Nigeria will not make a quantum leap in her development efforts and productively align with global convention until the post-military leadership class finally vacates the political stage. Every indication shows that this group is not very well tutored. Yes, many of them have the benefit of exposure, but because of undeveloped mindset, they have found it very difficult to fully comprehend, let alone assimilate, the character transformations that hastened developments in those settings of the world described today as developed nations.
American English is not same as the one the early adventurers to the New World took from Great Britain. The original language underwent a transmutation and gave way to what we know of it today. Great Britain used to be a feudal, very aristocratic society with all apparatus of suppression of human rights and emasculation of human dignity that must naturally follow such an obnoxious set up. Americans in the New World said no, such a system was not what they wanted in the new country.
Yes, it was a tough contest between adherents of the old order and the reformists, but the good thing was that there were those who were ready to fight the old thinking and to put forward new attitude anchored on liberalism. Gradually the reformists increased in strength and with time defeated the old establishment and put permanently in place a new behavioral culture which is a fascination to the entire world. When we see an American president walking in the rain holding his umbrella over his head moving very briskly and aides are running to meet up his pace, we like it. Isn’t it so? Or the president holding the wife who must turn out looking her best in very smart but elegant attire, we hail. When we do so we must know they are all gains of the reformist movement.
Most European leaders would not have anybody or aide pull a chair back for them before they can sit down. Check out our case and you see how clumsy we have become in executing minor routine task. Before the leader in this country, either the president or governor comes into a conference room, a coterie of very uncalculating aides in the name of protocol officers would jump ahead just to check the seat, table and give a semblance of a mighty one coming. They pull the seat, the Imperial Majesty takes his place and pronto one police or military man is mandated to remain standing behind the lord of the manor until the ceremony is over.
The aide follows the leader to the podium. This is a military throw, very negative military invention, even for the military there is no need for such a culture. Our stations in life may be different as a result of job functions or level of expertise but even then nothing vitiates the fact that fundamentally all humans were created equal with attendant natural rights which include right to human dignity and fair treatment. Creating a culture or norm that makes a human being stand behind while the officer undertakes public service is a weird culture. It is wickedness of the highest order. It is discrimination of a kind, something that ought not to be tolerated at all.
Most of us including those who are beneficiaries know this subculture is not healthy but they have been refrained from doing away with it by the known and now acclaimed theory that a challenge cannot be solved at the level from which it originated. To provide a solution, authors of change will have to climb higher, the new height in this particular instance should be appeal from the masses to their leaders to reason and leave the old, discredited order. This is not demanding too much, neither is it a tall order. Some well lettered leaders even among the current group are beginning to live and act well. The other we saw the Vice President entering the plane all alone, holding on to his umbrella. It was a great sight to behold and to show we the ordinary people expect more of such, the media led other Nigerians to celebrate the attitude.
The other day top Commanders of our Air Force lined out to receive a pilot whose fighter plane was hit by marauding insurgents in a part of Kaduna State and he managed to escape from the plummeting plane. All the military officers had on their hands a walking stick. It is common sight among our top military brass and the sight seems very odd to many of us. Granted they could have been thought by departing colonialists that that is a standard practice, but who says we have no right to undo what looks very out of order?
A soldier in uniform on military assignments moving about with a walking stick! This sight is against reason, nothing suggest it is sensible. Nothing! Commanders in the armies of developed nations in modern times don›t move about with walking sticks, if even they did like I observed much earlier nothing says we can›t offer the world something they too can learn from us. The officers some of us see elsewhere are trim and very smart, they move in military fashion depicting how primed for action they are. In our case many top commanders have pot bellies.
There are things one has mentioned in this space several times and which need repeating because of their importance in building our society into a country. Countries are outcomes of deliberate crafting and grand vision. Establishing country we all will be very proud of is not something of chance; men sit down to think, produce something and work assiduously to turn it into reality. Laws are good, but they are no substitute for remolding human attitude. Many of us have heard that our leaders dwell on the frivolous and tell us they are acting right because our constitution, the grand rule does not say anything contrary.
That a particular behavior is not frowned at by any law does not make it right especially when it is one that its after effects could negatively hurt the larger society. No society has ever produced in written format every rule it requires to regulate human conduct. This is why convention and good conscience come in to weigh heavily. If our leadership class developed a penchant for positive conventions, many of the issues holding us down won’t be in fact take us long to get past them. Great conventions have not emerged because the instinct for pure motives has been destroyed by the very forces that ought to uphold it. This is one of the tragedies of our society. Can it be reversed. It can, if today we all will see the need to turn a new leaf.
If with the pains we are experiencing and the level of casualty ravaging the land, we standstill to ask those critical questions dogging the air around us, the answers would reinvigorate in us a passion that will see us bring a country into being in a very short time. I believe choosing modern very well educated leaders with acknowledged antecedent will help a great
Yes it will. For now let us get Buhari and the governors to do away with the concept of men standing behind them and let our military officers drop walking sticks. Those styles portray us as uncivilized, ancient people.