Categories: ColumnsFemi Adesina

Wanted: A restructuring of minds

Hearing some Nigerians speak (whether based at home or in the Diaspora) you discern that they are “in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.” They spew out things that give them away as “whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones.”

What happened to grace? Where did decency disappear to? Are words not to be seasoned with salt again? What has happened to us as a people? The more rotten, the better, it seems. The fouler and odoriferous the cesspit, the more attractive, followed by applause. That seems to be the philosophy of some people today, and it doesn’t matter who they are. High or low. But we cannot continue that way, if we want to be acceptable to God, and to our fellow human beings. National development does not come by a sudden flight. You work at it.

The sing-song in the country today is restructuring of the polity. We want more states. We want a return to regional structure. We want a revision of the revenue allocation formula. We want six vice presidents, one from each geo-political zone. We want those zones to be the federating units, rather than the states. And so on, and so forth.

In fact, so loud is the cacophony of voices over restructuring that if you ask 100 people what they mean, they give you 100 different explanations. But as a country, I believe we will get there someday. And soon.

However, is political restructuring the most urgent thing Nigeria needs now? I don’t think so. For me, what is more urgent is the restructuring of the Nigerian mind. A mind that sees the country as one, that believes that we have a future and a hope, that believes that we are one people under God. But what we see now is ruinous for any country. It is hemlock, bound to poison the entire polity, and send it to a premature perdition.

On Tuesday, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced that we had exited from economic recession. It was cheery news for majority of Nigerians, save for those in the gall of bitterness. They spat in the sky, and collected the spittle with their faces. Who gave Nigeria the permission to exit recession? Who gave her the audacity of hope? How can the economy attempt to rebound, when it should sink deeper and deeper into the miry clay? They were in the doldrums, unhappy because good news came for the country. In their befuddled minds, Nigeria must never see a silver lining in the sky. The ravening clouds must ever remain victorious, must forever possess the sky, simply because of primordial reasons. The party in power is not my own, so why should Nigeria make progress under it? The President in office was not the one I voted for, so why should he succeed? He does not speak my language, he is not of my religion or ethnic stock, so why must Nigeria prosper under him? They, therefore, threw all sorts of tantrums, like a child whose lollipop is taken away, and attempt to rubbish the news on exit from recession. And those same people would canvass for a restructuring of the polity. Big mistake. Wrong priority. They need to have their minds restructured first, so that they have goodwill towards their own country, and towards all men. Left to them, they wish that when NBS releases results for the next quarter, Nigeria should have gone back into recession. Filthy dreamers! Awful imaginations! They need a restructuring of their minds, and quickly, too.

Some people spend their lifetime expecting thunderstorms and hurricanes, so they never enjoy showers of blessing. Their addled minds expect negative news, so they never enjoy good tidings. They are the type that swallow poison, and then begin to hope that it will kill the person next door.  Restructuring, restructuring, that is what such minds need.

Chase after him. If you catch up with him, kill him. If he outruns you, poison his footsteps. That is the chant in most parts of the country today. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Hate has become their natural language. When they speak hateful words, they speak their native language, their mother tongue. Don’t mid the elevated offices they occupy now, or which they have occupied in the past. They are in the throes, in the paroxysms of bitterness. Only a restructuring of the mind can save them. My dear senior friend, Ikemba Obosima, from Imo State, has good counsel for them, in a text message he sent to one of them recently, which he copied me:”Pain will follow him who speaks or acts with evil thoughts, as does the wheel of the foot of him who draws the cart. He is greater man who conquers self than he who kills a thousand men in war…Love will purify the heart of him who is beloved as truly as it purifies the heart of he who loves.” But will they listen? If they have not danced too far, and have not become like the dog fated to get lost, which refuses to hear the whistle of the hunter. Let them return home, to sanity.

The National Bureau of Statistics announced our descent into recession. They embraced the news, almost with sickening glee. Now, the same agency has announced exit, and they begin to question its impartiality. What kind of people are they? They want to hear only bad news? May their minds be restructured, lest bad news dog their footsteps. Malediction?  Am I cursing anybody? Not at all. Just a warning, and a call to new attitude, new thoughts, new conduct. The things we expect have a way of coming upon us. Ask the biblical Job. “What I feared has come upon me. What I dreaded has happened to me.”(Job 3:25).

One of the characteristics of a hateful mind is that it conjures a lot of mischief, and purveys same as truth. And the gullible laps it up. During the health challenge of our dear President, a thing common to any mortal, big or small, of high or low estate, they filled the land with evil tidings. ‘Oh, he is on life support machine. No, he is dead and long buried. He will never return to that office, I swear.’ And then, God did what He knows how to do best. He showed the Deus ex machina, His Invisible Hands. Now, the reputation of those people is hanging on life support. If only men would restructure their minds!

President Buhari says exit from recession is cheery news, but until the life of the average Nigerian is positively touched by the economy, he doesn’t consider the job done. Very good. Even the NBS, which brought the good news, says the economy is still fragile, and the good work must continue, so that we don’t slide back. That is exactly what this government would do. That is the motive behind the ERGP (Economic Reconstruction and Growth Plan). So, let nobody be filled with diabolic thoughts. Government does not feel it is there yet. Action stations! All hands on deck.

A final word for haters, wailers, purveyors of fake news, or whatever you choose to call them. Evil minds wax worse and worse. A hater would envy others unnecessarily. He would conjure evil thoughts that would poison his system. He would manifest all sorts of negative tendencies that turn him into a proper child of the Devil. And at the end of it all, his master welcomes him home with open arms. “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” (Dante’s Inferno). And there will be plenty weeping, and gnashing of teeth.

■ Adesina is Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari

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View Comments (4)

  • Words. Words. Words and words again. Restructuring of minds? Can't the writer perceive that it is the restructured mind that has seen the need for restructuring of the country in order to preserve it from the ruinous gluttonous centre where the writer is operating from to the region. It is the restructured mind that can discern clearly now that begging the centre all the time for crumbs is affecting even the mentality of the begging states to a state of redundancy and helplessness in a country that is blessed with vast resources living like beggars and feeding from the crumbs that fall from the masters table. Let us not stand the scriptural words upside down to serve our carnal selfish needs and learn to direct the word of the scriptures to rulers that are not in tune with reality of our situation right now. Let us not feed the already didisappointed electorates with fantasy of words without meaning. It is the restructured mind, Mr columnist, that has urgently seen the need to restructure the country in order to save it from imminent collapse. This incidentally should be seen as patriotic zeal from Nigerians who want the country to remain as one and flourishing and not in this state of decadence that non progressives are opposing and creating confusions here and there. Take it or leave it the minds couldn't have been better restructured than this moment and you better check if you operating with a restructured mind, Mr writer.

  • Femi has really disappointed his highly revered personality and his "fans". Power and selfishness can make one lose his sense of rationality. This show his insensitivity in the realities on ground in Nigeria. He thinks its by writing columns of articles to defend the government. Its very unfortunate that our so-called leaders don't even understand what democracy is. Where Nigeria is, is still very "far". May God help us.

  • Good topic from a decieptive political like-minds platform of "All promises cancelled" (APC) party!

    Femi Adesina is highly intelligent with selfishness and self-centeredness, as one of the Southern useful political-slaves in the hands of the Northern political cabals!

    He tried to go Biblical at the start with some Biblical moral philosophy, but later diverted to his well-known double standard of hypocrisy and white-washed empty tomb!

    Whether millions of people are giving different meaning to the clamoring for restructuring, does it deny the fact that today's NIGERIA obviously need to be all-inclusively restructured on democractic transparency and honesty?

    President Buhari's administration, which Femi Adesina is part of, directly and indirectly, promotes the deadly corruption of marginalizations, nepotism, militarization, brutality, oppressions and social injustices of all sorts, especially in favour of the Northern Muslims against other NIGERIANS, which is very obvious to the Global communities!

    Femi Adesina should be more democractically transparent and honest, especially when he comments on the arising issues of restructuring of today's NIGERIA!

    In every sense of democratic reasoning, today's NIGERIA needs to be all-inclusively restructured on democractic transparency and honesty, which will be totally deviod of all sorts of political and religious wickedness, marginalization, nepotism, militarization, brutality, oppressions and social injustices!

  • The state of mind is clearly determine by the action of an individual which mean if the mind is corrupted it will manifest in the characters therefore those clamouring for restructure of government should acknowledge the bitter truth that it was corrupted minds that produced government they wanted to be restructured so restructured of government without restructure of mentality will amounted to treating a symptoms and abandoned its diseases. How could a country that is united by corruption learn from what made China and India rule the World in key areas of their economy potentials upon been the highest population in the world? How could a country that is united by corruption realised that the records of corrupts elected office holders facing trial by EFCC since 1999 while their looted money and properties is capable to build a oil refinary, build cement plant, construct 2nd Niger-Bridge, build power-plant, build-dam and guaranteed viable business enviroment and raised the standard of living of Nigerians by creating wealth and meaningful employment that removed Nigerians from an abject poverty and in an agony of hopeless? How could a country that is united by corruption emancipated themselves from mental slavery in understand that the politicians that were recycled themselves in governance can not be trusted because their questionable wealth-Private jet, exautic cars, foriegn bank account and companies are capable to established commercial agriculture that can turned Nigeria to be self-sufficience in food production where commercial farm settlement would replaced old system of farming activities? Or is those clamouring for restructure of government can adduced to the world that corruption excluded Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa, excluded Christians and Muslims or even other minorities tribes in the country or can they proved to world that the regions are all saints?. It is unconstitutional and undemocratic to have an unwarranted feelings of been marginalised because the unjustifiable allegation against northern part of Nigeria that it possessed all the juicy elected and appointment position was a mere hypocritical because the world bank confirmed that Northern part of Nigeria has highest poverty rates, why?. Again the northern part has many local government and states than the south-west and south-east is not an issue, the real issues are is the monthly allocation of federal government sharing formular is based on the numbers of local govt or population of the states? It was cleared that many states from s-west and s-east allocation are bigger than the many northern states however clamouring for restructure of government failed to address issues of an individualism that democratic leadership is all about sacrifices for the followership where an elected office holder be it executive or legislature would deprived themselves from the lawful luxuries of office in order to ensured that the wellbeing of people is catered for and also deprived themselves from enjoyment that will has direct economy and political consequencies on people and their welfare these are qualities of a democratic leadership which Nigeria lacked at all levels of government while it manifested in many elected office holders that are desperate to remained in powers not because they wanted to serve their but to serve themselves, Is these not a matter of mind to be restructured or government? A democratic structure has its democratic tools but those clamouring for restructure of government should know that they are indirectly begging for military Coup and possibly want 1983-Coup to repeat-in the history of Nigeria.

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