THE FAILING FORWARD OF A NIGERIA

Let me join the many voices to say congratulation to the finest of our youth population who saw their exit off the NYSC scheme. Service to our nation is a lifelong obligation, just that the NYSC scheme consciously brings it to mind. You have left the scheme but not the act. Best wishes.

The caption of this post sounds an oxymoron cum a paradox but in real sense, that is the essence for failure. We “fail” to get it correctly on a yet another chance. Failure as put by an author, is the high road to success. In essence, the man who succeeds values his success because at a time, he failed. You only know and appreciate better, a delicious meal when you must have tasted a non-delicious one. Having this understanding makes you appreciate your failing days as not a failure but a success in trial times, which implies failing forward.

Nigeria, if it must grow and develop must adopt the concept of failing forward by being ready to ask questions that would reveal it to the antecedent of its legion of problems. In the incipient version of this post, I talked about the people and not the institution. Hence, in all sense of bold-humility and analytical diagnosis,  I assert the ailment of our nation’s problem to be the minds (character, perceptions, values and morales) of its people that make up the nation.

Edwin Markham was of the assertion that “in vain we build the city if the man is not first built”. In other words, he implied that the man should be built before the city. In building a man, the mind and the heart are the central targets. These areas are key to our actions as individuals and even as a group. It is on this ground that pinnacle nations like the China, Japan, USA sought it first to go through years in building up the minds and hearts of their citizens with values, morales and skills that in turn formed a shared standard of responsibilities for all of its citizens. This further led to these citizens having a collective perception of their nation and what should be done collectively to bring it to glory. Today, we understand were these nations are in the pecking order of development.

Until the Abia man shares a collective value system and responsibility of nation building with the Kaduna man, we would end up dancing to the music of development but will never feed nutritiously from its meal after the dance. Our ethnic and religious divide needs a national morality that would override our differences and foster a single national spirit.

On the value systems of our nation, it is a bitter-truth that we dwell with obsolete thoughts that at default are viruses to healthy development. What happens to the young man who gets his doctorate degree and the young tout who buys a high grade car, when they report to their village? What first comes to your mind when you want to apply for that government or private-public advertised job?  What gets to the thought of the student who knows that the exam was poorly written? What trend of thought pulls through the minds of our politicians before election, during office tenure when elected and at the time to seek for another election? What treatment is given to the famous name that differs from the infamous name? By what benchmark do we elect our public officers? What political structure do we have at our Universities and even Secondary Schools that differ from what is obtainable nationally?
These questions are inexhaustible and the answers are tears instigating.

Furthermore, by what vision, goals, philosophies and values do we run this nation? If we have them, have they been communicated to all citizenry in the state? Are they effectively taught in our educational institutions and even the NYSC?

It is pathetic, that the school child develops into an adult and can yet not tell you what the Nigerian nation stands for and worse still, our leaders might not communicate these things too. How then can we collectively respond to the demands of the nation as a people for its common good when we know not the expectations place on us at first as citizens?

Measures must be put in place to get the minds of the people rehabilitated before extensively rehabilitating national structures. Else, we will have an unrehabilitated people in a rehabilitated edifice. You already know what the consequences would be. These measures would be further discussed in subsequent times.

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