From social condemnation to social redemption: smartness vs greatness

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Condemnation society

Lab scientists diagnosing a patient and prosecutors monitoring a suspect both conduct thorough investigations on their persons of interest. The difference between them is that while the lab scientist investigates you to heal you, the prosecutor investigates you to nail, jail or execute you. Despite your weakness, the medical team see you as potentially healthy and they work hopefully to actualize that health they see in you and protect your present condition. But prosecutors see you as a suspect to be condemned and punished, or cleared and discharged without improving you. Responsible citizens are like medical teams working with hope to improve a society, instead of just judging to bash or clap.

 

“I am smart fearless, unattached and unbiased, since I condemn APC the same way I condemned their PDP opponents. Though I am not a saint, I just give it to them hot and move on with my life.” – smart Nigerians say before continuing their business.

 

After each report on government or citizen’s criminality, many smart and young Nigerians declare that they have lost hope in Nigeria. What is the positive effect of their hopes in Nigeria for which its loss will be missed or regretted? Were they working on some plan to redeem Nigeria, or just observing and judging like spectators waiting to clap when entertained, or bash when not entertained? Their haste to flee and bash Nigeria and Nigerians classifies them as speculators who have not invested much of their zeal, power and intelligence in building a better Nigeria. For you cannot hastily lose hope on a child or venture in whom you have greatly invested your time, zeal and resources. Thus, you hear judgmental comments like “nice one, they tried” or “rubbish, they are mad”, instead of interventional comments like “good, how do we grow and apply it” or “faulty, how do we repair or heal it.”

 

What makes a working society?

A working society is one where citizens are maximally productive and socially responsible for common good (everybody’s welfare and survival). Thus, productivity and social responsibility are the defining qualities for a society’s health. Without social responsibility, productivity becomes exploitation and destruction; and without productivity, social responsibility becomes ineffective noise-making. Hence, to redeem any society, you build the members’ sense of productivity and social responsibility. And to destroy a society, you destroy the members’ sense of productivity and/or social responsibility.

 

PRODUCTIVITY is divided into two: material and nonmaterial productivity.

Material production: are the physical products humans develop from natural resources to directly or indirectly satisfy human needs. They come from applying scientific knowledge on crude or processed natural resources through experiments and creative modifications. They include food, drugs, houses, machines, clothes, books, gadgets, weapons, vehicles, fuel and all the components used for making them. Three stages in material production include primary production for extracting the crude natural resources; secondary for processing the extracted crude resources to become useful items; and tertiary for distributing the commodities to the people who demand or need it.

 

Nonmaterial production: are the intellectual, emotional, social and physical services humans render to directly or indirectly satisfy human needs. They manifest in humans’ effort to discover, develop and utilize their various capacities for rendering specific services to the world. Nonmaterial productions include production and distribution of ideas, knowledge, music, stories, drama, companionship, skills, leadership, social order, law, sports, religion, recognition, intimacy, beauty and art services. Its stages involve primary production for ideas about the service through research and meditation; secondary for evaluating the application of such knowledge; and tertiary for distributing the intellectual property through speeches, writing, painting, performing and other forms of application. The most important nonmaterial production is discovering and directing humans to use their potentials for full happiness. Yet, we need material products to process and distribute nonmaterial products.

 

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY grows from people’s social relationship and agreement to use their material and nonmaterial products for common good. It is the feeling of accountability for the society as the source of everybody’s wellbeing, progress and security. This feeling of social responsibility develops into laws and policies for defining and rewarding social virtues and prohibiting social vices.

 

How have productivity and social responsibility been in Nigeria?

Before the colonial invasion, different kingdoms and communities in Nigeria had their lands and laws for productivity and social responsibility. Though, their level of productivity was not very advanced, it enabled them govern, provide and protect themselves. But, colonialists invaded to form Nigeria by brutally binding the unconsented kingdoms and communities under a militarized government[1][2] for exploiting resources.[3] They brought foreign institutions to destabilize and replace the different peoples’ native education, laws, industry, religion and governance. But they omitted modern industrialization,[4] so the brutally-merged people cannot use their resources for production. Instead, they structured Nigeria’s politics using an imposed constitution for seizing and exporting mineral resources in exchange for foreign products. Before leaving at independence, they replaced themselves with Europe-trained indigenes[5] and installed constitution guide them in exploiting people’s mineral resources.[6][7][8]

 

How will Nigeria develop its productivity and social responsibility?

For Nigeria to develop a true culture of productivity and social responsibility, the imposed structure of mineral exploitation for foreign good dependence must change. Thus, a sincere government will arise to take the following steps:

  • Conduct a social research to discover and acknowledge the different Nigeria’s peoples, their beliefs about humans and their respective lands and resources.[9]
  • Organize intercommunal conferences among kingdoms, local governments and districts for a national conference where Nigerians will discuss and agree on their mode of partnership.[10] Hence, the constitutional decisions and laws will reflect the people’s beliefs and agreement for human development and productive partnership.
  • Invite and integrate local and foreign-trained specialists to train the various natives to process their local resources for more industrial production. Then establishing secondary industries to use the processed mineral resources for productivity.
  • Release people’s lands and resources for industrial productivity and eventual tax-payment to the central government. This will encourage the government to protect the people’s productivity for better tax-returns, and encourage citizens to become productive and socially responsible.

 

What will be your contribution instead of judging like prosecutors and spectators?

Your birth as Nigerian was not a mistake or accident, but a providential plan to build a better society. Yet, you cannot build it alone whether by intervention or condemnation. But you can build a better Nigeria by uniting the people on a common goal of productivity and social responsibility. Since you cannot unite everybody at once on this goal, you begin with small groups of people around you. You introduce this new and socially-relevant purpose to your friends in the office, church, group, club, street, age-grade or union. Through this, you will awaken many Nigerians who have abandoned their production zeal to struggle for management and distribution of imported goods and services. Then, they will activate their productive plans in small scales and await the right time to retrieve their mineral resources for production through effective political channels. You cannot do it alone or achieve it in one day, one month or one year. But you must start forming alliances and expanding gradually to dismantle the imposed social order for dependence, and to create an environment for collaborative productivity and social responsibility.

 

You will be remembered for what you could build, not what you destroyed.

[1] Ogban Ogban-Iyan, Re-inventing Nigeria through Pre-colonial traditions, in Issues in contemporary political economy of Nigeria, (ed.) Hassan A. Saliu. (Ilorin, Sally & Associates, 1999). P77

[2] cf. Richard Dowden, Africa altered states, ordinary miracles. (New York: Public Affairs, 2010). p.445

[3] Cf. Walter Rodney, How Europe underdeveloped Africa (Abuja: Panaf, 2009). P.293

[4] Cf. Walter Rodney, op.cit. p.158

[5] Cf. Walter Rodney, op.cit. p.319

[6] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 2 “… all lands in which minerals have been found in Nigeria and any area covered by its territorial waters or constituency and the Exclusive Economic Zone shall, from the commencement of this Act be acquired by the Government of the Federation…”  “No person shall search for or exploit mineral resources in Nigeria or divert or impound any water for the purpose of mining except as provided in this Act.”  “The property in mineral resources shall pass from the Government to the person by whom the mineral resources are lawfully won, upon their recovery in accordance with this Act.”

[7] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 2, paragraph 1

[8] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3

[9] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “The social research for a new Nigeria” in Restartnaija June 5, 2018. https://restartnaija.com/2018/06/05/social-research-new-consented-nigeria/ retrieved 29th May, 2019.

[10] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “Organizing the national conference for a new Nigeria” in Restartnaija February 5, 2019. https://restartnaija.com/2019/02/05/organizing-nigerian-national-conference/ retrieved 29th May, 2019.