Nigerian Youth Need An Alternative Culture

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Nigerian Youth Need An Alternative Culture
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Ndidi Uwechue

Ndidi Uwechue is a retired Metropolitan (London) Police Officer and a Pro-Social Advocate. Her personal mission is to use every means available "To produce a safer and more caring Nigeria". She writes from Abuja.
Ndidi Uwechue
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18th May 2020

 

Starting by stating the obvious: that a good culture creates a good country; and a bad culture creates a bad country. So, by the culture lived out, citizens establish the kind of country they prefer, not only for themselves but also for their children. Before going any further, culture here is the social behaviour and ideas of society, while tradition would be the ancient way of doing things say, dancing, dressing, cooking, music making etc.

 

Thus, “Nigerian Culture” has created the Nigeria we see. Structurally, it is a culture of INDIVIDUAL-MINDEDNESS which is basically self-preservation and self-profit, plus added to that is a SADISTIC tendency. The cultural focus on self and selfishness hardly any Nigerian or observer of Nigerians would disagree with. However, some may ask: How is Nigerian Culture “sadistic”? My reply is in the overriding attitude of “bring him down” active envy, also known globally as the “crab in a barrel” syndrome. My reply is in the pervasive attitude of parents who suffered as children so feel it is acceptable their children should suffer some hardship or another: I went through it, so why can’t they! My reply is in the inexplicable viciousness of motorists as they drive around the country causing death and injury or destruction and damage, on a daily basis. My reply is in the continued practice of human sacrifice* (ritual killing), with the majority public response being unconcern or denial. My reply is in the heartless treatment of animals, whether domestic or wild and even as pets. My final reply is in what Nigerians themselves say about the decay in the fabric of society: We do know what to do, but don’t do it. This Nigerian Culture which comprises individual-mindedness with a sadistic tendency inevitably generates dishonesty, so therefore corruption. And is Corruption not the crown of Nigerian Culture?

 

Nigerian youth, both skilled and unskilled are voting with their feet and escaping Nigeria in their droves, heading to where there is a different culture. They are heading most especially to Western countries but some are now also going to the East, and even the Middle East. This migration to escape Nigeria by all means, tells us and the watching world that Nigeria needs a new culture that will be attractive to its young people so that they can stay home and play their part in building a country that is habitable. What I call the ALTERNATIVE CULTURE is the answer. It is one that will satisfy the longings of our youth, and boost their intellectual and emotional energies, gearing them up for the task ahead of leapfrogging their country’s growth and development.

 

The Alternative Culture is community-focused and has the twin tenets of “doing the right thing” and “doing the right thing, the right way” as its solid foundation. By applying these two tenets to the way they think and to everything they do, Nigerians, especially youth, will create a pleasant country where systems would work as they should, and the much-needed infrastructure be built and properly maintained.

 

The future belongs to young people and in Africa they are the “77 Percenters” because those aged under 35 years make up 77% of Africa’s population. This group, the 77 Percenters are even now determining the shape Nigeria will take by the culture that they are confirming through their orientation and behaviour. Therefore for Nigeria to be transformed the 77 Percenters will need a new consciousness. It would be really nice if all of them were to embrace the Alternative Culture! However, for enduring positive change only a critical mass of determined and fearless people are needed for kick-off. As a guide, the number of conscious unified people required to bring about change can be calculated through a simple formula, the square root of 1 percent of a population (√ 1% population) which was devised by Dr David Orme-Johnson, then popularised in 1986 by Jack Smith in his article, “The Square Root Of 1% Of The Population Unified In Any Way May Be The Greatest Discovery In The History Of Science”.

This formula (F) can be applied to any population (P) be it a school, university, town, city, zone or country etc.

If applied to Nigeria assuming a population of 200 million, the formula would be (√ of 1 % of 200,000,000) = 1414.21. Therefore from this formula just 1414 Nigerians would be required to start to make a positive change in the country! This seems a particularly low number but would be the minimum required. The effect would be even greater when more Nigerians participate. Plus, the key is that they are to be UNIFIED and DETERMINED.

 

Culture matters! It dictates the kind of living an individual or a community will have, and the kind of country citizens can enjoy, or suffer. Those who are comfortable with what Nigerian Culture represents, but which the world holds in disdain as is evidenced by Nigeria’s low reputation among the nations, remain free to hold on to it. Fortunately however, the Alternative Culture is here and available for Nigerians too, to choose. It is the space where Nigerians who are determined to “do the right thing” and “do the right thing, the right way” live. These are Nigerians who are community-minded and who appreciate the African notion of Ubuntu, which embodies humanity and concern towards others and care for the community. Alternative Culture, or AC for short, is the cool, intelligent culture needed to blow away the oppressive and destructive heat of Nigerian Culture.

 

* Reader, if you want more information about the practice of human sacrifice or you want to be involved in raising awareness about it so that it ends, I suggest WAHuSa (World Against Human Sacrifice) an online resource at https://web.facebook.com/WAHuSa/ and Twitter: WAHuSa @WAHuSa1.

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Opinion: Nigerian Values - Food For Thought

Opinion: Nigerian Values – Food For Thought

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