A clamour is arising from the polity: that of the Nigerian nation, there is littie need to speak; the faults have been made clear to us all; there is need for rejection of inherent cultural imperialism, to grow Nigerian-oriented culture-human, spiritual and materialistic and egalitarian culture to help Nigerians find their rightfu place in the maze.
That our ancient glory be recognised and that our nation be safeguarded and protected. The Nigerian dream of post-independence should arise-the Nigeria of brotherhood regardless of tribe, tongue or religion, be projected into our modern vision.
The major fault seems our extreme negativism which makes the Nigerian the most easily “conditioned” people of all times. This negativity must be overcome and attention must be paid to the careful orientation and development of individuals to think and act in the interest of the nation.
This should be the keynote of our future confederation of the Nigerian people who may have been led into evil ways and separative thinking.
Is there a need for a “Talk Shop”?
Yes. The dialogue will provide some perspective on how modernity has changed our culture and the character typing most adaptive in the circumstance. Yes, because militarisation of our society has undermined the traditional conservative of yester-years; it propelled new sets of jungle-fighting-politicians with a different social agenda into positions of “Over lords”.
These jungle-fighting politicians (whose main emotion is primitive, greedy, lust, colourless and power worshipping) soon became political entrepreneurs and estate/empire builders.
Some of the most successful of them operate by means of force, blackmail, bribery and corruption to gain wealth and political influence.
They have constituted themselves into what they term “progressives”. They represent rent-seekers, middle men whose wealth and new values of materialism have deepened class division and destroyed traditiona limits. Another group of jungle-fighters are the robber barons who rationalised their exploitation of the Nigerian people and resources under the ideology of social Darwinism and progress.
A common tactic of all these jungle-fighting managers has been to hire hungry Nigerians as subordinates who feed their insatiable narcism and keep them as dependent as possible. The jungle-fighter becomes ungrateful to their subordinates once he no longer needs them!
No doubt, total orientation/re-orientation engineered through conference of the nationalities remains a perquisite to our transformation.
A belief in Nigerian human unity must be enclosed. This unity must be grasped as something worth fighting and dying for; it must constitute the new foundation for our political, religious and social reorganisation; and must provide the theme for our development.
Human unity, human understanding, human relationship, human fairplay, and the essential oneness of all Nigerians-these are the only concepts upon which to construct a new paradigm to induce equitable competition and to bring to an end the exploitation of one section by another and the hitherto unfair distribution of the nation’s wealth. As long as there exists extremes of riches and poverty, Nigerians are falling short of their high destiny.
This conference (sovereign/not) as a strategy for any social change must take account of urban as well as rural citizens (not political parties, not government nominees and not necessarily on religious/ regional divides) whose spirits influence the quality of life for the people.
The conference needs be driven to yield the structure and context of project Nigeria acceptable to all and thus enhance grooming Nigerians to rally round the national flag for glory and brotherhood.
Today, majority of Nigerians, villagers especially, have become powerless and vulnerable people, whilst political jungle fighters (oppressors) are among the most powerful, privileged and protected citizens. There is need for psycho-analytical characterology audit to mould the energies of Nigerians for the purpose of tie functioning of a unified modern Nigeria and not leave it to conscious decision of selfish gratification seekers acting to the requirements of an unacceptable culture.
Let the entrepreneurship in good Nigerians not be stalled or hamstrung, but rather engineered with its motivation completely re-engineered.
Existing convoluted structural arrangement of the nation-state has only encouraged the present generation to develop in their heads and not in their hearts. The emergence of wantom greed and incorporate social ethic has eventually enhanced selfish individualism and transformed the Nigerian state into a collective of unsecured looters.
To achieve success in national harmony, and moving the country forward for progress, a new governance framework is imperative, driven by the people with good leadership; not unpatriotic political entrepreneurs, nor security-seeking yes-men who are excited by the chance to cut deals and gamble with the soul of Nigeria.
A good citizen, as a responsive politician, defers to democracy driven by the people for the people.
Our problems lay not necessarily in ethnicity, but in decline of the protestant ethic, lack of trust, unwillingness of the citizenry and ignoble actions of political oppressors. But the real psychological issue is to recognise the Nigerian humanity on equal terms.
A major poser for this conference in re-inventing Nigerian is exploration of our cognitive style (culture, behaviour, symbol, religion/history, etc) as a psychic finger print for determining the fate of Nigeria: How does the Nigerian satisfy survival needs for food, shelter, and safety, existential needs for devotion, unity and effectiveness? Right now, majority of Nigerians are disillusioned; and disintegration will only heighten segmented disillusionment.
Therefore, the conference must pave the way to discover a ‘messiah’ of a modern Nigeria to:
*Define progress for Nigeria,
*Get Nigeria moving in an enduring new era embodying a new competitive, adventurous spirit with family values of respect and self-reliance.
Mr. oLU OMA-WILLIAMS, a Chartered Accountant & Management Consultant, wrote from Lagos.