When Silence Means Consent



  Taken a Prefactory incursion from our previous article titled “The gridlock of conservatism and radicalism” we expressly deduced that development in whatever morphology thrives better in an atmosphere of struggle and conflicts.  
     At the north pole of conflict and struggle are conformity and uniformity which constitute a major malaise not only nomenclaturally but in praxis and practice especially when viewed from the lenses of socio-cultural, political and economic development, the very tricentric hallmark of utopianism. Utopianism in this sense refers not to the sheer imaginary culmination of perfection whereby everyone is happy in the state, but rather the reflection of the desired ideal modern state, a modern state that grants equal opportunity to all and sundry to survive and be happy, by that way reducing the level of unsatisfaction to the lowest ebb.

      As a malaise, ‘conformity and uniformity’ stem however clandestine from that social tendency created when those benefitting from the debris of one existing system ostensibly display it’s consequent glamour in such a way to elicit envy instead of contempt against the filths of such system. The result is that the discontent and marginalised instead of awakening and crusading against the system, secretly tends to rather idolize those that marginalised them, thereby creating an evil craving to becoming like their oppressors, thereby leaping all civil bounds in learning and appropriating vicious ways of their oppressors in order to reach their heights.  Such a social phenomenon insidiously establish conformity and uniformity of character that destroys the good forces of historical dialectics- the very force of change.

     An orchestrated conformity metamorphosed into a culture that however unvoiced remains undeniable, thus, pervading into our social behaviour in such an insidious and ubiquitous manner that it becomes difficult to fight it because;
1; It serves those in power so well,
2; Those marginalised had made idol of those in power,
3; Those marginalised are now so envious of those benefitting from the system so much so that they are willing to blindly serve anything that had benefitted those in power as long as the service is promising and lucrative.

    There would undeniably be a catastrophic consequence especialy if that system as we have in our country today is sustained by such vices such as bribery, corruption, nepotism, individualism, extreme materialism e’t.c. There cannever however be a corresponding meaningful attempt to revamp, reform or ultimately change the system, this is because those at the recieving end of such system (the marginalised) who should have crusaded against the malaise, are heretofore nursing a secret romance with with the enviable pleasure such system could offer, thereby eliciting silence and tranquility on their part. This explains why corruption and like vices had continued to persist in our country Nigeria.  A country whose system gives honor to dishonest persons have only succeeded in taken away the incentive to work honestly for honour.

     When the god of Mammon becomes a nation’s deity, to be worshiped and adored, their thoughts and passion would unredeemably be set towards mammon. And the love of mammon is the root of all evils. This love for mammon which our system propagate in our schools communities and religious institutions ends up blindfolding us to the basic virtues of fairness, truth, honesty and working for posterity, thereby, silencing us into giving our secret consent to vices which does not promote our common good.

     Even when it seems we voice out against such vices, it only ends at the level of opinion, and as Thomas Mann puts it “Opinion cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them” there is no serious and continued eight against the forbidden fruit because we nurse inordinate appetite for its crumbs.

     In retrospect, Herbert Macaulay (father of Nigerian nationalism) in 1908 rejected a £200 bribe from the colonialist aimed at silencing him, he fought aggressively against the colonial system, defeated it, thereby we have independent Nigeria today. Such examples laid down by our heroes past are no longer emulated today, bribery has become as ubiquitous as white is on rice, all the sectors; government, security, education, oil and gas, religion, commerce e’t.c now survives through it. You can see it at checkpoints while traveling, it dictates results and admissions in our schools, it falsifies documents in our offices, it blindfolds our pastors and imams at the place of worship, it exchange transactions in our market. All and sundry tends to be benefitting, therefore, it becomes expedient, but as Theodore Roosevelt once remarked “No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expedience”.

We therefore summit through the words of one wise man however, that “not to speak is to speak but only for that very thing we aim at opposing” hence, we all must take a bold step to decrying the current Nigerian system and consciously make effort towards system restructuring. In our subsequent articles, we will make a discourse on the parameters for a whole system restructuring.

written By ONYEDIKA C OKOLO


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