A Conspiracy of Three: How Corruption, Curriculum and Callousness Hamper Development in Nigeria

February 15, 2018 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

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By

Amara Femoh Sesay

 

 

If you ask for a prayer, I will pray for showers from heaven that will take away all this anger, fear and mutual recrimination. Is there a country with a name that reminds you of abundance as much as Nigeria does; this ceaseless flow of great rivers, oil wells, milk and every God-given beauty that forces envy and admiration from many people who were not blessed with Nigerian citizenship? How did you ever get to this place looking and sounding like mere spectators in the drama of your own lives and destinies, shedding tears in recognition of the waste your country has suffered in the hands of those who have mismanaged it? The teardrops become maps leading to the universe of frustration whenever you consider how ignorant the Nigeria youth is of the resources around him. Maybe not exactly ignorant, but the trio of dearth of role models, corruption and curriculum conspired against the typical Nigerian youth and deprived him of all that greatness and energy lodged in him. Don’t the older generation ever think that these neglected young people will be the ones to pay their pension, and even more, that they are the successor of God’s Great Gift to humanity?

 

The aspirations, needs, values and beliefs of the young ones are the key focus of every effective national curriculum. Youths should be more useful to their societies than mere patient seekers of white collar jobs. When sound values and character escape the curriculum, how will dignity and progress not escape the people? The hope of Nigeria is in its curriculum! If Nigeria is to present to the world those great nation-builders it once won the attention of the world with, then it should be reflected in what is going on in the schools presently. You and I know that the worst kind of slavery a country will ever suffer is to leave its abundant resources in the hands of ignorant successors.

 

I think nothing-absolutely nothing-will go wrong in this country if its citizenry choose to restrain themselves from those destructive desires that will not only ruin the perpetrators but the nation as well? Kindly tell me what Nigeria will lose if it loses all its corrupt citizens? And know that no war, no commission, no vision and no might will end corruption in Nigeria until the people have the courage to unsheathe the swords of patriotism and kill the corrupt instincts that reside within. Nobody wanted to grow up and be identified with corruption and crime, but I know that we grew up in systems that never emphasized the value of integrity as much as they emphasized getting rich by all means possible. Many started with the courage of living a decent life, but at some point, I know we lost focus of our true purposes in life when the realities of life in Nigeria started descending in thousand folds..expensive marriages, privates schools, private hospitals, foreign universities, demanding extended families, village projects, retirement and the fear of living children who would have to beg for a living.

 

I know you never wanted to do this. Never wanted people to die because you felt entitled to half of the medical revenue for your local government, you could have constructed that road that links you father’s village to your mother’s village, but you wanted your daughter to have the best education in Oxford or MIT. I know you feel this guilt sometimes, but you firmly believe it was meant to be like this forever and that there is no hope for Nigeria. But this is false! You have never seen the power of a mind determined for reform-maybe you should ask a Malaysian or a German!  It is common knowledge to both the corrupt ones and those who are not, that nobody gains from harming fellow human beings. Surely, the criminals are running to the evil consequences of their crimes. What do we gain when all we have toiled and killed for is left in the hands of our enemies and the only thing left with us is a grave? If we turn our backs to all opportunities for reform, what use will a big and deformed nation be to our modern world? How dare you sit here with arms between your legs, crying and cursing when you could stand up and do something about what you call “a mess”?

 

Despite the problems and conflicts Nigeria as a nation endures, no sane mind can ever deny the fact that Nigeria holds a great potential, if its people cooperate in development and nation-building. When the people become good neighbours to one another they won’t suffer and perish in the midst of abundance. But know that you may perish if you continue to feign ignorance to this simple reality.

 

I dream of a Nigeria that will no longer be Nigeria (in a sense that the word Nigeria is almost becoming a synonym for crime and corruption). I dream of a Nigeria that will ever be Nigeria (in the sense of its blessings, beauty and abundant human and natural resources). Let the brave ones among the good-doers come forth from wherever they are. Let the hope of the people reflect in the willingness of the young ones to embrace reform. Let the air be filled with patience and the less talked about narrative of the young Hausas, Igbos, Yorubas and Fulani writers and techies that work night and day to shine the glory of this country in every competition. Let us talk more of Nasir Yammama and less of Boko Haram, more of Abayomi Adebayo and less Badoo guys, more of Noo Saro-Wiwa and less of Niger Delta Avengers.

 

Hundreds of energetic and peace loving Nigerians are out there working for a counter-narrative, it will amount to a crime against humanity to let them die with that deep sense of guilt of not having done much to their beloved nation. If you look deep you will see the deep hole these mutual attempts at blackening the Green, White and Green brand has dug in their hearts. Be that one doctor who will heal their hearts through a change of attitude.

 

And to you the peace loving, hard working and patriotic young soul, never allow frustration and despondency to push you to do crazy things. It is not your fault that Nigeria is the way it is. It may be one of you that will be given that great mandate in the near future. So, be patient and never lose hope.

 

 

 

 

Amara Femoh Sesay

Amara Sesay is a Sierra Leonean writer, education innovator, and journalist who resides in Nigeria. His works have been published both locally and internationally. He is a Fellow of Ebedi International Writers Residency and an alumnus of British Council (Nigeria) Leaders for Tomorrow. In 2016, he was shortlisted for Youth Innovation Award by United Nations in Sierra Leone. Amara can be reached on femohsesay@gmail.com

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