The culture of indiscipline

CC™ Editor-in-Chief
--- Boyejo A. Coker

It is rather easy to lay the blame for Nigeria's lack of progress and development to as many factors as one can come up with...but the most obvious impediment to Nigeria's forward progression is the apparent culture of indiscipline that has become part and parcel of the society as a whole. We like to ascribe to ourselves the title "Giant of Africa" without realizing the attendant incumbencies that accompany such a position.

At 63 (this year), we seem more lost than ever. Take a look at the various sectors of Nigerian life and you will see a true representation of the present deplorable state of affairs, in a country that holds so much promise, but bears so much despair.

The history of Nigeria is replete with several notable accomplishments, more notably in the arena of international politics (with Africa as our frame of reference). We have been unflinching and resolved in our commitment to the total liberation of Africa from the clutches of imperialism and neo-colonialism. In as much as we have succeeded in this high-order endeavor, we have fallen short miserably in not realizing that true freedom in all its peculiarities must be absolute and comprehensive.

Freedom does not only entail "political emancipation" but more importantly must include economic, psychological, emotional, cultural and spiritual emancipation. Please note that when I say spiritual emancipation, I am not referring to religiosity, religiousness or religion for that matter, I am in fact referring to a thorough cleansing of the "impurities" that may serve to inhibit the process whereby potential is transformed into reality through self-actualization.

As several African countries such as Zimbabwe and Namibia, to name a few, have gained independence, so also have their African leaders become worse than their original European subjugators. Why you ask? Well, let's look at the "Big Brother" (Nigeria, that is). Is it unrealistic to expect the "Younger Siblings" to follow in the footsteps of the "Eldest Child?"

I mean, we are the "Giant of Africa" right? As such we expect the rest of Africa to follow our lead. But what example have we shown the rest of Africa so far...what, a culture of pernicious graft, moral decay, spiritual bankruptcy, political crookery, self-aggrandizement and an ominous lack of transparency and accountability in all tiers of government.

Worse still, in the West African sub-region that had until now been known for its relative calm and stability, chaos is now the order of the day. A careful examination of the events in several of these countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone will reveal that Nigeria (through its murderous dictators...Babangida and Abacha) in one way or the other, had a hand in the disintegration of civil society in these countries. The indiscipline that had become the order of the day under the regimes of both Babangida and Abacha permeated into the social and political fabric of these countries.

Now, more than ever, we as Nigerians must not only resolve to change our ways for the better, we must embrace the spirit of humility and a culture of personal discipline. For all that was wrong with the Idiagbon-Buhari administration, there was one thing they did right; they made Nigerians think before we talked, they made us reflect before we acted, they made us resolve to imbibe a sense of moderation and comportment in all facets of our lives. If only they hadn't arrogated so much power and knowledge to themselves, in addition to sectionalizing the execution of their agenda (the Yoruba and other non-Fulani ethnic nationalities bore the disproportionate majority of their wrath) we may well have turned the corner by now.

It is indeed time for a rebirth of a True War Against Indiscipline (TWAI), as no nation, no matter how blessed, can aspire to true greatness under false pretenses. True greatness has its rewards, but the sacrifices must be such that they are commensurate with the expected rewards.

The rest of Africa needs a truly strong and vibrant Nigeria, a Nigeria that represents the true values and ideals of accountability, transparency and human dignity. No nation, I reiterate once more, can aspire to true greatness without inculcating in its people, a strong sense of this is the basic (but most important) foundation upon which a truly just, equitable and civil society is built.

God Bless Nigeria!