Because We Are Hypocrites in Nigeria

February 21, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

Manish Swarup/AP



Prince Charles Dickson

Hypocrite. Hypocrisy is the state of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities or standards that one does not actually have. Hypocrisy involves the deception of others and is thus a lie. The Nigerian story is either hypocritical, or contains much of hypocrisy today.

It is a trap that the giant rat disdains that wrenches its testicles backwards. Dangers that one belittles are liable to cause great havoc.

Hmmm, I do not know if grammatically I am permitted to start my essay with such expression. But I will break the rules.

Nigeria, be it himself, herself or itself, is a nation that thrives on breaking the rules, one of the major reasons why we are at this point. We refuse to follow the set rules, we killed what seemed ordinarily our once moderately easy to follow rules, ethos and norms. The signs were there but we refuse to see it. Because we are hypocritical…

What really is the raison d’etre for writing this admonishment? Really one wonders why repeat the same thing; it’s still the same people, stiff-necked people bent on self-destruction. The truth is that one will not give up as there might still be hope to bring us close to where we once were or at least near a place we should be–Where the dollar can owe the Naira.

We are in today’s world of Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa (BRICS), BRICS without the N.

From a history of when the Naira outweighed the Dollar, the Naira donated to the Rand, and the Brazilian Cruzeiro then was a debt currency, everything Chinese was inferior and India was known for its many gods, and cricket. Now we are miles apart, being deported and left to rot in jails in these places. From the point where just a Naira gave you plenty of dollars to now a hundred dollars gives you many thousands.

From a history when most nations where VISA free, to a gradual decline where (1) we beg, pray, fast and then if successful we add a thanksgiving for a VISA to Botswana. (2) To a situation where one of the government’s key phrase is foreign direct investment.

A nation that cannot invest in itself yet believing that by treating its calabash recklessly, we would get a better treatment from others. We watch the gradual disconnect between governance and good governance, a people and her leaders–that rather than provide leadership, ‘rule’ them, ‘lie’ to them and watch them fight themselves.

The once upon a giant of Africa and big brother now begging to partner everyone for any project from electricity from Ghana to fuel from Niger, or Beans from Burkina Faso or what is it we wanted from Rwanda. Really our testicles have been wrenched backwards.

When the dollar owed the Naira, to a large extent we may not have been a hundred and sixty million people but we still had issues and soldiered on, there was the Nigerian pride. But in strides, conscious and unconscious cuts here and there, like an elephant, we kept slicing at it, it keeps walking but walking to its death.

We killed everything that had an N–Nigerian Airways, Nigerian Railway, NITEL, Niger Dock, Nigeria Hospitals, Schools, Nigerian Police, a step at a time we sowed hate, theft, political violence and corruption, watered it and we are acting amused like we never saw the act of our gardening coming.

So mobile telephone is South African, best hospitals are Indian, Egyptian, or German but not Nigerian. We invite Mossad, FBI, Scotland (and anyland) Yard to solve our never-ending criminal puzzles.

Just for those that don’t know, or are feigning ignorance, they are schools in Nigeria where the tuition fees are dollar denominated, shops that only sell in dollars.

Just listen to the old bloc, Maitama Sule, Emeka Anyaokwu, and though they share the blame, when they talk; you hear of a glorious past and advice on how to get to a desirous future where we can stand and look the Dollar in the face like the Chinese are doing to the US, like Brazil is doing to the UK.

Sadly now the dollar talks, Naira shivers, public officials loot (sorry have their friends ‘gift’ them) in the dollar, and we citizenry spend Naira to cowardly defend them because of faith, creed, religion and ethnic cleavages. He/she is not a thief, if he/she comes from my own side of the wood or prays to my own ‘god’.

Private miseducation has long replaced patriotic public education. Nursery rhymes have long replaced the national anthem. Public officials are applauded; people dance and come down with rheumatism for the building of a culvert or borehole in 2017, and that is when we are not dancing kerewa for some beggarly N5000K.

That we are now being forced to tell our kids the good old story is painful, not painful because it is the good old story but because they may never see such…They will not be products of good old public education…When UI, Ife, Nsukka, Unilag, ABU and UJ were the schools to be…

I will end this short take by asking us to recall those days when one was traveling the Ibadan-Lagos Expressway or the Jos-Kaduna road. You had a flat tyre, all one needed to do was wave down any car and the rest we all know. Today one prays hard that your tyre does not have any problem and if it must have, it better be at the right place or else you would be lucky to tell the tale.

The fact is that we are where we owe the dollar because intemperate dandyism lands a youth in a creditor’s farm as a pawn. Squandered resources brought us this destitution and we are still on the squander mania, believing that by a miracle of some sort there will be a turnaround, or that the current imitation of change or that a bunch of HYPOCRITES that we are, will bring change first in four years or more for that matter, like smoking an opium called hope, how long will we wait to get down from our high horses of falsehood—Only time will tell.











Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.


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