Dear Supposedly Educated Nigerians,
Permit me to talk to you on this subject matter that has been on my mind for a very long time, I strongly believe that no society can grow beyond the mentality of its supposedly educated class. I believe that if the educated class is liberated from the shackles and bondage of sycophancy and praise singing of its leadership, the supposedly uneducated class will consequently find its liberation.
As much as education grants the attainment of various academic degrees and accolades for various research works, it is more importantly a tool for freedom and liberation. It is the key that opens and empowers the human mind with the ability to demand for ones right and stay demanding until such demands are achieved.
Education empowers individuals to know their responsibilities as members of a society and what is/are needed from them. It also helps to make citizens know the roles of the government in a society and what is needed from them.
However, governments are put in place to serve the people. They are set up to improve the standard of living of the people- to provide security of lives and properties and to make attainable with ease the basic essentials of life – food, clothing, and shelter. These are the responsibilities of the government which are enshrined in the laws that govern every society.
Democracy- arguably one of the finest system of government, empowers every citizen to demand that government fulfill its responsibilities and further gives the citizens the absolute power to replace any government that defaults in carry out these responsibilities.
It is never the responsibility of the people to make silly excuses for government in justification for their failures. Governments are put in place to get it right and when they do otherwise, it is incumbent on the people to get them replaced. But how would they be replaced, when those that should push for their replacement end up pushing for their continuity? There are no amounts of excuses that can turn failure into success and make an incompetent leader becomes competent. Only performance can!
President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress-led government have been on the blame game and dishing out excuses as justification for their failures since assumption in office, but painfully, supposedly educated citizens who are expected to know better and lead the supposedly uneducated to demand for a fair deal, either knowingly or unknowingly, or as a result of greed and shamelessness fall for this cheap political defence displayed by the government.
Ironically, the same leadership that travels abroad at will- where it enjoys uninterrupted power supply, good road networks, reliable and efficient health system, dependable security, multiple infrastructures, amongst others, leaves Nigerians back at home with no provision of the above to meet their need. This on its own is not the biggest issue, but it is increasingly worrisome to see those that are left home, those that are meant to enjoy these facilities as a right enshrined in the constitution to end up displaying sycophantic behaviours instead of demanding for their rights.
The same leadership exposes all to danger but itself and the “ruling class”, yet those in danger turn around to sing their praises. There is something fundamentally wrong about this and the educated class should be blamed for it.
Make no mistake, while it is good to commend leadership whenever results are achieved, I mean results not just efforts; it is worthy to note that there is a thin line between commendation and sycophancy.
I have realized that educated Nigerians, too often than normal, fall into this trap of sycophancy in a bizarre attempt to commend the government for as little as efforts that are yet to achieve results and that may not even end up achieving any tangible result. You hear educated Nigerians, screaming “Sai Baba”, just for an intention to increase workers` wages, like how low could that be, or for signing the budget proposal into law, or for re-commissioning a project that had once be commissioned, and the likes.
It is quite pathetic that ours is a society of mediocrity backed up by sycophancy. This infamous synergy is a bane on any society in dire need of progress, growth and development.
It is understandable when supposedly uneducated folks engage in sycophantic behaviour but how does one begin to explain this when such attitude is displayed by supposedly educated Nigerians that are meant to help sensitize the uneducated about their rights.
There is a thin line between rights and benefit just like I said earlier for commendation and sycophancy. It is incumbent on government to deliver the people’s right to them and also incumbent on the people to enforce its collection when necessary if it’s not gotten as at when due. But it is quite unfortunate that the reverse is the case today.
Instead for educated folks to take the lead in demanding for their rights and that of others from leadership, they take the lead in singing praises of leadership failures and even curve out excuses for it. No society develops like that!
Leadership is intrinsically swift to assume they have done enough for the people and then naturally goes on hibernation. However, it is the responsibility of its citizen, most especially the educated ones, to lead the demand for continuous improvement and more and better deal for all.
This is a wakeup call to all Nigerians especially the educated ones, if indeed Nigeria is to progress, we must refrain from the habit of complacency and sycophancy. No leader must be given that chance to think that the Nigerian people can be easily satisfied and cajoled by the words of mouth in the midst of multiple failed promises and a failing system. This responsibility lies in the hands of the educated- to lead the demand for a better society through continuous engagement with and questioning of leadership for a better deal and not through sycophantic praise singing of incompetent leadership and failure of governance.
God Bless Nigeria.
. Rotimi, Socio-economic and Political Commentator, tweets @MickeySunny.