessment, while enhancing the transparency, and spur others to emulate and learn from them those who are so awarded and recognized. No doubt, this will cleanse the system of the bad eggs while sanity is restored and hardwork would be taken above mediocrity.
Earlier this year, the whole country, particularly the social media celebrated the ignoble affray between two highly placed CEOs (OLAMIDE and DON JAZZY) in the Nigerian entertainment scene in what OLAMIDE going by his reactions termed as political and unsavoury the rating, nomination and eventual awarding of Reekado Banks of Marvins as Next Rated against his then YBNL’s Lil Kesh.
Ain’t here to judge that award, but the shameless display on that day at the event venue and consequently the social media war of words wouldn’t have occurred or surfaced if things had been openly or say carefully done.
Similarly, Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West in the National Assembly in the month of May was awarded as “Senator of the year” by Abass Akande Obesere, a Fuji Musician. Isn’t that surprising? How did he emerge and what qualified him for that recognition?
This not peculiar to only those highlighted above in this piece, it surfaces and pervades among various individuals, socio-economic and political groups in the country.
The media, by my training have so many functions they play in the society. But, most of these are fast eroding, since the ownership of the media was deregulated and made a free market. Sadly, the media engages in this, sometimes even more than other groups. Can’t stop imagining media organisations organising award, not for ordinary Nigerians or professionals but politicians and affluent. Would there ever be balance, fairness, objectivity, editorial independence and other code of ethics of the profession? Isn’t news commercialization?
Has the society watcher been bought? Will the fourth estate be able to discharge its social responsibility to Nigerians? Nigerians may have to start watching the watchers!
Do I need say the obvious on this? Awards are now a source of fund raising. Pitiably, Nigerian politicians who are supposed to be forthrightly held are rather celebrated and patted.
On the political scene, Nigerians who come out to cast their ballots during polls more often than not do that for the love of the country, while the choice of who becomes what in the nation is left at the mercy of a few people. These people use their discretion and judgement in presenting an “anointed” candidate for election and are usually gullibly supported by unsuspecting citizenry.
A more reason why people, overtime from my interactions can’t but imagine how those at the helms of affairs re-cycle themselves, family members and close allies for those offices. When will it be your turn? This has continued to play out in a country that houses over 170 million people without significant and meaningful changes. Where thou lie the hope this country?
Perhaps, that is why the then Head of Department of Mass Communication, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Mr. Sina Aina in the year 2015, while commenting on the year’s topic – PR in Management of Electoral Violence in Nigeria lamented during the polytechnic’s annual Diamond Lecture the continuous use of violence by desperate politicians to perpetrate evil, cause havoc, disrupt peace of the nation in bid to winning the supposedly popular people’s mandate through rigging and other forms of electoral violence. He further said, “elections in Nigeria are never won by manifestoes”. No doubt, with the obvious and apparent, it sounds more than nothing but the truth. “Anointed” candidates will definitely not be the people’s choice, but they are smuggled in to serve the interest of some cabals, thus the use of violence.
Moreso, Nigerians take their political membership opportunity to shy aware from critical national issues, as a result of their partisanship. As it stands, if any member of a political party is seen to criticize his fellow party member in power, he’s seen as a traitor and termed to be engaged in anti-party activities. And on and on like that.
Nigerians who give dissenting voices to issues are quickly taken up by those I call the political bigots or say psychophants as sponsored propagandists and paid agent. Senator Sheu Sanni got his piece of tongue-lashing when he openly criticized the increase in pump price; even his fellow members of APC were quick to remind him of his sojourn from PDP to the ruling party, describing him as PDP’s mole. But was greatly hailed when he supported the President Buhari’s London travel on ear infections treatment. What a people!
The list is endless.
Noteworthily, I’m not advocating for blind criticism or campaign of calumny, dressed in politics that does not mean good for the nation. Remember, our fundermental human rights have limitations.
As a people who want the good of the country and its people, not forgetting the unborn generations, we have to collectively face, criticize and bring out the best in our representatives, as failure to do so will spell doom for the entire race on this soil.
The president and other elected officials got to office through the ballots. Seeking that they fail is like seeking that generations suffer. As such, our criticism must be conscientiously done to aid the growth of the nation and simultaneously the good of our people.
Undoubtedly, there are so many issues and challenges on table of this nation, yet, the people, regardless of differences are the first set of solutions we need to correct these anomalies. And the right questions have to be asked.
As Martin Luther King Jr. once asserted, Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Let’s all opinions and issues relating to the country be purposeful while we remain patriotic in our dealings, for the sole good of this country.
If Nigeria fails or falls (God forbid) as a result of our saturated foolishness and or uncensored stupidity, what shall we tell the unborn generations?
On this note, I say, #DontBringDownThisNation & #ThisNationMustNotFall
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