We have often heard John F. Kennedy’s timeless phrase: “Don’t ask what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” To the extent that it has become a refrain, a battle cry for civil liability.
The days are gone when thousands of women from the Eastern Protectorate marched to the city of Oloko to protest the introduction of direct taxes and the exclusion of women from the political equation.
The times when the student unionists from ABU Zaria, OAU Ile-Ife, RSUST Port-Harcourt, UNN, Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori et al are far behind have supported the well-being of students and supported national and global issues.
Forgotten are the days when Nigerians from all walks of life took to the streets to demand the reinstatement of Abiola’s mandate; to resist the increase in the price of the oil pump.
Went. Distant. Forgotten. The days of citizens’ active participation in governance. The days when the Nigerians asked “what can I do for my country?”
Today it is almost an aberration to hear that citizens push for good governance, push for reforms and challenge the government to respect its solemn oath: a promise of service. The few voices that scream fade with each passing day. How sad and tragic.
The question that has continued to challenge logic is how, as a people, we transform from pride to pack in a short period of time. This is degeneration at its peak.
Much has been written on the precipitous docility of Nigerians, on the reckless abandonment with which we manage governance issues and on the growing disconnection between government and governed.
But one thing is certain: government is a product of the people. The type of government we have is a reflection of our collective character.
When the judiciary points the scales of justice; the National Assembly abandons its legislative and supervisory functions, and the Executive overcomes the limits of its powers, it is an accusation of our collective conscience, principles and character.
Now that I think of it. Business managers are not foreigners; They are full-blooded Nigerians, like you and me. Many of them had their grass story before the glory of grace.
Make no mistake about it; Nigerians are irresponsibly responsible for making Nigeria what it is today: a sad nation state.
When experts and analysts postulate that the culture of governance is responsible for the scale of the judicial auctions, the legislative jamboree and the executive damage on display, it creates an unbalanced impression, leaving out the most dominant factor in the equation.
So when subsequent disks respond slowly to blackouts; The next time the authorities push a rape case under the carpet, or when the following government agencies don’t respect billing, just know that you and I, every Nigerian should share the blame for having passively and actively enabled a culture of impunity . and corruption.
Fulfilling civil responsibilities implies holding the government accountable for its actions and inactions. The new defense rule for social media without a corresponding civil action simply scratches the surface.
If we want a real change, then we have to stop hiding behind our keyboards and phones.
Let’s stop the criticisms, controversies and non-constructive gossip that have come to define civil commitments.