“DO AS I DO”: THE NIGERIAN ELITE

One may wonder why Nigeria is in the failed state that it’s in today. Typically, to find your answer, you’d look at the government. But the government is not only to blame for the appalling state the nation is in today. While the government has failed at doing its constitutional duties, much blame can be laid on the “elite”.

I’m talking about those who profit from an unjust system, sharing wealth among themselves and their families, while the poor become poorer and poorer. These elites are not in one way interested in the growth or the development of the country, but of their own pockets. While ordinary citizens are being murdered, beaten, raped and treated unfairly, the elite benefit and continue to live large while the masses are stuck in abject poverty.

It’s often wondered, “Why do Nigerians behave so recklessly and irresponsibly?”

The actions of the elite, that’s why. When you have a group of people who not only feel like they can do whatever they want, because they can, due to the failed judicial system in the country, you breed a certain mindset in particular individuals. The elite disregard and abuse ordinary things, like waiting in line, using certain facilities like everyone else, but instead use their status and power to gain leverage over the average person. Where a normal person can wait an allotted of amount of time for treatment at a hospital, the elite will get it in half, if not no time at all. This shows that, not only do they acknowledge the fact that the basic amenities and facilities in the country are subpar, but they don’t care about the average person, as they are willing to risk someone else’s life to save their own.

It is through this mindset, this “I’m better than you because of my status” mindset, that birthed a behavior from the masses, a “Do as I do” behavior. People see and recognize what the elite are doing, but what can they do? They can’t report to the authorities, they’re the ones allowing the elite to run rampant. So what do they do? The exact same. The same behavior which is displayed by the elites is continued by the masses. They cut lines, they cheat and steal, just as they see those above them do. This behavior is as a result of not only lack of resources, but of a need to feel among, to feel higher than one’s neighbor.

If Nigeria is to grow and change as a nation, a system needs to be put in place which guides the elite and punishes them accordingly for abuse of their powers. Resources and opportunities need to be made as easy to the common man as they are to the elite. Nigeria needs to do away with its superiority complex and put everyone on equal playing ground.

Writer, Aspiring Investigative Journalist | “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” ― Jodi Picoult