Colonialism left so many evils in Africa. One in every of its unlucky legacies was the best way it created and enabled a ruler-subject system of governance that distorted the mentality of Africans in direction of the conception of their political rights and civic tasks. The colonialists held absolute energy and handled the natives as topics and never as residents. This dichotomy is vital to notice as a result of being a citizen assumes that you’ve full rights and freedoms that topics do not need. Topics in colonial contexts had no company and needed to be subjugated with out reservation. This technique was very important to the colonialists as a result of they wanted to create a way of dependence that may make the folks versatile to rule and exploit with out hindrance.
The colonialists had been the last word resolution and their topics had been solely too grateful, in an absolute sense of everlasting peonage, to be blessed by their rule. Professor Mahmood Mamdani, a number one African scholar, has written extensively on this topic. The essential level, nonetheless, is that as we moved right into a postcolonial and postmodern Africa, successive African leaders retained the colonial political and social configurations that had now left the continent for good within the nineteenth century. And the injury is extra psychological than bodily.
Psychological, as a result of though we’ve largely dismantled colonial techniques of governance, the African collective mentality is trapped on this period of servitude and deference to constituted authority with little sense of private rights and tasks. This conditioning has given trendy African leaders good leeway to do no matter they need with none protest. That is why once they construct a bridge or pay for a mile of street at large price to taxpayers, folks deploy the orchestra to sing their praises. It is also why some folks defend their political leaders on-line and offline, over-rationalize their dangerous conduct, and bully others into being grateful for the naked minimal they extract in inconceivable methods. As for many who govern, they’ve come to count on to be served moderately than to serve and really feel snug of their profound carelessness as a result of the individuals are content material with the naked minimal.
As Nigeria, the large of Africa, celebrates its 63rd anniversary of independence, I’m reminded as soon as once more that for Nigeria, and by extension Africa, to actually develop, we would want a change of mentality, shifting from topics to residents: residents who totally perceive the extent of their rights. and tasks and actively take part in nation constructing. That is the primary and most vital step in direction of the event of Nigeria.
In my opinion, the common Nigerian doesn’t totally perceive their position in constructing the Nigeria of their desires – a consequence of the “topics” conceptualization of their nationwide id. They count on improvement to occur from the highest down, from the leaders all the way down to the folks, as an alternative of the best bottom-up improvement that emphasizes autonomy, duty, integrity and accountability private.
Everybody expects their leaders to do one thing and nothing will get carried out if leaders do not act or implement compliance. This has given rise to a tradition of nationwide apathy and antipatriotism by which nobody actually cares in regards to the nationwide curiosity and individuals are very happy to mismanage, destroy, sabotage and steal property. and public sources. In spite of everything, they belong to everybody and nobody specifically. No sense of belonging, private duty and duty as a Nigerian citizen who ought to put nationwide curiosity forward of private considerations.
A few of our residents will construct homes on high of sewers and block the circulate of water, inflicting flooding when it rains. Our cities are filled with trash as a result of everybody throws every thing into the streets with none care. That is the angle of the topics: they do not care as a result of they imagine that they don’t have any half within the system. The Nigerian thoughts have to be reworked to imagine and act as residents with pursuits within the nation. We have to begin considering by way of what is sweet for the collective.
As Billy Graham mentioned, “If wealth be misplaced, nothing is misplaced; if well being is misplaced, one thing is misplaced; but when character is misplaced, all is misplaced. Nigeria has misplaced many years of improvement alternatives as a result of absence of the fitting mindset and character in nation constructing. The nation won’t develop if the inhabitants doesn’t cease exploiting the system to construct it for the great of all.
Corruption is unstoppable as a result of folks convey it to life. What in the event you stopped giving and taking bribes, driving the incorrect approach, and littering the streets and highways?
What in the event you demonstrated integrity and duty daily as a Nigerian? Think about how Nigeria could be reworked! Residents search the great of their land. Be an excellent patriotic citizen of Nigeria.
Pleased Independence Day, Nigeria!
Akinlabi is a worldwide preacher, creator and management skilled who evokes purposeful residing for social transformation.