Problems are inevitable in human societies. There would be no time in the history of human race when there would be no problems. Even though problems are undesirable, the ability of societies to stand firm, resist them and forge ahead is critical for their development.
Arguably, a significant share of societal problems today is both man made and self inflicted. In virtually every respect, this argument perfectly fits the Nigerian situation where (in the writer’s opinion) the elite are its main architects; the architects of our overall misfortunes.
To start with, corruption in the polity is heavily perpetrated and ceremoniously celebrated. Too numerous to mention, and very fresh in our memories have indeed recently added to the glaringly alarming proportion. This cankerworm (corruption) has eaten deep into the fabric of our nationhood; leading to becoming a stumbling-block and hampering appreciable physical and human progresses in the land.
Today, the consequences of the rapacious nature of the elite have virtually affected every facet of our human lives. It has denigrated and tarnished the image of Nigeria and Nigerians in the eyes of the world. This has given us a bad name and made it extremely difficult for us to mingle amongst nations in high esteem and with our heads held high; as it used to be some 50 or so years ago.
The notion ‘every Nigerian is in one way or the other corrupt’ has regularly been enjoying indepth discourses/analyses in various fora nationally and internationally in an attempt to sell cheap the country’s image and its already hard earned reputations over the years. Though the country has a large chunk of good and tested ones (those with unquestionable track records), who for one reason or the other were/are denied chances to hold crucial positions simply because they would not dance to the melody of the beating drums of the possessed elite.
Greediness, lawlessness and selfishness are eminent characteristics of the Nigeria’s elite. These characteristics aptly described who the elite are and the gravity of the ills they are capable of planting; the bane of our collective well being as a nation. To sum it up, the type of elite we have today are rather a curse than a blessing for Nigeria; who obviously become a conduit through which huge resources are siphoned, stashed away and rendered valueless to the detriment of the teeming populace and the country at large.
Fortunately, for our sister countries: Malaysia, Singapore, China etc., this has not been the case. With love, patriotism, passion, will and commitment of the elite in such countries, they are now seeing and witnessing excellent breakthroughs, giant strides and significant transformations both in form and contents.
In spite of the ugly path the country has towed largely due to the actions and inactions of some misguided opportunists few at the helm of our affairs as a nation; hopes for appreciable progresses in the land have still not dashed away. Countries with strong institutions devoid of misguided elements, miscreants, villainous and opportunists few inevitably prosper and realise their full potentials against all odds. The likes of these countries set the phase for every meaningful development for others to copy.
The task ahead of us as a country now lies with our collective resolve and commitment to usher in a new phase and drive away the said “eminent characteristics” possessed of the Nigeria’s elite in the polity; which is seemingly and increasingly becoming well pronounced. Only then we can develop and develop beyond reasonable doubts.
Mustapha Garba Jama’a, Makarfi, Kaduna State.