Nigerians need positive attitudinal change

By Terese Tse

Since the arrival of Corona Virus Disease in Nigeria in the first quarter of last year, the inscription “No facemask, No entry” has been a sign post commonly found on the doorways of many institutions and private residences across the country.

Nigerians are wonderful set of people who are endowed with smartness and cleverness; highly controversial and contradictory. There are a lot of ambiguities and inconsistencies in our undertakings. We say a thing and do the opposite. We give deaf ears to instructions and guidelines and this disobedience of letters of our own constitutions is what has held us behind in so many ways.

No face mask, No entry. But once you gain access into these places, you find out that even the authors of this very inscription are not masked. We have many of such inscriptions with little or no attempts at compliance.  This article highlights few of these.

Another one of such is “Don’t urinate here”. In fact, many times, it almost appears as if Nigerians take delight in responding contrary to instructions such that, the easiest way to tell an average man to do what is actually right is telling him the other way round. For instance, If you need him to read a certain notice, title it don’t read this instead, because when you go to many places where this “Don’t urinate here” orders are placed, you find out that these are points which people rather find favourable to pour out urine from their bodies.

It is also common to see an inscription reading “food is ready” in this part of the country where there is no sign of food in the real sense. You see “beware of dogs” carved on some gates of residential homes without a trace of a puppy in the said house. Sometimes such announcements are just tricks to deceive the public and set them aside from us rather than convey the intended message. And don’t think a placard that carries “no dumping of refuse here” stops someone from getting rid of his waste at the prohibited point. He will go ahead and empty his dustbin but ask same person the problem of Nigeria, he will give you poor leadership as an answer.

The country is full of cynics and fault finders. These are career critics, these guys have made a career out of criticising, they criticize no matter what government does, no matter how well it has been done. They will always find fault with it, they go about finding fault and telling everybody how bad things are and blaming government for their problems. Cynics and fault finders are two of a kind who has vowed to find fault everywhere they go. Even if they were to be in paradise, they will still find faults.

“One way traffic” is another caution that received fragrance disobedience. We all know that a one-way traffic or uni-directional traffic moves in a single direction but it is a common sight to encounter oncoming traffic on one-way streets.

It is not every day that you get to find cold drinks where it is been advertised “get your cold drinks here”. There are cautions in some places that demanded one to “remove his or her shoes before entrance” but people go in with foot wears. It is also worthy of note that restrictions in some places are enforced by some persons while other defaulters of same prohibitions are overlooked or forgiven. The saying that no one is above the law has only been in existence in theory, what you see in reality is different. Our rules and regulations are respecters of certain personalities who more often than not defiled the laid down protocols and get away scot-free.

Another aspect of life that we are found guilty is keeping to time. This habit has eaten deep down the fabric of our society. We have been lax about time in such a manner that it has become fashionable in our society and we name it “African time” to condone our short comings. Little or no efforts are made to be punctual to our places of worships, schools and all the walks of life. An event that is supposed to have commenced by nine in the morning would sometimes start two hours later. Civil servants are supposed to report to work mostly by 8:00 AM but go to ministries both federal and states and see what is happening there. Too many workers go to work at their convenient time. And others do not go at all. Go to local governments during working hours, you will see only one or two persons if you are lucky but at the end of the month, everybody is coming for salary.

Telephone and mobile communications have increased the level of lies in the society, because people on the other side cannot judge. People lie on telephone conversations as easily as they take air into their lungs and send out from their lungs when they breathe. Someone in Makurdi would tell you on telephone that he has being in Lagos about two weeks now. These attitudes are not good and are carried out mostly by ordinary citizens on a daily basis but we are good at criticizing our leaders. We should equally remember that these leaders are mortal beings just as we are and they were once ordinary members of the public before circumstances made them leaders over us.

We tend to think that only people in leadership positions can bring a change in the world. But in our little ways, we go against or refuse to do the right thing thinking that our rudeness is not prominent and does not count, but the truth is, it is little foxes that destroy vines.

Everybody needs to change. You need to change. I need to change. Governors, Senators, House of Representatives and state Assembly members, council chairmen, councillors all need to change. Governance need to change. Civil servants need to change. Christians should also amend their ways. Politics and politicians need to change. Businessmen and women need to change. Students need to change. Lecturers need to change. Academics needs to change. Traders need to change. Soldiers and police need to change. Nigerians need to change and positively change for the better.

There is a tremendous need for things to change for the better. We should not only acknowledge that things are not right with us, we should take deliberate steps to change for the better. And is not only the leaders of the nation that can fight this battle of changing things for the better, all hands need to be on desk to effect this positive change.

We need to try as much as possible to change our negative attitudes and bad habits that we  exhibit on a daily basis. We need a paradigm shift, as a society and as a people. This is for the good of our lives and the generation yet unborn. Things have to change, we cannot continue on this path. And the change begins with me. It begins with you too.

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