FEATURE ARTICLE

Tuesday, April 30, 2019
[email protected]
Arizona, USA
THE COST OF IGNORANCE!

"Meritocracy is antithetical to mediocrity, but mediocrity will always hold sway in a dysfunctional society." - Yahaya Balogun

"Wn so p omo re g, o n t b ti k pl ag. K l npa yan b k se go?" - Yoruba adage A paraphrase or rough translation of this Yoruba axiomatic adage is: you are told your child is a nincompoop, you said as long as he doesn't die of ignorance! What kills people is buffoonery behavior and fathead attitude. The cost of ignorance is more than the cost of ostentatious lifestyles through religion and politics.

n a nutshell, ignorance is a miasma, if you don't admonish the man next your door to seek knowledge, when his door of ignorance is ajarred, the man's 'maurumauru and wuruwuri' cries in the night will surely affect your sound sleep. The quickest way to make it in Nigeria is through religion and politics. Merit is antithetical to mediocrity, but mediocrity holds sway in an abnormal and dysfunctional society. I am always impassioned to write to motivate and stimulate people to actions to accomplish goals for the common good of all. But the society we dwell today is festered with so many social nitwits. Postmodernism and the failure of imagination for possibilities in Nigeria is very daunting and concerning! There are so many people suffering from deliberate ignorance in these days and age of credible information and knowledge acquisition.

The huge transformation of man from medieval periods has no positive impact on the cognition of some people in this cognitive revolution age. According to Wikipedia, postmodernism is a broad movement that developed in the mid-to-late 20th century across Europe and American philosophy, the arts, architecture, and criticism and that marked a departure from modernism. The term postmodernism has been more generally applied to the historical era following modernity and the tendencies of this era. The world is currently in the postmodern period.

Postmodernism is good and bad news for the world including Nigeria. This is the age of choice between blissful ignorance and and thirst for credible knowledge and information. Unfortunately, Nigeria now dwells in the former with relish, even more than the rest of the world. The latter is for those who seek knowledge for self-development. As the world evolves up-to-date, there were five stages in human development. These are the ages of rationalism, enlightenment, empiricism, existentialism, and postmodernism. Each of these nuances has its causative factors on the human sense of reasoning or cognitive revolution. The thorough explanations on these periods are topical issues to be discussed in another day. But postmodernism, as it relates to Nigeria, will be briefly discussed.

Professor Akinyemi in his recent profound article on the Nigeriaworld of April 26, 2019 posited: "What is the problem with Nigeria?" A question that encapsulates other related issues plaguing the country. What do Nigerians really want? Who really are we? What is the cost of ignorance in Nigeria? These are million dollar questions begging for answers! Some Nigerians like to cut the branch of a tree in which they're comfortably sitting. A deliberate tragedy of their thoughts process you would say?

When dogs or birds gather together, they make their union absolutely impressive and grandeur. Animals are loyal to one another. They are loyal to their pet owners. Birds usual form a coagulation of mutual loyalty in the firmament to dazzle the environment they live in.

Instinctually, like-minded animals do not look for the definition of animal, or a competition among themselves. Animals look for how to eke their environment for survival, and to meet their physiological needs. In 2019, Nigerians are still grappling with the definition of human, and routing how to live like human beings! Majority of the population tang in ignorance and self-denial or self-abgnetion.

This writer is ethically dwarfed to make any preachment on how people should live their lives. Far from it! But as a responsible human being and concerned citizen of Nigeria, I am only impassioned, obligated and socially responsible to unconditionally love my country and her people. I also want the best for Nigerian inhabitants. But the failure of imagination for possibilities is our country's encumbrance. The future (failure and success) of Nigerians are in the hands of all Nigerians. But we the people willfully block the road of knowledge to open the age of blissful ignorance and medieval period.

Meanwhile, a nation cannot live a pretentious lifestyle under a canopy of corruption and pseudo-religiosity and expect growth and development. A nation in anticipation of goodies from her doubtful integrity is in a state of wishful thinking. The mind is a terrible thing to waste! The poverty of mind is an affliction invading the psychology of our people in Nigeria. Lack of real imagination is fast eroding the remnants of our good old value system for possibilities. The remnants of our rectitude of judgment; rightness of principle and conduct, moral virtue and good values are being thrown into the whirlwind of social media. What you read these days from folks can send you away permanently from social media platforms. It is a season of anomie again in Nigeria.

Nauseatingly, the rich, the poor and educated minds are not exempted from what I call national calamities. Corruption is firmly rooted in every mind. Corruption is in every home, community, religious organization, academia, etc. We have so many obtuse minds clogging the road to rewrite our unpleasant present and the ugly history. Those who are educated with liberal minds are abstruse in the presentation and representation of ideas that concern our nation. We are all in crushing guilt of naughtiness, deliberate indifference or blissful ignorance of our current situation in Nigeria.

The poverty of mind----and poverty of everything is in Nigeria. I think it is an epidemic and a systemic problem that need emergency attention. Ignorance as a national malaise is fast metastasizing all facets of our national lives. No one is being immune from it, we are all in avoidable deep trouble together. You might be outside of Nigeria as a permanent resident or in the duality of citizenship; and think Nigerian situation doesn't concern you, it does directly or indirectly affect you unless you have lost your sense of humankindness.

There is a failure of imagination associated with the postmodernism of Nigeria. Every mind is dotted with opportunistic tendencies and instant gratification. Nigerian problems are the correlation of their causation. The cause (corruption) of Nigerian problems and the mind of her people are not mutually exclusive. Some people's horrible sense of superficiality has become a systemic problem. Needless competition for mundane and ephemeral are the new normal. Sensualization of women by women is the new vogue into town. People cannot think straight anymore. We are in the postmodern age in which confusion and contradiction hold sway!

Truth and nothing but the truth is a scarce and essential political nuance in Nigeria. A wasteland with fertile ground for breeding tugs, lies, attention seekers, opportunists, terrorists, rogues, militants, and political charlatans. A nation where if you behave normal, youre seen as an abnormal being. Abnormal behavior is a new normal in our society.

Nigeria population is more than 170 millions people. Nigerian youth constitutes more than 75% of the population, from these dwellers, less than 100 thousands of her multifaceted leaders continue to mortgage the lives and future of the generation of this population. Why are Nigerians suffering from Stockholm syndrome? This is a mysterious question that can only be answered by Nigerians. A nation that is indifferent to her past, with nauseating nonchalant to her present is irredeemably doomed to an unending failure in the future.

This writer and others have been misled and naively stereotyped that religion is our problem in Nigeria, I think I am being morphed from this sacrilegious misconception. Religion is a culprit befouled by corruption. Corruption is a national cancer. It has destroyed the fabrics of the following nuances: family, religion, politics, economy, social interaction, national security and development. When corruption enters the house of God, the congregation of this vineyard will be mindly or mentally corrupted. If the Sheep of the house close their eyes to the graft activities of the Shepherd in a congregation, it becomes a serious collective mental cognition issue.

When corruption enters a family, the future of the family is existentially and indirectly doomed. When corruption enters a socially knitted group or groups of friends or people, the group is on its way to disunity and cataclysm.

Corruption and underdevelopment are intertwined, the two have never produced any meaningful development anywhere. Henceforth, religion should be absolved from the plagues of the nation. Religion itself is a victim of corruption in a wealthy nation with a crisis of rightness of principle and moral rectitude. A victimized religion and warped youth have been weaponized to destroy the socioeconomic welfare of Nigerians. Moreover, we can continue to write epistles for a nation that does not read from now to eternity, if Nigerians are not morally rearmed or wake up from a deep slumber to take their country back from these political vultures, we will continue in this macabre danse to political and socioeconomic nothingness. It will be a circumlocution of ignorance from one generation to another generation.

The poor Nigerians should start to scout for Nigerians from a humble background who were born in slums but the slums and corruption were not born in them. Some Nigerian elites are sociopaths with the mindless stance. They are only motivated by instant gratification and lust for void and luxuries.

Our political space is littered with political opportunists and religious gangsters and grandstanders waiting like a vulture to swoop the nations resources. All winners of the election in Nigeria believe that winning an election is a license to eke stupendously from the national cake. The good news, Nigerian plebeians are shredding this mythology of electoral victory to secure their future and the future of their children. Last presidential election is a freeway from the past; president Muhammadu Buhari's inauguration on May 29, 201,9 will be a litmus test to how Nigeria will move forward. The first week of his second term in office will tell us whether we have morphed as a nation in search of her identity. In order to be successful, President Buhari must not repeat the mistakes of the past four years rather, he must use the obvious inefficiency to leverage and consolidate his success for the future. We must understandably criticize President Buhari's shortcomings and empathize with him for his onerous sacrifices. As PMB is walking the fine line of success and failure, Buhari must close his eyes from distractions and avoid political paternalism. He must see beyond our mundane problems in Nigeria.

As I rest my case, let me reiterate again that thousands of Buhari will be ineffectual in a nation with utter confusion and nauseating contradictions in the postmodern age. When a nation fails to recognize her potential but prefer to dwell in nauseating naughtiness, it will require a cognitive revolution to bring her back to normal. The current situation in Nigeria is abnormally "normal".

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