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 Intrepid Avenue with Damilola Ogunmuko



It’s funny how people blame everything on the government of this country. It’s true that this nation is an embodiment of corruption, but before we blame this country let’s start with ourselves. As the smallest unit/ division in the society, “Change” starts from the individual before it engulfs the society.
The youth of our beloved country who claim to be educated go about things in a disorderly and haphazard manner. They are always in a haste to get things done without caring about the consequence of their actions. They jump queues, act indecorously and are interested in reaping where they did not sow.

Even the elders of this country that are to guide us are the cause of most of the problems we are facing,  I’ve witnessed so many situations where elders will cheat teenagers and youth and demand the respect of same youth simply because they are old. Even though we are Africans and should respect our elders as culture dictates, that does not preclude elders from acknowledging us or treating us with the same deference we extend to them. We all have equal rights irrespective of our gender, background, educational status, religion, ethnic group and age.

It is shocking that we all point at government when we are talking about corruption in this country. Mind you, I’m not trying to justify the actions of our government, all I’m trying to emphasize is, before we can get rid of corruption in our country, we have to start from the bottom. The people occupying various positions of responsibility in government did not just appear like genies – they were born into families, shaped by the society before they decided to ‘serve’ this country. To get rid of corruption, let’s start from our homes then we can move to the communities, churches, schools, offices, local governments before we move to our leaders.

If in this century some people still treat others in their age groups who are less privileged than they are like scum simply because such a person is a senior apprentice, then I fear for this country and our youth. Before you cast your stone at the government, take a long look at that stone after you must have examined yourself.

In this country, the way those that work in the local governments treat people is alarming. This country is so rooted in corruption and the frustrating part is that we always find excuses to justify these actions. How will an elder get to the local government by 11:30am and leave before a youth that has been there since 7:00 am? What happened to all men being equal? If a teenager can get to the local government by 7:00am because s/he needs something then s/he should be attended to before any one that comes late.

Some things are not only wrong but inhumane, so many things are going on everyday in this country and we cover them up in the name of ”respect”. Respect is reciprocal, it should be extended to both young and old because we are all equal irrespective of our age, gender, background, educational status and so on. No one is superior or inferior to another, that you own a business doesn’t give you the right to treat your workers like lowly servants, you should respect your workers the same way they respect you.

Some of our religious leaders who should admonish and guide us are themselves corrupt. Some of our pastors pay special attention to the rich people in church and pay less attention to the masses because of money. The rich who aren’t even workers in church are revered more than the poor who work their asses off in church just because they can’t afford to donate huge amounts of money to church projects. What happened to everyone being equal before Christ?

We’ve heard and seen how some of our pastors build churches not because they love God but because it is an avenue for them to stuff their bank accounts with money since it is hard to get jobs as graduates these days. Some religious leaders both in Islam and Christianity also sleep with their protégés or members and they still hide behind God’s name.

Even in higher institutions – universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, some randy old lecturers that are old enough to be one’s father or grandfather will not hesitate to fail young ladies who turn down their advances. These randy old fools are seen as the pillars of education in this country and are treated with respect. People see them as father figures and the nation calls them to help when faced with some challenges. They seem pious, upright but deep inside they are rotten. Some lecturers even collect money from students and award grades to students who do not deserve them.

In some primary schools, some teachers are quick to fail students because their parents do not attend PTAs or give them money. They grade students based on how generous their parents are and not on the child’s capacity. Because Mrs A gave you something last month, you decided to promote her son knowing that he should repeat the class to get better and improve.  Newsflash fella! You’re unwittingly destroying that child’s life and you’re promoting corruption in your own way.

In some government hospitals, some nurses hurl insults at patients waiting to get medical attention and treat them like dirt instead of offering them care. They just open their mouths and address people with such crass disregard. People die in hospitals because they were not attended to on time and not because their cases are that severe. Nurses should be kind, caring, compassionate but firm not bitter, unapproachable, antagonistic or vindictive; they shouldn’t treat their patients in a demeaning way.

The health sector is very important. Health, they say, is wealth but I think some nurses are oblivious to that. Why take out your frustrations on others when they’ve done nothing to provoke your situation and  they are in dire need of medical attention?  It is not fun going to the hospital and people are not there because it is a circus show or a carnival. People go there because they need the attention of medical experts – the least you could do is treat them with respect: after all the government is paying you to attend to her citizens.

If we want to change this county, let’s start with ourselves and work in unity and love. We shouldn’t cheat other people; let’s do unto others what we want done to us. God bless Nigeria! Nigeria will survive and rise again but she can only draw the strength to rise from everyone.

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