A New Nigerian Society is Possible!

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

Much has been said and written about the oddities in Nigerian society. We are all aware of how dysfunctional our systems are. We shall not hide under the fact that there is no perfect society anywhere in the world. We are aware that every society has one problem or the other. But ours are Legion.

We do not wish to argue that we are like other people. It does not bring us anything. The truth is that so many things are wrong with us. And an important part towards our collective healing and transformation is our ability to call a spade by its very name. It is the part of honour and character to admit one's weakness and work for an improvement.

It is always self-delusion to think that one is what one is not. And our society has deluded itself several times in course of our corporate existence. And no wonder we have not been on the part of transformation and growth. As a result, many have written and spoken as if there are no prospects for a better tomorrow among us and for our society. It is our conviction in this reflection that a better and transformed Nigerian society is very possible.

It is not a dream by day-light dreamer. Neither is it an easy task. It is a project that demands our collective involvement. First and foremost, we must all agree to the thesis that a new Nigerian society is possible and then we mark out the ways and means of attaining the new Nigerian status of our desire. We cannot just wish a transformed Nigeria into existence.

It has never worked anywhere. Secondly, a new and transformed Nigerian society must begin with personal transformation of individual members of the Nigerian society. This is essential. The society is made up of its members and when these are renewed and transformed in manners and ways good enough for the dignity of the human person, then the whole society is said to be transformed.

But this process seems mind-bogging. One begins to ask about the criteria along with the ethical and moral frameworks for the transformations of the individuals members of the society that are capable of transforming the entire society? This will constitute the assignment for the next day. But for today, our preoccupation is the thesis that a new Nigerian society is not just a possibility but a reality we can all attain and enjoy.

It has always remained unrealistic to do the same thing always in the same way, using the same method and time and yet expecting a different result. Common sense should make it evident that an orange tree does not produce a mango fruit. We cannot run with the hare and catch with the hound. Of course one can deceive oneself, but the truth remains that a deception has taken place.

And any society that wishes its members well cannot thrive on delusions. The Nigerian society has been abundantly endowed with enormous human and material resources better than so many countries of the world. And so our societal woes are man-made. If we decide to put our houses in order, no one can stop us from doing that. The only enemy against us is ourselves. And any moment we decide to get out of our nets, we shall rejoice we ever did.

And nothing else is transformation of a society apart from each member of a given society enjoying his or her full rights and duties, living in justice and peace with one another and enjoying the fullness of life in freedom in the context of functional infrastructures and systems. I wish my beloved Nigerian society from the heart, nothing short of this form of renewal and transformation!

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