This feeling started a long time ago. Maybe from the time I started understanding humans must take responsibility and detest hearing Nigerians blame Nigeria for every woe caused by themselves—Nigerians on themselves and others in the country.
Do not get me wrong. I am not saying I am innocent or that I have not contributed to this by my actions and inactions, just like most of us. I am different; I have been for a long time. I will never blame Nigeria. If I know the individuals responsible for things, I reference them and blame them.
This is the reality of what we Nigerians have been. Oh, you are surprised I did not say what Nigeria has been. You are expecting me to say I am worried about Nigeria. That Nigeria happened to me or did this and that. This is what you have always heard. That is what you have always said.
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Who is Nigeria? This is one crucial question a lot of us fail to ask ourselves. We refer to Nigeria as if she were a human with veins, blood flowing through them, hands, and legs. We shift blame to the space we occupy and what brought us together instead of blaming ourselves for what we have turned the space into.
Maybe you are not getting this. You came from a nuclear and extended family. Your family is probably one of those where nothing is working for them despite having all the resources and privileges due to the fault of one or two members of the family.
A friend once lamented that his extended family had huge land with mineral deposits in his village. Yet there is not a single graduate in their family. They lived in terrible conditions despite these resources. Most of the families in that community are not different. Many of them had to run from home, get educated, and return home to make a difference.
While they were grumbling and enduring these conditions, he expressed that strangers paid to cultivate the lands. These strangers live better and are the wealthiest and most educated in the community at the time.
In some families or communities we come from, the case is not the availability of resources and lack of will to use them to change our fortunes. It is that there is one person or group of people who draw back and sink the family, no matter how other members of the family are trying to change the family’s or community’s fortune.
It is not likely to see anyone blame that family or community for whatever they might have become. The individuals or people of the community responsible for these misfortunes and those of the family or community are referred to instead because they have faces.
We need to stop blaming Nigeria. Stop saying, ‘’What a country!’’ and start blaming ourselves for whatever we have become. Say, “What a person, what a man, what a woman, what a public servant.”
We became Nigerians by whatever means you choose to call it. Just as we become members of a family by birth, adoption, etc. We were too young then to understand what we were getting into, but by eighteen years of being, if I may use Nigerian maturity age, a child of that age is likely to start understanding what had happened and focus on the future and present that we are in.
Again, all the crises going on in Nigeria today are due to our actions and inactions. Simple. Stop blaming Nigeria. Nigeria has no brains, hands, or legs to commit atrocities. We humans, who are Nigerians, did it ourselves, not Nigeria. Blame yourselves. Stop blaming Nigeria.
Adebayo Adekola; Team Lead/Founder, Taitum Legal Practitioners