Saturday, September 29, 2007


We are calling on the government to come to our aid...” or “we are waiting for the government to come and help us resolve this problem...” How often have you heard any of the above statements? It might have been in the news last night, or someone just murmured it in the bus you took this morning. Yes, almost everyone in Nigeria likes to wait for the government for this and that. What kind of government, perhaps those that make legislations, the elected leaders of the people?

There is nothing wrong in depending on the government, however, think about this for a minute: A trailer fell into a ditch, fortunately, no one is hurt, but the trailer is badly crushed. People gather at the scene and as if on a planned mission, everyone starts blaming one person- no not the sober driver still in his drunken state, but the government. They all spend the next 30 minutes moaning about how bad the Nigerian government has been and how democracy is doing no good. Then with a heavy sigh, someone calls on President Yar'adua to come to their aid. And do what? Maybe to come and spank the driver for driving while drunk and give him module 101 lessons on the danger of reckless driving or to mobilize local brick layers to build a barricade between the main road and the ditch.

Do you agree that 80% of the problems we most times blame on the government can be avoided if we all take personal responsibility for our actions? For instance, a baby falls off his mother's back and the father blames it on the government, a student fails an examination and blames it on the system etc. instead of learning from the situation and build on a better principle.

Another issue that baffles me is the recent call being made to the government to re-introduce “fashion police” and arrest indecently dressed ladies. I would recommend that the policy be extended to include arresting the parents of the youths for allowing their children or wards walk around half naked. Where is the power of parental responsibility gone?

Nigeria is still rated one of the richest country in Africa...including in human resources, yet a large percent of Nigerians suffer from poverty of the mind. This has reflected on the way we depend on government to do things we can easily do or achieve on our own. We should start thinking creatively on how we can tackle local issues that affect the Nation and not just wait for the government for petty issues when they are yet to succeed in solving the big matters.

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