It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Jiddu Krishnamurti [Source]
Watch the above video titled “Who are you?”. Watch this video to enlighten yourself, then go out and plant a seed by sharing the insights you gain with others.
The point I make in this article, is that MANY Nigerians need to do the above, to become better human beings. If you think that means I’m judging, then so be it. But I KNOW what I see, and I know who I am. What I see tells me that MANY Nigerians need to do what that video recommends – and start living as better human beings.
It is my considered opinion that too many well schooled Nigerians fail to realize that the fact that “we” all dress well and speak (what we consider) “good English to one another does NOT mean “we” are all equally sane.
Yes, I mean SANE as in sanity – opposite of insanity aka madness.
Many Nigerians, rich, not-so-rich and poor, are in different stages of insanity, influenced by the socioeconomic environment we interact/are raised in..
[NB: Let him who the cap fits wear it. For me, I categorize people based on their actions – what they do, and not what they say about themselves!]
As a result of the state of mind of majority among us, NORMAL thinking habits that people in progressive societies employ rarely appeal to us.
This is why it is said that even Jesus Christ and Islam’s Muhammad (PBUH) would get corrupted if they spent too much time with Nigerians.
I bring the above points up because I believe we need to ask ourselves why we always demand straightforward solutions from leaders, when we KNOW we are not straightforward people, and our society is far from being a straightforward one???
When I still used to pound the pavement as an entrepreneur in Nigeria, in my early startup years, I kept doing what the Oyinbo books said one should do to market products and services
For instance, I placed ads, designed and printed flyers and made sales calls. I attended networking events and conferences. I subscribed to magazines and so on.
Yet, I got little or nothing in terms of client projects from all those efforts. And the few I got made a mockery of my skills, experience and educational qualifications!
The problem was I could not figure out why I struggled even as I saw many crooked and less competent others getting client projects I wanted.
One day I visited a higher institution based on an advert I’d seen in a daily, to speak with the owner of an engineering training firm about an idea I had for a Joint Venture.
It turned out the gentleman was also a lecturer in the engineering department.
After I introduced myself, we got talking about what he did and at a point I mentioned that I’d once been a guest speaker at the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (Shangisha Management Village) and that the feedback in the forms filled by the centre’s directors had encouraged me to develop a one-day seminar based on the theme of the talk I’d given there.
I however noted that despite hand delivering over 50 copies to organizations across the state (many of which were multinationals or large indigenous ones), I’d gotten nowhere with it.
He looked at me in amusement as I spoke, then smiled as he pulled out a one page document with names, and signatures as well as a stamp on it.
Pointing to the fee per head column, he told me that the training manager in the company he did that training for had bluntly told him to give up N4k out of the N15k for EVERY one of the 15 attendees who got nominated to attend.
He then told me what amounted to the following (i.e not his exact words):
“My friend, you will not hear from them. They expect you to know what to do. If you know what to do, and make them an offer, they will then tell you what they want. From what I see on this booklet, this program of yours is loaded, but if you refuse to do what I’m telling you, I really doubt if you’ll make headway with it.”
That conversation happened in 2004 – 2 years after I became self-employed.
No one ever had told me I needed to “know what to do” along those fraudulent lines when I started out as an entrepreneur.
What I later found out was that almost everyone around me knew and/or also did it (relatives included!)
They just assumed and expected I would find out and eventually fall in line, having LEARNT that it was impossible to fight the system.
Well, here I am today. I succeed on an international level as a multipreneur, earning income without needed to leave my home – and while traveling between countries.
But I did not continue wasting my time fighting the system. Instead, after YEARS of suffering doing that, I conceived a system that enabled me completely EVADE the system.
In other words, I found a way to do what I LOVED doing for a living, without needing to relate with people who believed in the system in a way that gave them power over me!
How does ALL this relate to the issue of Buhari and his Presidency?
Well, it’s simple really.
Nigerians, from what I’ve seen over the past 14 years as an entrepreneur, are 99% a duplicitous lot.
Forget schoolong, status, class, income level etc. Duplicity has become a way of life for most Nigerians!
So, anyone who wants to achieve meaningful progress working with NIgerians will probably have to be psychic to SEE through their double-facedness.
As a president, Local Government Chairman or head of a small parastatal, or a mere chairman of building community awarding contracts in your small church(!) you will find yourself sorrounded by conniving characters who show one face to you today, and another tomorrow. Scheming to get what they are not qualified to have!
Based on the above situation, no matter how well intentioned your words and actions are, you may find that pleasing Nigerians will be hard – because even those crying that they are being victimized today (and even those working with/for you) will often gladly let themselves be used against you, for the right fee!
Example: What does it take to get 80% of Nigerians to go out and bear false witness about something that did not happen?
We’ve seen it happen again and again – accusations and counter accusations with those in charge of deciding who is telling the truth even eventually getting fingered for also joining in!!!!
It is possible that the above is why Buhari said he wanted to search for the “root cause”….maybe the man is seeing a lot of the duplicity on all sides as I have seen in my own small corner of Nigeria(?)
Maybe that’s what makes him seem sometimes so reluctant to act I.e he’s struggling to make sense of the mixed signals he’s getting(?)
Or maybe the man is just confused….or biased as some would have us believe (NB: I do NOT agree with this school of thought).
Hopefully it will be obvious I’m making no case in support of Buhari here.
In fact, I’m making no case in support of, or against anyone here.
Instead, I’m simply saying the major problem of Nigeria is that it is a society of over 80% dishonest SOULS who never want to let truth previal and always put self-interest first!
In such an environment, even an angel will struggle to get anythjing right as leader.
That’s why I still prefer having Buhari as President, his faults notwithstanding!