Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Thank you Mr Patrick....

Last week, I was almost murmuring about why Nigerians love public holidays so much. Actually, I did enjoy my holiday. Well, until I ran out of Internet access and realised my work will be left unattended to if I did not renew my subscription immediately. The office of the Internet provider also observed the public holiday so there was no way out. Or so I thought.

A friend suggested to drive through Starcomms office to see if the retail distributors were available. But then, she came up with a better idea- to call one of them and find out where he was.

Mr Patrick, one of the distributors confirmed what we already knew- all the retail shops were closed. If you reside in Abuja you’ll understand how shutdown the city looked during this holiday; even though it was suppose to be a festive one. The fear of Boko Haram sent "everyone" indoor.

To cut the long story short, Mr Patrick offered to recharge my line. He has never met me yet he was willing to take the risk. He said that he would renew my Internet subscription and collect the money after the holiday.  Within a few minutes, my Internet access was restored.

I met Mr. Patrick the following day to make my payment. Out of curiosity, I asked if he did that often. He showed me a notebook with numbers of people who subscribe through him. Just a phone call and bam! he play his role while they play theirs.

Trust and honesty is the watchword.

I began to imagine what our society would look like if we had more of Mr Patrick and the people who do business with him in Nigeria. More honest Nigerians. More transparent Nigerians. More people of integrity. More selfless people. More people who are willing to think good of others irrespective of their tribe or family background.

The socio-economic situation is not looking good in Nigeria.  But you know, a change in attitude and action will change everything.

We blame Goodluck Jonathan for things wrong in Nigeria. The meat seller who cheats others in the market blames the government. The religious leaders who brainwash their followers and stir up religious crisis blame the government. The teachers and others active in public service that collect bribe also have the guts to blame the government. The uncles and fathers who abuse the girls and women in their care blame the government.The employer who exploit the employees in his organization blame the government.

I am not a saint. I also blame the government when things really suck.

But I realize the day we stop the blame game and start acting responsibly is the day Nigeria will start working.

In a nutshell, if we all can take out the log in our eyes before trying to take out the plank in our government leader's eyes, NIGERIA will be fine.  Our government leaders misbehave because they know some of us are easily swayed by empty promises. But that too has to change.

In case your path crosses with that of a Mr Patrick in future- tell him thank you, again. For trusting and showing that we can start by trusting each other to change Nigeria.

My encounter with Mr Patrick reminded me that Nigeria is not a big geographical location far from our sphere. Nigeria is you and I. Our attitude to one another have a rippling effect on the way the government leaders perceive us. Be the change you want to see in Nigeria- this is not a cliche.

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