In this season of discontent with existential threats on a myriad of fronts, our society has to reinvent itself. In the context of a social contract binding the people with the government, the imperative of change must begin with our attitude as individuals before extending to the community.
In spite of the proliferation of religious houses, much of behaviour today falls below acceptable standards. Examples abound in larger numbers than we are reluctant to admit as we all cheat the system wherever we are privileged to find ourselves and cheat one another. Even the religious houses or leaders are not exempted, neither are our practices in the market place.
Those who were relieved of their duties for possessing forged credentials are still up till today blaming those who caught them rather than their fraudulent actions.Those who are saddled with employment of teachers may still be trying to buckle the system to favour their own, using other considerations instead of merit, without any care for the pupils that will be the immediate victims of incompetent hired teachers and the society ultimately in the long run.
We are today trapped in an existential crisis which requires an adaptation, lest we suffer great unintended consequences. Individually, Nigerians must begin to accept that individuals have a responsibility to set the standards for society.
We must repudiate the self serving notion of Nigeria’s exceptionalism centered on the hideous notion of “the Nigerian factor.”
This worn-out umbrella where we all hibernate does not add up in a brutally competitive global economy. The Devil’s Advocate can actually argue that it is precisely the Nigerian factor that has become a hindrance to attracting much needed investments. After all, a risk analyst does not make assessments based on sentiments but on hardnosed realities.
The post COVID-19 reality means that as individuals and then collectively, we must up the ante, redefine and set far higher standards. This is urgent as the effects of the erosion of the country’s fiscal base will become more pronounced in the months ahead when very painful decisions will have to be made.
In the period of readjustment to the new realities, we must accept that the new order begins with an individual as we must all change positively to build a better society.