THE biggest of Nigerian problems is not corruption, no, not even leadership and sawdust-brained leaders, mono-economy, lack of planning or religion fanaticism, not insurgency nor educational system that made job seekers out of every young person that passes through the educational system, no, our major problem in Nigeria is irresponsible, docile, unthinking, cheap money loving, selfish and complacent masses.
The first time I saw mass protest was 1983 in Akure, who were the ‘weres’ on the street protesting? The Poor masses!Â The masses were attacking anything government property and everything that has the resemblance of public ownership was destroyed and damaged. But the matter was settled in the court of law eventually, not on the Street, not by the masses.
The same trend runs through the blood of Nigerian students of higher institutions; why must we destroy government property because we are angry with a government policy? I have seen students in EuropeÂ protest, they never destroy properties on the campus but occupy the properties, Arabian students will rather march peacefully, the worst they will do is to burn Americaâ€™s (the USA) flag, even the burning will not be done where it or in a way that it will have permanent effects on any property, landed or otherwise.
In Nigeria, the masses will vote for a man because he has the deepest pocket and biggest spender in an election not for the contents of his head. Sometimes, we vote because the candidate is â€œmy personâ€.Â Awolowo gave Africa her first Television and Radio stations before Spain and Portugal could think of anything like Television and Radio Stations, yet the masses supported and allowed a person that did not know how to operate a television set rule them for almost five years.
It is the Nigerian masses that rig elections, cover up for looters, protest because of money given to them by someone who they may not know.
It is the Nigerian masses who do not complain because of principles but food, Nigerians masses will shout â€œno, we no go greeâ€ because somebody else is saying that, Nigerian masses will talk about what they donâ€™t know as if they know it and Nigerians will call white black, while the masses will call the victim of a crime the criminal and the offender a hero… just because of â€˜peanut changeâ€™.
Sad enough, the difference between the educated masses (so called) and the illiterate poor masses is illusive and unreal. How can any right thinking individual say, just because he is hungry and because there is hunger in the land: â€œbring back our corruptionâ€Â and some lawyers, doctors, bankers, engineers, planners, men of gods and sane people will chorus by crying â€œyessssssssssssss oooooooooâ€?
We donâ€™t know what we want in Nigeria, we the masses do not know what we want for Nigeria, that is our problem!