WE ARE AS GUILTY AS OUR LEADERS- Issues in Our Society- by Shola Ola

A colleague of mine was lamenting about the state of things in Nigeria. He complained bitterly about the state of the economy, corruption, insecurity, the leadership of the country among others. He believed that government has not done enough for the country and the leaders are only representing their selfish interest. As a matter of fact he doesn’t see anything good about the country. There is no doubt that my friend is right. Of course, we all know these problems. If I may ask, is it only the government that is guilty? I asked my friend the same question and he said yes, because the government controls everything. Aren’t we as guilty as those in government? How you may ask? When politicians came knocking at our doors canvassing for votes, promising heaven and earth while distributing various gift items including money, we should have known they were investing and like every businessman they would want to recoup their invest with interest. We became guilty when we accept those gift items. Moreover, we must learn to hold our elected leaders accountable. 

There are other areas we have also failed as followers but we think they don’t matter. Nigerians are known for their religiosity, but while the average American would wake up in the morning and say God bless America, the same cannot be said about Nigerians. I am most amazed at the crowd of religious gathering in the country but I would be surprised if praying for the progress of the country is part of the prayer request of all of them. In most cases, it is all about our selfish interest, yet the Holy Book enjoined us to pray for the peace and progress of our ‘Jerusalem’, our country. 

We admire the beautiful serene environment in most of the advance countries we see on television, yet we prefer to throw nylons and other waste of items we buy in traffic on the road instead of leaving them in the vehicle and thereafter dispose it properly. Worst still, some people prefer to keep their garbage until it rains, so that they can throw them inside drainage for it to flow away. Aren’t they doing injustice to the country? 

While those who belief in the country are working day and night to improve the economy of the country, some people are busy smuggling goods that are available in the country without considering the harm they are doing to the country because of the appetites of Nigerians for foreign goods. I tell you, every time you favor foreign products ahead of quality Nigeria product, you are not doing the country any good as well, and you are also guilty. Imagine what would happen to those workers if they are laid off because the company does not enjoy enough of patronage. You are guilty whenever you prefer cheap pirated Nigeria films instead of the original. Every time you buy smuggled turkey and chickens from Benin Republic, you are also guilty. Maybe I should remind you that those frozen foods are preserved with the same chemical used to embalm human corpse. 


We want a violence free society, yet we do not respect other peoples’ tribe and religion but choose to speak and act against them. I hope you know your actions create an atmosphere for insecurity. Every time you go against the traffic and you try to bribe the police to look the other way, you are also guilty. You may think these little things don’t count, I bet you, you are wrong. Every time you refuse to do the right thing, you are also guilty. We are as guilty as our leaders.








Shola Olayiwola is a freelance writer. He lives in Lagos, with his family.













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