In society responsibility is customarily shared
the people and the government. Responsibility is also implicit in social
contract which wards off anarchy. Going by this unconvoluted truism, it therefore follows that the
blister-inflicting twine of irresponsibility too is tugged between the
government and the people. Irresponsibility is a shared lapse; a damnable
testament to people-government failure.
As a matter of fact, everyone, that includes people
in the saddle, go through the gestational stage of socialisation, after which parturition of
idiosyncrasies, bias, views, beliefs and predilections, occurs. Indubitably,
the role of society in character formation is significant. Therefore, everyone
is a sculpture of the moulding of society.
Again, society is people governed by traits of
culture- progressive or regressive. The
dominant cultural aura or vibe of a given society determines to an extent the behavioural output
and proclivities of the people in that society.
That is, if corruption is a permissible cultural aberration, it becomes
dominant among other cultural deviations in the genome of that society. This is
in no way a sociological absolute, but a verifiable claim that can be exhumed
from comparatively examining peoples of different societies and their
Hinging on this dialectical plank, it is therefore apt to aver that
the Nigerian leadership is a grotesque representation of the Nigerian people and society. The leadership is as
bad as the people. The anodyne expression, “you cannot give what you do not
have” captures picturesquely the Nigerian situation in this purview. Nigerian
leaders are the scions of Nigerian society. Their odious discharges are from
the malodorous miscarriages of the society they are born and forged in. Even those that are contaminated (in a good way) by the la dolce vita
of the better world still carry albeit regrettably, the Nigerian stink. This is
not making an argument for the lamentable ineptitude of Nigerian leaders;
rather it is to espouse the logic that the Nigerian leadership is a manikin of
the Nigerian people and
There is just no shade of difference between the two– the Nigerian leadership and the people.
Both the Nigerian leadership and the Nigerian people
bear the ignominy of culpability in driving the country to the Paleolithic
precipice. Inter alia, what is more sickening is the discomforting fact that
none in the enterprise of running Nigeria aground takes responsibility for its
irresponsibility. The Nigerian
indiscriminately throws blame at past governments and obverse groups; the Nigerian people in turn see the
leadership as the provenance of their woes, thus they blame it for even fiddling discomforts such as the angry army
of mosquitoes that torpedoes them in their sleep at night and the sour taste of balls of
“kwuli-kwuli” in their mouths.
In the same symmetrical logic, not taking
responsibility for actions,
inactions, situations, problems, and faults seems to be in the
Nigerian genome. To illustrate this, some Nigerian parents take pugilism to
their children’s school with
the uncouth aim of battering their teachers for failing them.
They induct their children into the “hallowed hall of irresponsibility” at a
nascent age by wittingly or unwittingly encouraging them not to take
responsibility for their failures
There must always be someone or something to blame.
In the same vein, when such children from “molly-coddled”
homes fail in WAEC,
their parents become their
barking to all who care to listen to their racket that their children have been
robbed of their true
failed unfairly by WAEC;
You hear, ” WAEC sold my son’s result”.
is usually against the back drop of dereliction of study and laziness of their
children. The same thing happens when they fail in JAMB. The excuse is usually that
JAMB is corrupt, and that they have been marginalised for the sheer reason that they are not from a
particular part the country. So it is when they are finally at
higher institutions. The excuse for their failures in this case is that their
lecturers are victimising them because of their relationship with some “fine
girls” that the lecturers too are “eyeing”. And so the tradition of not taking
responsibility for their irresponsibility progresses to points of rude
disregard for ideals of excellence, hard work, discipline and performance.
As pointed out tangentially earlier, the Nigerian
leadership and the Nigerian people share morsels of garbage from the entrée of
irresponsibility. The irresponsibility of the Nigerian people is visible in the
corruption of the most
the rabble, plebian malfeasance,
celebrated ignorance, denuded scruples, unabashed disrespect for simple rules
and regulations, veiled peccadilloes, and the culture of low
expectation according to Okey Ndibe. In fact, to be ignorant of fundamental
to stand and defend those rights, and to have high expectations of the
government smack of gross irresponsibility on the part of the Nigerian people.
On the other hand, irresponsibility of the Nigerian leadership needs no
adumbration. It is evident in the insalubrious and gangrenous state of the nation. The
Nigerian leadership here implies all the governments that have failed to give
Nigeria the elixir of even marginal development.
Having drawn the Nigerian leadership and people
irresponsibility quadrant, it is germane to etch in the minds of Nigerians the
need for the evolution
a new thinking; a thinking that the Nigerian leadership mirrors them. They are
as good as the leadership and they are as bad as the leadership. Therefore corrective,
surgical operations must be performed on the national body to remove the
decayed arm of irresponsibility; that is by taking responsibility for their individual and collective predicaments and finding solutions to them.
Finally, Nigerians are fighting multidimensional battles
which coalesce into a single
need to join hands to form a giant fist to deal it a coup-de-grace. In all, the
country’s quandary proves emphatically that irresponsible people beget