FEATURE ARTICLE

Friday, February 26, 2021
balooy2k@gmail.com
Arizona, USA
THE PRICE OF DELIBERATE IGNORANCE AND INDIFFERENCE IN NIGERIA!

Corruption and underdevelopment are intertwined; the two have never produced any meaningful development anywhere.

In our society today, it is easy to make more enemies than make real friends if you go to equity with clean hands.

Meritocracy (means of merit) is antithetical (opposed) to mediocrity (nonentity), but mediocrity will always hold sway (valued) in a dysfunctional society." - Yahaya Balogun

"Wn so p omo re go, o n t b ti k pl ago. K l npa yan b k e ago" Yoruba adage. A paraphrased or rough translation of this Yoruba adage is: "you are told your child is a nincompoop (foolish), you said as long as he doesn't die of ignorance (foolishness)! What kills people are buffoonery behavior and fathead attitude."

he cost of ignorance is more than the price of ostentatious lifestyles through religion and politics in Nigeria. Does Nigeria seem jinxed? In a nutshell, ignorance is a miasma (unhealthy smell or vapor). If you don't admonish the man next door to seek knowledge when his door of ignorance is ajar, the man's murumuru and wuruwuri' cries in the "night" will indeed affect your sound sleep or deep slumber. The quickest way to make it in Nigeria is through religion and politics. The two beliefs fester other domestic vices that impede Nigeria's socio-economic development. Merit is antithetical to mediocrity, but mediocrity holds sway in an abnormal and dysfunctional society. I am always emotional to write to motivate and stimulate people to action to accomplish goals for the common good of all. But it is very discouraging to see that the more you are impassioned to see growth and development in Nigeria, the more you're confronted with the selfishness, chronic and deliberate ignorance of our people.

To be honest with ourselves, the society we dwell in today is festered with so many social nitwits and uncorrectable characters. It isn't very encouraging, but we must maintain and sustain our efforts to mobilize and educate our people to see and reason with our progenitors' wisdom.

Postmodernism and the failure of imagination for possibilities in Nigeria are very daunting and concerning! Many people suffer from willful ignorance in this day and age of credible information and knowledge acquisition. The massive transformation of man from the medieval period has no positive impact on some people's cognition in this cognitive and revolution age.

According to Wikipedia, postmodernism is a broad movement developed in the mid-to-late 20th century across Europe and American philosophy, the arts, architecture, and criticism, which marked a departure from modernism. Postmodernism has been more generally applied to the historical era following modernity and this era's tendencies. 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 a thirst for credible information and knowledge. Unfortunately, Nigeria, even the developed world, now dwells in the former with relish. The latter is for the minority of the human race who seek knowledge for self-development and humanity's benefit.

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 periods has its causative factors on the human sense of reasoning or cognitive revolution. In our paralysis of analysis, thorough explanations on these periods are topical issues discussed on another day. But postmodernism, as it relates to Nigeria, will be briefly discussed.

In his profound article published in the Nigeriaworld of April 26, 2019, Professor Akinyemi posited: "what is the problem with Nigeria?" This is a simple but loaded question that encapsulates other related issues plaguing or critical to Nigeria. What do Nigerians really want? Who are the real Nigerians? 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 comfortable sitting. A deliberate tragedy of their thought process, you would say? When dogs or birds gather together, they make their union impressive and grandeur. Animals are loyal to one another. Pets are dedicated to their pet-owners. Birds on their own usually form coagulation of mutual loyalty in the firmament to dazzle the environment they dwell in. Instinctual, like-minded animals do not look for the definition of animal or competition among themselves. The purpose of love is very explicit to animals, but to wicked man, hate is their antique and antithesis of love! Love implicitly exposes man's implicit ethos. You see this daily in their daily social interaction. Animals look for how to eke from their environment for survival and to meet their physiological needs. In 2019, Nigerians are still grappling with defining human relations and routing how to live like human beings and decent animals! Majority of the population tang in ignorance and self-denial or self-abnegation. 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, I am only impassioned, obligated, and socially responsible to love my country and her people unconditionally. 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 is in the hands of all Nigerians. But "we the people" willfully block the road of wisdom and knowledge to open back the age of blissful ignorance and medieval times.

Meanwhile, a nation cannot live a pretentious lifestyle under a canopy of corruption and pseudo-religiosity and expect growth and development. A country 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. Lack of real imagination is fast eroding the remnants of our sound old value system for possibilities. The remnants of our rectitude of judgment, the 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 bubbled away in "a question of time." Sadly, from the bottom up to the top-down, 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 presenting and representing ideas that concern our nation. Some are motivated by opportunistic expectations. Today, it is easy to make more enemies than make real friends if you go to equity with clean hands.

We are all in the crushing guilt of naughtiness, deliberate indifference, or blissful ignorance. The poverty of mind and poverty of reasoning prevail in Nigeria. I think it is a systemic problem that needs emergency attention. Ignorance as a national malaise has fast metastasized all facets of our national lives. No one is immune to it. We are all in avoidable deep trouble altogether. You might be outside of Nigeria as a permanent resident or in the duality of citizenship, and you might think the Nigerian situation doesn't concern you; it does directly or indirectly affect you unless you have lost your sense of humanity and kindness.

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 of Nigerian problems (corruption) and the state of mind of her people are not mutually exclusive. Some people's horrible sense of superficiality has become the Nigerian systemic problem.

In another sphere is the needless competition for mundane and ephemeral. The sensualization of women by women is the new vogue in 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. It was a wasteland with fertile ground for breeding tugs, lies, attention seekers, opportunists, terrorists, rogues, bandits, militants, and political charlatans. A nation where if you behave normally, you're seen as an abnormal being. Abnormal behavior is a new normal in our society.

Nigeria's population is more than 170 million people. Nigerian youth constitutes more than 75% of the people. Less than 100 thousand of her multifaceted leaders continue to mortgage this population's generation's lives and future from these dwellers. Why are Nigerians suffering from Stockholm syndrome? (i.e., cord with mindless leaders?). This is a mysterious question that Nigerians can only answer. A nation that is indifferent to her past, with nauseating nonchalance 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. Religion has been blaspheme by the adherents of the faith.

Corruption is national cancer. It has destroyed the fabrics of family, religion, politics, economy, social interaction, national security, growth, and development. When corruption enters the house of God, the congregation of this vineyard will be mentally corrupted. If the Sheep of the house close their eyes to Shepherd's graft activities in an assembly, it becomes a severe 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 individual and collective behavior plagues of the nation. Religion itself is a victim of corruption in a wealthy country with a crisis of rightness of principle and moral rectitude. A victimized religion and warped youth have been weaponized to destroy the socio-economic welfare of Nigerians. Moreover, we can continue to write epistles for a nation that does not read from now to eternity. But suppose Nigerians are not morally rearmed or wake up from a deep slumber to take their country back from these political vultures. In that case, we will continue in this "macabre dense" to political and socio-economic 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. We must begin to look for Nigerians born in the slums, but the slums and corruption were not born in them. Some Nigerian elites are sociopaths with a mindless stance. They are only motivated by instant gratification and lust for voids and luxuries. Our political space is littered with political opportunists and religious gangsters, grandstanders, and charlatans waiting like vultures to swoop the nation's resources. All Nigerian election winners believe that winning an election is a license to eke stupendously from the national cake. The excellent news, fair and responsible Nigerian plebeians must begin to shred this mythology of electoral myth to secure their future and the future of their children.

The last presidential election was supposed to be a freeway from the past, but President Buhari has squandered the opportunity. We are seemingly etching to "yesterday." President Muhammadu Buhari's inauguration on May 29, 2019, was a litmus test on how Nigeria should move forward. The first few months of his second term in office were abysmally showing us that we have not morphed as a nation searching for a real identity. President Buhari seems to be repeating the mistakes of the past four years. His government's apparent inefficiency to leverage and consolidate his success for the future is his government's encumbrance. We must understandably criticize President Buhari's shortcomings and empathize with him for his onerous and struggling sacrifices for a bruised nation. As PMB is walking the recalcitrant lines of success and failure, Buhari seems to have shut his eyes to Nigeria's security situation. President Buhari appears to have surrendered his mandate to the oligarchy and political paternalism. He is not discerning the mundane problems and the future of Nigeria.

As I rest my case, let me reiterate that one thousand saints will be ineffectual in a nation with utter confusion and nauseating contradictions in the postmodern age. When a country fails to recognize her potential but prefers to dwell in nauseating naughtiness and corruption, it will require a cognitive revolution to bring her back to normality and reality. The current situation in Nigeria is abnormally "normal." We must change it to a new normal to secure a bright future for the next generations of Nigerians to come.

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