Japheth Omojuwa: My landlady and our grab-your-own mentality (YNaija FrontPage)

A society moves forward if the people learn to solve problems that affect everyone and not when individuals look to find their own ways around such. Look at the Boko Haram insurgency. The State Security Service and the Police Headquarters are well guarded. They even ensured the roads close to them are not open to traffic most of the time.

 

My Landlady is over 50 years old. She would be one of these folks that’d curse the loudest when thieving politicians are being cursed. I am sure she has her own ideas on how to curb corruption but when push came to shove this weekend, she turned out to be just like every thieving politician if not worse than the worst of them.

She had called to inform me about making payments for the plumbing work done in my bathroom. She said the plumber had refused to collect her bargain and she advised I just pay what she suggested – which was 80 per cent of what I finally paid because I said I’d rather pay what the plumber requested. When I called the plumber to ask how much he was paid, it turned out my landlady had cheated the plumber of some 60 per cent of his pay. Apart from this, she had also cheated another worker of some 50 per cent of his pay. This apart from keeping the first batch of money I sent for repairs claiming they had been used to buy materials for the job. The workers later claimed they never collected any money from her to buy anything. Trusted to manage less than a hundred thousand naira, this mother had failed on all counts. She goes to church and from the look of things, she is probably a top member of her church. When I told her to her face that she had been lying and stealing, she couldn’t even respond. That’s shameful!

I shared this story above because it is very convenient to look at those in public positions as being responsible for where Nigeria is. The truth is, were each Nigerian adult running the government the way s/he runs his life, we’d still be where we are if not worse. Sincerely speaking, corruption has become the norm both in public and private settings. Not to be corrupt in this nation today is to be the outlier. Yes, the politicians will always be at the receiving end of the blames for where Nigeria is today but is it possible that we allow them to do all they like with our country because we know deep within ourselves we’d do same thing? Is it a subconscious expectation that “Let them do what they like, my time will come” that keeps us accepting this norm of madness, corruption and nonsense from those at the helm?

 

When we suffer water shortage, we don’t look for public solutions, we buy bottled water. When the roads to our houses become bad, we don’t look to fix them or get the Chairman/Councillor to fix them, we buy Sport Utility Vehicles that can negotiate the potholes. More recently, when the airlines cannot be trusted to move us within the country, we buy personal jets to move us around. With the private jets, we are able to look the other way whatever happens to the local airline industry. With the SUV, we can forget about the bad roads and with our private water, we can forget the community lacks potable water. We are about ourselves, our selfish ends and what we can grab. This is not about politicians, this is about most Nigerians.

A society moves forward if the people learn to solve problems that affect everyone and not when individuals look to find their own ways around such. Look at the Boko Haram insurgency. The State Security Service and the Police Headquarters are well guarded. They even ensured the roads close to them are not open to traffic most of the time. They are “privately” escaping the menace of terrorism just like Aso Rock has invested more on security than ever before in Nigeria’s history. Like most Nigerians, these folks are only helping themselves escape national problems. Nigerians can take care of themselves. And yes, we are doing that privately. It is a grab-your-own mentality that has essentially become the norm. My landlady was trying to grab hers but she won’t be grabbing with from me. I know how to get my things back from cheats.

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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Comments (3)

  1. you Haf said it all, my question now is what is the way out..

  2. OmogeNaija, speak for yourself; you are guilty and so am I…that does not mean most of us are. The message is to remove the log in your eyes…for everyone to do same.

  3. The truth.

    I am guilty of finding personal solutions to public problems, most of us are, probably all of us

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail