Monday, 27 May, 2024



What the f**k is wrong with us?
We endlessly complain about our government (Local, State & Federal) but we cannot individually or collectively carry out a very simple task like driving through an intersection.

About two weeks ago, it took me and my fellow road users five (5) hours to drive from Asaba to Onitsha for absolutely no reason at all. A drive-time that shouldn’t have taken more than fifteen (15) minutes. The road was fairly paved with zero potholes and there were no motor accidents. But we all wanted to enter the Asaba-Onitsha Bridge at the same time with zero regard for vehicles coming from opposite direction. And, before you could spell jack, we had four (4) lanes both ways, on a road technically designed for two lanes.
Then come the shocker. A visibly mad man audaciously took charge of the traffic control as Road Safety officials helplessly watched a shuttle bus conductor (of all people) admonishing a pastor for changing his lane recklessly. Few drivers and passengers threatened one another with the usual “I will kill you today” verbal jab. This is an everyday organised madness that a simple STEP (Sorry, Thanks, Excuse & Please) THERAPY would have stopped. But not in this clime where courteous behaviour means nothing, except when we travel to London and New York. Who did this to us?

We did it to ourselves, period!
We have zero RESPECT for one another. We employ “white” folks to add “credibility” to our contract bids. An average Nigerian is a lawyer, doctor or engineer. And, must be addressed as Chief/Dr/Sir/Honorable X. He doesn’t take responsibility for his faults. And he definitely doesn’t want to be a plumber or bricklayer because our society looks down pitifully on artisans, the economic drivers of Europe and United States of America, where we all run to for sanctuary.

If we RESPECT one another, there won’t be any mad rush for all of us to drive through an intersection or board an aircraft at the same time. If we RESPECT one another, those “Honorables” and “Big Man” with annoying and illegal pilot vehicles will disappear. If we pray less and RESPECT one another more, our State Services will begin to improve. And, most importantly, if we RESPECT one another, bribery (the bain of our Republic) will begin to release its strangulation. For now, there are no sanctions for traffic infractions because violators could bribe their way through a willing law enforcement agencies.

The current situation is not hopeless, though.
Looking at the exemplary advancements in music and fashion within a relatively short period, there is light in the tunnel. But we must begin to re-educate our youth by discouraging “sorting” in schools. Excellence must be rewarded. And, we must go back to the basics that made our universities great in the 1970’s. A well educated society is usually a respectful and organised society. And, good education doesn’t mean acquisition of PhD.

For sure, our value system and orientation must change. There is this infamous remark by an “unknown” gentleman who quipped that he came to the city in search of money and not in search of work. Simply put, he wants to make money without work. Something is amiss!!!
Okey (Oduma) Chidolue, Esq.
Akwuogananya Enclave,
Edoji, Uruagu, Nnewi.


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