I am aware of the difficulty of this topic and I have tried to be careful in my phrasing to avoid being inflammatory but I think there are many hard issues that need to be addressed honestly. If we are to have any hope of moving forward, we cannot pretend they don’t exist.
I am angry that Nigeria has a culture of cowardice. Resistance is never easy; that’s why it’s usually called a struggle. And it costs the participants something. Sometimes, the cost is very high indeed. But Nigerians, we don’t like to make sacrifices. We don’t like anything that disrupts our comfort. Therefore we’ll hold our noses and pretend that shit doesn’t stink so long as we’re able to continue to enjoy whatever advantages we are currently the beneficiaries of. We’ll put up with inhumane treatment as long as we get to pick up a few crumbs at the end of it. We won’t defend our basic human dignity. We fail to stand up for our principles. We only have courage when dealing with people lower on the scale than us. That’s why abuse of all kinds is so rampant amongst our communities.
It seems our society operates under the maxim: ‘oppress or be oppressed’. The same people that would never have the guts to point out to a boss that they’re wrong or confront a politician for blatant corruption go home and lord it over their wives and other members of their households. The same woman that cowers in fear before her husband while he goes through his routine of using her as a punching bag can suddenly find torrents of abuse to unleash on her poor children/domestic workers and staff over the slightest mistake. The same woman that hates being oppressed thinks nothing of turning around to practice that same oppression on others. The same community that says nothing when a woman (or her child) is violated on a regular basis will be the first to loudly tell her off for leaving that environment. And none of the victims in these scenarios dare react otherwise they would be rounded upon for breaking ‘tradition’. Frankly, I am disgusted.
Then to worsen things, you find this same collection of individuals (or perhaps perpetrators) in church, happily occupying positions of authority or mounting the podium to disperse a gospel that they have clearly not taken to heart. Praying for hours a day means nothing when you treat your fellow human beings like crap. If I were not already a Christian, it would be almost impossible for me to become one after observing all that I have. How people seriously expect to spread ‘The Word’ while being one step removed from evil in their personal lives is beyond me. The level of hypocrisy is astounding. The overt performance of religiosity unaccompanied by self-awareness and humility would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad.
And so we are trapped in the hell we create for ourselves, lacking the honesty to realise that there is a need for change and lacking the courage to take the action that is needed to bring the cycle of exploitation to an end.
I’m sick of it and I want no part of it anymore.