Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Opposition to a new Nigeria - Cowardice or Complacence?

“Nowhere on God’s green planet have I seen a mass of humanity so cowed by their corrupt and thieving leaders; nowhere in God’s universe have I seen a people so afraid to confront their leaders and ask what they have done with billions; nowhere in this world have I seen a bunch of lily-livered souls willing to be subjected to the most inhumane, vile and contemptible conditions the world has seen in the midst of plenty and not hold their leaders accountable”. Phil Tam-Al Alalibo

“Talk, preach, sing, act, march – but by all means refuse to lie down and die”. A preacher (addressing a church of blacks during one of the Martin Luther King Jr. marches)

Methinks there are very few words that describe the average Nigerian better than lily-livered.

I was talking with a friend recently, and he told me point blank that he admires the ‘Boko Haram’ guys! Just like you probably would, I attacked him instantly! I launched into a discourse on the benefits of Western education and the likes, and then a single sentence from him shut me up! He said he admired the fact that they were willing to die for what they believed in. He made sense, he doesn’t like what they stood for – but he admires their courage and pluck. These guys believed with all sincerity that western education is wrong for them – and they died defending their beliefs.

The same guy went on to ask me – “Koye, are you willing to die to make a better Nigeria?” Amazing myself in the process (at the weakness of my argument), I smiled and said no while arguing that I can add more value by living to make a better Nigeria. However, when he left – I wasn’t so sure...

Sometimes ago, a fellow who prefers to remain anonymous dropped a comment on this blog where he labelled Nigeria a nation of cowards. Find the text of the comment (unedited except for a few spelling errors) reproduced below:

When you have students that graduated with First class honors in Engineering from UNILAG, UI and OAU working in banks, you feel sorry for Nigeria. There is no hope for a country where people are scared of change. 'E no go better' until we get tired of all this nonsense. We need to replace those guys in government first and foremost. When people talk about success stories like India and China, they diminish the influence that having the right business environment does to the entrepreneurial spirit of the populace. Personally, I have given up on the country. Even if we start moving in the right direction today, it will take one or two generations to get where we want to be. Time is not even the issue; we just don't have the will. When I think about Nigeria, cowardice comes to mind. We have never been a lazy bunch but we are a nation of cowards. Yes, even you.

Apparently, this fellow shares the same views as Phil Tam-Al Alalibo. I have come across a lot of people with differing views, and this post is an attempt to present a discourse on the issue from my own point of view...