According to Wikipedia, nepotism is the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. This practice has become too rampart in the country that every zone has name for it, but the general name for it is “Man-know-man” or “I M”. In fact, there is a popular adage that says: “If an abomination stays too long, it becomes part of the people’s culture. Nepotism has become part of the unwanted culture we display everyday especially when dispensing political patronage in the present day Nigeria. The unfortunate thing is that, some people have been forced to accept it unchallenged.
Somebody once told me that, why it looks as if our almighty Super Eagles cannot win the World Cup is because of nepotism! This is because, instead of giving the team’s coach the needed free hand to select the best from the pool of available players, “One Oga at the Top” will recommend an armature relation to the chief coach. Please note that, the conceptual meaning of recommendation is an opinion given or suggested by somebody, but, the operational meaning of recommendation in this article means, “Command”, and when this happens, you don’t need to consult a prophet to know that, Nigeria’s Super Eagles will not last in the tournament. But, fans who don’t understand what has transpired will be blaming the coach, thinking or assuming that, the coach is a superhuman being who can perform miracles.
Before now, after every sport fiesta, a coach will be sacked because of public uproar that heralded the event! I remember in those days when the popular opinion was “Bring foreign coach” to Nigeria, but, several foreign coaches have come and gone, but the dream of Aso-Rock kissing the World Cup Trophy has not materialized.
Similarly, there was a report I read in The Punch Newspaper some years ago about how Senators, Ministers, House of Representatives Members flooded the Federal Inland Revenue Service office with the names of their friends, relations and cronies for employment, when the Revenue House advertised some vacancy positions in the organization. The story was just the true reflection of what is happening in some establishments in Nigeria. If you don’t have a brother, an uncle or a relation who is a Senator, a Minister or a Member of the House of Representatives or like we usually say in pigging English, “Somebody where know somebody”, then, you have to wait for God’s miracle to grant you your desire!
Nepotism encourages laziness because, if a young man realizes that, whether he works hard or not, there is a job waiting for him somewhere by the virtue of his father or mother having been at the top, he will say to himself, what then is the need to work hard? But, for a young man who knows that he has no firm anchor or support from anybody or community; who knows that his destiny is in his own hands, who knows that, if he doesn’t deny himself some pleasure even when his peers are enjoying, his hope of a better tomorrow becomes a pipe dream if he doesn’t move from his comfort zone to shape his tomorrow. But, the unfortunate thing is that when he works harder to get his due, nepotism will only deny him that except, he displays a stubborn resilience by going extra mile to satisfy the law of extra miles before it sparks divine intervention to his favor.
In the same vein, one the reasons early Italians were not good in scientific discoveries and inventions according to history, was because, during the Roman Empire, they were ruling the world and by that virtue, they took slaves from different parts of the globe. Hence, even little things they could do for themselves, they would not do it, but ask the slaves to do it for them. This was the practice until the fall of Roman Empire, and there was nothing for them to lay hold on other than to start anew! God forbid, but, if care is not taken, similar feet could be repeated in our country’s economic sector because, in a country where about 86 percent of her exports come from crude oil sales, coupled with crude oil theft, bunkering etc which have fueled the lifestyle of laziness, nepotism, cronyism, I wonder what a Nigeria without crude oil will mean to some people?
This is even more pathetic because during my under-graduate days, one of my lecturers boastfully asserted that, why they have turned the nation’s education sector to their own oil and gas industry was because they don’t have access to the nation’s oil and gas sector! So, they have to milk the suffering students and their parents dry. Is this how the country will grow? How can we move from where we are today to another level when “Ghost people” are working, while some qualified human beings are without jobs? Is the current predicament we collectively found ourselves part of the dreams our founding fathers envisioned about Nigeria? If the answer is no, then we must collectively turn a new leaf!
Comrade Edwin Ekene Uhara is an Activist and a Public Affairs Commentator.
He is also the National President of Young Nigerians for Change.
No. 9 Imgbi Road, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters