Jide Alara: Our Unknown Enemy

Various issues unfold everyday in Nigeria which demand attention to hold consistent public debates and discussions over engaging platforms. Since we are supposedly led by a democratic government, open dialogues about such topics naturally help develop our supposed democracy. From television to radio, virtual commentary to print media, informal activists to conspiracy analysts, it’s gladdening to see people talking. However, what’s sad amidst the gladness is the nihilistic operating system commonly used for analysis.

The situations addressed and solutions proffered tend to be void of our indigenous social systems – respect, culture, optimism – or simply put our identity. There is no doubt of Nigeria being abundantly blessed and (if you permit me to startle you up more) . Current  indicators prove its visible development is nothing compared to the untapped advantage its diversity could bring.

Lagos is a typical example to this ideology. The complex nature of this city is often frowned upon – the hold-ups generated from congested traffic, the influx of city migrants, the high rate of unemployment etc. These three complex examples in a different view bring enormous advantage to the city and its dwellers.

The congested traffic of Lagos immediately delivers a market place where almost anything can be bought while in traffic without going to a market proper, thereby saving so much time and cost. The influx of migrants brings better accessibility to human resource needed for development and the high rate of unemployment catalyses individual empowerment born off expressions of inner talents frustrated out by idleness which in the long run, creates the identification of skills and jobs.

Most analysis and recommendations during public discourse are often promoted without a differentiating “contextualized” viewpoint of our endemic nature and circumstance. Following several discussions of this topic, I have begun to feel my ranting of the word in quote pays it no more respect.

Another partnership formed along this falsehood ‘non-contextual’ campaign damaging to us as a nation is the emotive and nihilistic orientation it precipitates. As solutions void of our aboriginal social systems are proffered during discuss and thereafter recommended for implementation, the result becomes a deeper failure, further raising more public venom and nihilism.

Various new media platforms are fast becoming a virtual communities, hosting well thought out articles by Nigerians who share crass opinions about societal issues. As platforms, they doing an amazing job creating more citizen participation and engagement but also liable to misrepresentation with the information they choose to disseminate for content.

I don’t know a lot about writing but I understand a bit about certain influencing factors of westernized sensitization that could further stifle contextual development and transformation. Some writers given responsibility to share public opinion commendably guide us towards sustainable development; while others don’t have a clue about the delicate line they privileged to tread upon. These “others” have misconstrued the role they fill and have sunk deep into thought of it being about their individuality and level of exposure to westernised standards.

In being modest, the realisation of obligation these blogs give some “columnists” is a very thin line to discern and competent of only a few. However, it is highly important because once its variation isn’t clear, the outcome could act as catalyst to de-orientating many youths towards the infesting emotiveness and nihilism mentioned in the third paragraph of this essay; as we repeatedly compare and indulge ourselves to western social systems.

Again, I reiterate, I don’t know jack about writing but would endless sermons of westernization truly give us the development we seek?

Adewale Ajadi wrote in his book Omoluabi 2.0:

Our westernized education has produced a more simplistic survivalist version of the engineered western paradigm where we consciously endure this formal system and insert our more complex instinctive orientation unconsciously. This has had a disruptive effect on the evolution of a more complex, relevant and effective system of thinking and organisation necessary for the African environment.
Omoluwabi 2.0 Pg. 43

We continue to masturbate the anticipation of ‘good governance’ yet, we do so bad in attitudinal foreplay in ensuring that our aboriginal social systems enjoy the much needed synergy with contemporary society to create a formula exclusive to Nigeria’s contextual development.

I’ve held discussions with individuals who fiercely argue that this isn’t the case. They claim the assertion to societal decay is justified by years of bad governance and crippled development. And, more often than none, blame is in the right direction. So, if you also hold this stance, be obliged to know you not alone, you have a bandwagon with you.

However, I believe an immoral or inefficient government can never survive the test of time if it had an organised coherent citizenry and public opposition responsibility.

The deterioration of our primordial social and cultural systems is what has stolen attention of our pathologies. How did we get here? The decay in our ancestral communal social system is responsible for the non-emergence of effective and efficient governing structures.

Emerging market economies like Singapore, India, China, and other developing Asia are examples to the success of this story. Their aboriginal social structure has been synergised with contemporary standards of governance to bring about development contextual for their existence.

Until we revisit our primitive models and synergise them with new public management for civilisation, development would only come when cocks grow teeth. We would only continue to rant and rebel the inefficiency of government to bring about the change we want.

Lastly, the recent coherent alliance which has been formed to be an opposition to the present Federal Government by three political parties – Action Congress of Nigeria, All Nigeria Peoples Party and Congress for Progressive change further gives hope to the need of citizens’ public opposition responsibility. The model by which the party was also formed comprising various interests and tribes clearly shows its vision to be an integrated equitable nationalist party. Some argue that it is a ticking time bomb but I believe if it survives, its premise would further challenge the consensus to create a more responsible citizenry.

I leave with you optimism, peace and love.

Photo Credit: 123rf.com

Jide Alara has a brainchild called DraggNation. DraggNation is dedicated to engagements for self-discovery in context of the Nigerian state with the hope it leads to individual empowerment that further accelerates societal/organisational transformation and community change. And, this is what I’m committed to asides being a realist and innovator.

29 Comments on Jide Alara: Our Unknown Enemy
  • Mz Socially Awkward… September 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Wow, this was a hard article to read. I emerged with almost no understanding of what point you’re trying to make (I know you’ve identified blog writers as being responsible for something but I’m not sure what exactly)…

    Even though I’m a strong advocate of people expanding their vocab, articles written for any audience should pass on a clear message. If you can’t write so that others can understand you, it’s a completely wasted effort.

    • lilz September 13, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      1 billion likes

    • Atoke
      Atoke September 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Lol. True

      • Jo! September 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm

        errrr, fake or real AToke?

    • lakelizzy September 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      BN really needs the “like” button”. I’m reading the article and thinking “wow, I haven’t read this kind of “typical Nigerian/African” article in a long time”! bunch of big words with few grammatical mistakes equals no understanding. I just skipped through and stopped reading half way. SMH

  • Kmama! September 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Please Ms Socially Awkward – I nominate you as my candidate for BellaNaijerian of the year. I spent most of my time trying to understand the underlying core of the article. What do you want to discuss, what do you want us to agree on? Nihilism in Nigeria? Please the most intelligent are the ones whose verbiage the lay man/woman can understand Abeg Too much Higi Haga is not good for the Haga Higi. Grammatically speaking! LOOOL

    • Tincan September 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Lol. I started reading, I failed, I stopped. All the while my head was going Obahiagbon…

  • Impeccable September 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I would have to concur with the rest. Your message got lost somewhere in the middle. I got the general gist of what you are trying to say but your message didn’t ‘land’ so to speak. In summary, I believe you are saying – less words, more action.

    Anyway, keeping in line with the article title here’s an article that might be of interest…


  • nomad September 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    I’m confused, does BN do some sort of quality control, editing or selective selection of articles or can anyone just submit any random stream of thought without any control. Because I gots some mental farts to release!

    BTW, I lol-ed at “We continue to masturbate the anticipation of ‘good governance’ yet, we do so bad in attitudinal foreplay in ensuring that our aboriginal social systems …. “.

    Bros, don’t worry sha, I sort of understand the idea behind this long-winded analysis of the status quo in our dear nation and I am sorry about the, albeit well-deserved, opprobrium you are receiving. Next time, 1. clearly and succinctly point out the problem (western vs. traditional values abi) in one or two paragraphs (give examples) 2. Give clear examples of how other people have tackled the problem and 3. proffer solutions. FINISH.

    This essay is truly masturbatory in the sense that it only offers pleasure to yourself

  • Rynyx September 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    lolololol, I couldn’t get beyond the 4th paragraph and I scrolled straight to comments. now I am glad I didn’t bother to finish before you knock my brain.

  • Dre September 13, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    The theme in this message is very true but quite difficult to understand. Those that get it would get it. I do It has some humouros parts also. The writer is in the league of the Wole Soyinka’s and co.

    • lakelizzy September 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      In the league of who? There’s differences between hard read and incoherent writing. This article’s problem is not that it’s hard to read in the sense of complexity and intelligence. It’s problem is that it lacks comprehension. When you write and most of your readers are unable to follow through, your writing is a failure!
      I don’t think Wole Soyinka would appreciate this if he stumbles upon it. I hope he does…

  • Funmi September 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Lol…the guy’s surely has a high vocab but na true. Our yankee, britico porshe standards too much. Everytime we dump naija and travel all around the world to behave ourselves to come back home and act more illiterate than when we even left. What this message is addressing is very stereotypical of the average naija person

  • DocDeola September 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I agree, the complexity of the language used was unecessary, and an intelligent write up doesn’t need validation with complex linguistics but with simplicity and eloquence with which it imparts its message.
    On the other hand, some of the metaphors used (frustrated sex…is compelling, masturbation, foreplay…no orgasm but really was it necessary..lol!!)
    I think the message is, stop complaining about Nigeria being band, do something to change the situation. People privileged to talk about Nigeria are often from privileged background and often try and paint it in a progressive, it’s not that bad a place, light. Other people just moan.
    As a society, the decay of our governance is not only because of poor leadership, but as a result of we as individuals condoning immorality, decay and nepotism.

  • Tofunmi September 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    1. He has found out a problem. 2. He tries to address the problem 3. His readers are surely not for the common level. Dis guy too yarn vocabulary abeg. In all, he does address a problem and deserves credit for that unlike many of us.

  • Aibee September 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Majority of BN readers are educated and reasonably cultured enough to understand articles written in clear logical language. We even recognize and appreciate sarcasm when we see it. But this author just got us lost. It read too much like a dissertation.
    BN, abeg, y’all need to improve your quality control. We love you but there are way too many mediocre pieces making their way to website nowadays.

  • ‘Mide September 13, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Abeg, you try my broda. E no easy.

  • Ireti September 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I love the sarcasm used it the write-up. Yes very complex a write-up but our levels to understanding are different. I got the message. You have to understand that different writer nowadays seek attention with different strategies. The applause is this writer got a decay in our system. The way he chose to get attention and lay out the message is what is segregative, but not to intellectuals.

  • Ireti September 13, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Would y’all quit complaining about the mannerisms of the writer and address/discuss the enemy he identifies ooooo.

  • Anthonia September 13, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Loolsss. Wasnt easy reading to the end but i finish am. But bros, try small language now abah. Your message make sense sha..Leave all d bad belee pple dem. Na wa.

  • Kelz September 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    ahahaha, this happens to me a lot…it comes from too much academic writing and trying to impress your professors at postgrad school..hey!!! lol

  • Obi September 13, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    The writer, as already identified by previous comments, hopes to address a problem in society. He however fails to capture the audience to whom he speaks. Someone mentioned that the “way he chose to get attention and lay out the message is what is segregative, but not to intellectuals”, but then that is quite insulting to the average reader who truly wishes to get something out of an essay and perhaps make a difference in his/ her small space. A reader who isn’t just looking to comment or feel gratified. This might be an excellent read if studying for the SAT or GRE. It might help if the writer considers the audience/ arena and uses language that best fits it.

  • Tunmi September 14, 2013 at 4:11 am

    I read somewhere that newspapers (in the US) are written at a primary 3/4 reading level. That ensures that everyone can truly understand what is written.

  • Kanayo September 14, 2013 at 11:33 am

    @Tunmi Exactly what this writer addresses is the basis of
    your opinion – the consistent comparism of westernized systems and
    standards to ours. Must the operating system in america be that
    which we should alwys refer to or accommodate? Why can’t we build
    and accept our own system to work exclusively for us? Abeg this guy
    really examines a point.

  • Modella September 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I thought it because I have fever that why I couldn’t comprehend the write up…just read the first paragraph and stop,before it will rise my temperature!

  • Feyisara September 16, 2013 at 8:17 am

    The essay is an intelligent read. Nigerians are lazy now to read or be educated. Everyone is looking for quick money, not self-development. Reading through, i have come across words i never knew but now do. The writer’s thoughts are not only true but his vocab is educative. Would like to read a response from him as regards all the beef comments. Like a commentator said, na bad belle dey worry some of una.

  • DraggNation September 20, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Pardon the Epistle. It was to make publish as reaction to comments from this essay but i never got a reply.

    I enjoyed comments off this essay and learnt a great deal following fact that this is the first time my essay captured a wider engaging audience. I once had an essay – Did Our Visitors Leave? – posted on the back page of The Guardian newspapers sometime in January 2013 but didn’t have the luxury of instant feedback as BellaNaija gave Our Unknown Enemy (OUE). For this, I say thank you BellaNaija (BN).

    In as much as several comments from the essay lashed out at my use of vocabulary, I was shocked the main message of the essay took a back seat. The messenger and style in which the essay was written had the major discuss. The underlying theme of us being our own enemy and ignorantly adopting westernization to be civilisation was hardly discussed.

    Beautiful writing is a craft. A craft acquired over time, knowing how to bleed the heart out easily on paper; but, truth is, I never set out to write OUE in order to be celebrated as a crafty or great writer. In fact, I’m far from this and literally said so in OUE. Most importantly, I sort to engage thoughts to address an infectious virus eating deep into the average Nigerian. OUE was a medium to complain of our complainary attitude to ‘poor governance’ in Nigeria and Africa at large. It is to make us see our continuous call for better governance is hypocritical as long as we stand to be the hindrance. How? With the moral and social system we making a living from, hardly can we be set free.

    The essay regarded as lacking coprehension was for me meant to be a challenging read. Yes the vocabulary might have been an endless highway for some; to an extent it was intentional. The fact that some readers could take time out, comprehend the theme of the essay (as seen by the comments) and find out its lapses makes me satisfied knowing I at least got some people’s attention on the topic. Some identified what I was getting at but taking advice from others who didn’t, I would seek to make sure my next essay catalyzes opinions for debate not in argot understandable to only me but, in popular parlance.

    The youthful crave for westernization has ruined so many things in Africa. We fail to realize our liberation from western oppression is the only messiah for real development. The communal love, respect, trust and care which held us on, made us grow, made us rule and be ruled in equity has been lost. What made us united as a people has been totally shattered by the likes of civilisation and hunger for power. Religious and tribal segregation is the order every day. Spiritual influence is sold as reason to foreseen or un-foreseen predicaments so Christianity and Islam are promoted as suitable messiahs. Ancient cultural and traditional ways of worship are abolished and termed evil. The camouflage is everywhere. Regional politics is believed inevitable while the nationalist idea is unachievable. The display of tradition and culture is labelled Stone Age principles while 21st century etiquette is more adaptable. How long are we going to be dominated by these strands of indirect rule and a constant injection of the inferiority complex?

    These are things needed to be addressed, things needed to be dealt with. Community leaders need to keep talking to youths to deviate from adopting false identities. Parents need to discuss history with their children, make them understand family heritage and not leave education to the teachers in school. Friends need to love one another despite tribe or religion. Neighbours need to look out for each other despite class or standards. More pressure groups need to come together with the aim of liberalising Africa through African education. More Africans in diaspora need to be selfless in the crusade of African sensitization. We have so much work to do.

    Thank you guys for the comments.

  • Post a comment