Some Social and Religious Perspectives on the Nigerian Crisis
Chapter 7. A New Way of Being Nigerian
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A NEW WAY OF BEING NIGERIAN
Calling for a new way of being Nigerian presupposes that there was an old way. The difference has nothing to do with a generation gap. A youth could be an old Nigerian while an elderly person could be a new Nigerian. The division also has nothing to do with Nigeria before or after independence. Those born before independence could be new, while others who came after independence could be old Nigerians. Rather, being a new Nigerian is a matter of mentality and a set of values. Greed, fraud, corruption, deceit, and violence are traits of old Nigerians. Honesty, integrity, compassion, self-sacrifice, and hard work are attributes of new Nigerians.
Here the distribution of vices is not definitive, for sometimes new Nigerians behave like old ones and vice versa. But when new Nigerians act like old Nigerians, it is not the same as the inherent wrongdoing of old Nigerians. With new Nigerians, evil is an exception. To clarify this distinction, let me compare the difference between new Nigerians and old Nigerians to good singers and bad singers. A good singer may have one poor performance, but people know that he or she is a good singer. In contrast, a bad singer may sing well on one occasion, but people know that he or she is not a good singer. Such is the difference between new and old Nigerians. The inner working of their spirits is different....
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