Why SARS are killing people in Nigeria ~ Yemi Success wrote
1. Majority of Nigerians irrespective of tribe or level of education have the SARS attitude.
It is often said that if you want to know who a person really is, give him power. That cannot be truer than in Nigeria. Nigerians are simply really reckless with power, no matter how little. You better pray not to have a Nigerian have some advantage over you in any way, or require his/her assistance, Your life could become hell for no reason at all.
2. Recently, I walked into a Nigerian post office to claim a parcel, The ‘big’ woman behind the counter took a long look at me and bellowed from her nose ‘what do you want? The nasty way she spoke almost had me fleeing through the nearest exit. Yet, it wasn’t that I had met her before or offended her prior.
My only offence was that I was a Nigerian like her seeking her services. She was just being the typical Nigerian with advantage or power. She was just being like the rest of us.
3. Have you walked into our hospitals?
Did you observe the manner senior doctors address their junior doctors and their patients? Or the way older nurses treat younger nurses? The way nurses attend to relatives of sick people? Or the way and manner our pastors speak to and relate with their congregations? Or the way Nigerian families treat their maids? Or the way our lecturers harass their students and being extremely mean to them? Or the way bus conductors and drivers address their passengers? Or the way drivers cuss at and curse at other drivers in a traffic? Or the way our airport staff handle travellers? Or the way policemen and women treat drivers and highway users? Or the oppression bosses mete out at work to those under them?Or the way politicians treat their fellow Nigerians?
4. Nigerians are simply not civil. Treating your fellow human beings with dignity and respect is what is called civility. When you are brute, disrespectful and unrefined in your dealings of others, you are said to be uncivil or uncivilized. An uncivilised person is not better than cave men, brutes, or at best an animal. Civilization is mainly determined by how people speak and treat each other in a society. You are not a human being until you respect those below you same way you respect those above you.
5. Nigerians, we are not civilised.
We behave like animals when handed power or advantage, even if it is very little.
If a Nigerian is a quarter mile above you, he will ‘show you’ We lack civility at every level in Nigeria. This disease affects both educated and non-educated Nigerians. If you dare step a foot on a Nigerian, you could be making the mistake of your life.
6. I schooled for a while in Europe.
Everyday, I had to go to class through the metro system which was often so busy especially during the rush hour. If you by mistake step your foot on a European during rush hour, he is likely to look back and apologise to you. That happened to me a number of times. Yes, you read that correctly.
He didn’t match a foot on me, I did, yet he chose to apologise because he is civil. Yet I could only dream what my fate would have been had it been in my beloved Africa. Slaps and curses would have been my options.
As students in Europe, our teachers would appreciate us profusely for coming to class.
They count it a privilege to tutor us. It was same attitude with doctors, nurses, taxi drivers, government officials etc.
7. Every society has brutes (including Europe),
but remotely I will place the brutes around 5% of their society. By contrast, I will project that 95% of Nigerians are uncivilised and brutes.
Less than 5% of our society understand what respect and dignity for others mean. (Subject to a later research as I intend to publish a paper on workplace incivility in Nigeria)
8. We are Nigeria, Nigerians are we. We are SARS. SARS are we. The SARS attitude is the Nigerian attitude. The SARS way is how most of us behave, From the least to the greatest among us.
You have not known a Nigerian until you give him power, gun or a little edge above his brothers.
The moment a Nigerian gets power, Do you know what he would do first with it? He will seek out his brothers and destroy them one by one. It’s the way of an animal, a brute and an uncivilised man. It happened when the colonialists arrived our shores for the first time, Nigerians captured one another (in exchange for gifts) from the slave-man.
It’s still happening same way today. And though the colonial masters have left, Nigerians are still colonising one another.
9. This explains why our politicians steal.
Majority of Nigerians are abusers or abusers in waiting. Someone once said that the number of people currently stealing in Nigeria is not up to one percent of people waiting to steal.
We are all thieves in waiting, We have just not gotten the opportunity to steal yet.
Incivility is why our pastors manipulate people for personal gains. It is why our policemen and women shoot without thinking. It is why our lecturers intimidate students and demand sex for marks. It is why officers in almost every government office in Nigeria take and demand (not even request) bribe.
Incivility is rooted in every Nigerian. It is rooted in our obsession to destroy our brothers and sisters just because we have a little advantage they do not have. How then are we supposed to have a civil society that respects the right of all? How is the right of the weakest person among us supposed to be protected?
10. We are not a civilised society. We are brutes, we treat each other like animals. The ones who went to school amongst us are worse off in this regard. Most Nigerians are closer to the animal world than Homo sapiens. This may seem very harsh, But only animals treat one another the way Nigerians treat their fellow country men.
Until all these stops and we learn civility, we can kiss growth, development and progress goodbye forever in our nation. Our children will continue to kill and maim each other because they learnt well from us. They will continue to be strangers in foreign lands. They will continue to die on the seas and in the deserts, in their quest to escape the hell our incivility has caused.
Nigerians we need a rebirth. This rebirth starts with every Nigerian. It is a decision we will make individually and collectively. However, individually first.
Think for a moment about the person you honour and regard most in life, Now make a decision to treat everyone like that. That is how to build a great nation.
11. I wouldn’t join anyone to say #EndSARS.
I will rather say end the Nigerian madness. If we end SARS, are we going to also end the Nigerian police force? Are we going to end our doctors? Are we going to end the lecturers too? Are we going to end the nurses? Are we going to end the politicians and Pastors? Are we going to end our civil service who treat other Nigerians like dung? Are we going to end Nigeria?
12. Transforming Nigeria begins with every citizen learning civility and becoming a decent human being. It begins with you and I.
What is take about this?