Our dear nation is seen as a model by other nations. Not only do her youths excel in various fields such as Medicine, Arts, Technology, etc; they excel in games as well. We are seen as the giant of Africa. However, in recent years, there is a game in which almost everyone of us plays , and in which we are very good at – which is the Blame Game.
WHO IS TO BLAME?
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the President. You realize that you control your own destiny.” ~~Albert Ellis
It is no longer news that we always find a scapegoat as the cause of our predicament. The youths blame those in leadership positions, without improving themselves or upgrading their skills to meet opportunities. For everything that happens, the masses blame the President, and even the ruling party. Some others would even point fingers at Islam, and the Muslims in the far north. To them, they influence the policies made, and the activities of the President – who is a Muslim. I was pissed up during the recession, when there was a fall in the oil prices. Why? Many refused to understand that the President and those at the House of Assembly were not the ones who caused the problem. They refused to acknowledge that the fall in oil prices was global, and not just a Nigerian issue. It saddens my heart to know that many educated Nigerians blamed the Presidency as being the cause of the exchange rate fluctuations. How is that possible? Is it not absurd? How about the market forces of demand and supply?
“If you want to enter hell, don’t complain of the dark; you can’t blame the world for being unfair if you start on the path of the rebel.” ~~Liu Xiaobo
We love the Blame Game so much, despite the fact that we never win. We resort to violence, crime and other social vices, because we feel the government is not doing enough to assist us. How about those that rob or defraud their kinsmen? Is the government also responsible for that? We sell the truth, and buy excuses, using the excuses as cover-up for our actions. An average Nigerian will tell you that he/she is fed up with the country. Why? He/She feels that that there are no jobs in the country. To such a person, the leaders haven’t created jobs for them. Is it the government that should create jobs for us? Can’t we create jobs for ourselves? Are we not good at anything? These people are so desperate to leave the country, while foreigners flood the country for investments. These foreigners see so many opportunities in our dear country, while most of our youths are blind to them. An average Nigerian prefers traveling overseas to be a dishwasher or a cleaner. Most times, our youths do not get to their destination, and are exposed to such risks like hunger, death, discrimination, sexual abuse, and even deportation. Of course, those who returned from Libya are not done with their narrations, yet.
We love giving excuses. We are never tired of that. Some weeks ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) black-listed some names. These fraudsters would blame the presidency, and even the country. How about the drug dealers who were to be executed by Saudi Arabia? Of all the noble professions and occupations, why should they venture into illicit trades? Maybe, this time, it is the devil himself that made them do it. Of course, according to Stephen Covey, ”Reactive people… are often affected by their physical environment. They find external sources to blame for their behavior. “
”Great leaders don’t rush to blame. They instinctively look for solutions.” ~~Nina Easton
Our leaders excel in the Blame Game, too, but they never win. They do not understand that nobody wins the Blame Game; they hurt themselves instead. Why is it that there is always something to say? Perhaps, if our leaders learn to listen well, they would know the right way to relate with everyone. Some sects, and ethnic groups feel unloved because to them, the government prefers a particular ethnic group, and a particular religion, over the others. During elections, it is usually tense. Everybody is talking, instead of listening. If you are a parent, how do you ensure that nobody feels useless in the house? Do you pay more attention to some and leave out some? Do you consult those you feel are relevant, and neglect the others? Is that not one of the major issues we face as a nation? Even if we are from different mothers, and have been adopted into the Nigerian family, are our voices not supposed to count as well? Do the lives of some Nigerian citizens not matter to you? Perhaps, there is a reason why you had to do all you did! There is a reason why people had to be shot, and others imprisoned! How about when the courts have directed for the release of those imprisoned ? Is there not still a reason why they have to be locked up for days, weeks, months and even years? That is it! Everybody has something to say! Nobody understands each other anymore! Perhaps, if our leaders had listened well before acting, we would not have gotten to this point. The fact that we miss, is that we are all leaders. Everybody is a leader, and Everyone is guilty of this.
In the words of Robert Anthony, “when you blame others, you give up your power to change.” It is time we acknowledge that we are responsible for what happens to us. When the image of the country is tarnished overseas, foreigners are more interested in knowing the country. We are the ones who get to pay the price. Yes! Everyone! It is everyone who gets the restriction on the use of PayPal and other Payment platforms! It is everyone who gets to be embarrassed at the airports, through several search procedures! It is every Nigerian who gets to be asked several questions at the embassy! They see us as a whole number, but we see ourselves as fractions ! So sad. Must we have to blame someone or the society, whenever something bad happens? As Thomas Sowell would say, “In various countries and times, leaders of groups that lagged behind, economically and educationally, have taught their followers to blame all their problems on other people – and to hate those other people. ”
How do we Quit the Blame Game?
We must learn to pay attention to our needs as a people, and address these issues. A seed can never germinate when it receives acid , as a substitute for water. It can only grow, when it receives supply of water. Therefore, we can never grow when we give hate, as a substitute for love. We will only grow as a nation, when we begin to love one another as ourselves.
“We must create economic opportunity, build a culture of entrepreneurship, get people to take responsibility for improving their lives, rather than putting them in a position where they sit back in their poverty and blame others for it. ” ~~Paul Kigame
It is time to quit this Blame Game. We do not have to pause, and continue later. We have to stop it entirely, and never engage in it again. We have had countless meetings as a country. Some years ago, delegates from all the ethnic groups converged at an agreed venue in Nigeria, to deliberate. Till date, the report of that meeting has become history. We have been unable to execute certain projects because we are not united. We don’t even know what we believe in, anymore. There is still a lot of hate being served as an appetizer, a main course, and even dessert. Nobody wants to forgive. What happened during the civil war is still in the minds of those who never witnessed the war. Some ethnic groups still discriminate against others. Some never forgive the wrongs done to them, neither do they forget. If it takes them fifty years to get their pound of flesh, they would not mind. It will be sung as a song, and recited as a verse, until the innocent ones are indoctrinated into seeking for vengeance. Is that how we will grow? Is that the way forward? How long shall we continue like this, deceiving ourselves?
In conclusion, it is important to note that “When a man points the finger at someone else, he should remember that three of his fingers are pointing at himself“~~Louis Nizer