Friday, December 1, 2017


OUR STUPID TRADITIONS by Evaristus Ogbechie
There’s no place like home. So goes a very popular saying. I guess whoever coined it, had some degree of positivity attached to it. However, a look at some of the places many of us call ‘home’, will without a doubt get one thinking that this saying may not be valid after all. At least, not for everybody.
After my last trip to my country, Nigeria, I must confess experiencing a reappraisal of my hitherto strong belief, in that saying. I came back to Europe with so many unanswered questions lingering in my mind: What has happened to us as a people? What has become of our national conscience? Why is everyone in such a hurry? Where are we trying to get to? Why can’t we just walk, like all the other peoples of this world? Why have we erased the word ‘patience’ in our dictionary?

Nigeria, today, is a country where everybody blames everyone for all societal ills, and the government for not providing all that she should. All of their needs. Corruption is the most discussed topic in Nigeria, and is of course, condemned by everyone you discuss it with. This should have you thinking that everybody hates corruption in Nigeria. Far from it. Yes, we all condemn it, but only a handful would actually hold back from enjoying the fruits of corruption. If your brother is made a minister, and doesn't bring back home money stolen from government coffers, and you call him a fool. Which Nigerian wouldn’t like to have the president, his vice, or some other high-ranking politician, attend his wedding ceremony, or any other ceremony of the sort? 

In Nigeria, everybody is a ‘born again’ Christian, Muslim, animist, or something. God is mentioned without fear. One gets the impression, that we may all be direct descendants of the biblical Pharisees. I must quickly add here, that there are however, people who are true about their faith. People with love in their hearts. The problem is that religion has become so monetized, that it’s difficult to know where business ends, and true religion begins.
I have come to a humble conclusion, that behind our ‘grab- grab’ attitude; that behind the societal pressure to ‘perform’, which we all feel so helplessly, are our traditions. We celebrate everything from births, to deaths, weddings, chieftaincy titles, anniversaries, promotions, etc. Everyone you ask why we need to spend millions of naira on all of these events, will readily respond, that it’s the demand of our tradition to do so. It doesn’t matter if one can afford to celebrate so lavishly or not. He is expected to do so. It doesn’t matter if he has to steal to do so. He has to do it, like everybody else.
Permit me to say, that it smells more to me, like the demands of consumism and materialism, to do so.

People are encouraged to show off what they may not even have.
People need to boost their egos. It no longer is wise, to blame the meagre-salaried police men, for asking for their 100 naira ‘personal tax’ from vehicles at their checkpoints, and other such places. Considering that a policeman cannot save millions of naira from his salary, and that he has to spend millions of naira in the event of his father’s burial, where do you expect him to come up with such staggering amounts? How can the average politician be honest, when he knows that people would expect him to celebrate in a big way, his his own traditional events? Add the tradition of money being ‘sprayed’, at such ceremonies, and you know how sick our traditions are.
Put a ban, on these stupid traditions, and we would have taken a giant step towards the achievement of socio-economic development in Nigeria. Money, which is needed, to be reinvested in existing businesses, and the creation of new ones, is lavishly thrown away, on the daily.
Why do we put so much pressure to perform on ourselves? Why do we keep inviting stress to our doorsteps? This unending pressure to perform, is the reason we have corrupt politicians, clergymen, armed robbers, kidnappers, cultists, secret society adherents, prostitutes, drug dealers, etc. Ask any one of them why he or she is so desperate, to ‘make it’, and you will hear that they want to get theirs too.
We Nigerians deserve to live better than we are doing presently. We have the resources, and brains to do so. The world is moving ahead, slowly but steadily. We shouldn’t be left behind. Let’s stop behaving like crabs in a basket, pulling each other down. God bless Nigeria.
By Evaristus Ogbechie.

No comments:



Il massaggio Shiatsu che si effettua tramite la pressione delle dita, dei palmi delle mani e dei piedi e dei gomiti su tutto il corpo, agisce sui punti energetici considerati dall'agopuntura. Stimola la circolazione sanguigna ed il flusso linfatico, agisce sul sistema nervoso allentando la tensione muscolare più profonda, rimuove le tossine dei tessuti, risveglia il sistema ormonale e sollecita la capacità di autoguarigione del corpo.


Live Traffic Feed