Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When the middle class fails to speak...

If you didn’t know, now you know: The revolution has started in Nigeria.

The information explosion has gotten everyone aware of the government machinery and their excesses... and that's the problem. Every segment of society is informed.

The truth about societies is ALL government always have its excesses is always corrupted. But
the ability to continually exert authority amidst these illegalities is tied to the four institutions that supports the government.

On one end, we have the ruling class. The presence of this class provides hope to those that are at the lower end of the food chain, of a light exists at the end of the tunnel. They inspire with words and actions and are role models to all.

The legal institution exists to provide a framework upon which the idea of justice can be delivered in the society using the armed forces as the executioners. 

Then we have family, and clan leaders. These authority figures ensure their subjects act in line with certain traditional precepts and expectation.

On the final extreme end, the religious units have a part to play too; by educating all on moral laws and order, and guaranteeing success in life and the after-life.

The media, through its choice of words, captures the interplay of activities of these institutions and subconsciously communicates to the middle and lower classes the way to live in which individual benefit is maximized. It keeps this groups (that constitutes about 95% of the population) in check and consistently doses them with examples of how the principles were observed by the ruling class and worked.

The right time for a revolution comes when the media is unable to communicate a way to live that aligns with embedded principles of what is required for the society to work. Then, a general sense of disillusionment fills the air. The lower class (the less educated/most volatile group) looks to the middle class (a class equally as educated as the ruling class, but not as opportuned) for direction. From the middle class, an enigma (usually) emerges that defines what should be and tries to work out a revolution WITHIN the confines of the legal/family & religious organization, even if it means ousting the rulers that be.

But when the middle class is unable to provide that leadership, when every middle class that ascends forgets his/her roots and joins the status quo, when the middle class is unable to direct and answer the concerns of the lower class, cracks within the society becomes visible and villains take charge.

Do you see the similarities? We have lost all form of respect for our leaders and the middle class isn't engineering a formidable team capable of restoring order. Our lower class is becoming the weapon of choice for executing some of the most daring feats ever known in Nigeria and are controlled by these villains. All action they conduct, usually start off startling the immediate society.
“Nigerians can never kill themselves”;
“That bank robbery was a one-off”;
“The kidnappers are most likely from neighboring war torn countries”?
But look within; these stories are familiar…
In describing “them” you will hear us mutter:

"Don't you remember that boy? Is he a stranger? Isn’t he the neighbours son, whose father died in a car accident and mother could not feed the family? Wasn’t his family kicked out of their own family house when they were young? Didn’t they watch their mother transform from a beautiful and homely wife to a desperate plantain seller? Weren’t they victims of KAI Lagos beautification team who removed her stand (because a church was extending its car park)? They invested all their money in an okada. He continued riding till his bike was seized by the police force for night driving.

Don't you remember the girl? She came with her friend to learn a trade in Lagos but was abandoned in the motor park. She slept with every man around, to make ends meet and was outrazied by our people. They call her Ashewo-Ghana. The police, knowing her trade, take rounds on her for free. She lets them have it to continue that singular thing she does to make ends meet.”

In our quest to look after our own, we abandon the less privileged (the volatile amongst us) to their devices and the hand of men with wild ideas. These "children" have metamorphosed into Boko Haram terrorist in the North, Militants in the Niger Delta, faceless kidnappers in the East, and scam artists /armed robbers the West.

A revolution has started in Nigeria but it isn't one engineered by men of wisdom... instead it is one nourished on the streets of desperation!!

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