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A Quiet Revolution

Some Social and Religious Perspectives on the Nigerian Crisis

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Joseph F. Mali

In A Quiet Revolution: Some Social and Religious Perspectives on the Nigerian Crisis, Joseph F. Mali argues that contrary to popular belief, corruption and failed leadership are not at the heart of the Nigerian crisis. Corruption and misrule, though they have done a terrible harm to the Nigerian society, are in fact byproducts of something much more sinister in the same way that smoke is the byproduct of fire. The real trouble with Nigeria, Mali puts it bluntly, is a lifestyle of profound selfishness, which the people and their leaders have in common. The nation is still bleeding because of this evil. Unless Nigerians cure this «disease», Mali maintains, no system of government is likely to succeed in Nigeria. In vain do Nigerians seek political solutions as long as selfishness remains their credo! Since Nigeria’s problem is moral in nature, Mali insists, the remedy must also be ethical in character. Accordingly, he proposes «A Quiet Revolution» as a cure for Nigeria’s ailment. This revolution is not a silent coup to overthrow the Nigerian government. It is not «a French-styled rebellion in which the masses on the streets, and peasants in the country put an end to centuries of absolute monarchy». Rather, the «Quiet Revolution» is an interior change; an individual transformation. As long as this change has not taken place, Mali declares, it will be difficult to repair and restore Nigeria.
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Epilogue

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Nigeria is in great crisis. Some may try to tone down this fact. Others may offer various interpretations, but the essential fact still remains. The scope and gravity of the situation have reached enormous proportions. No one can hide or talk it out of existence. In the cities and country districts, most Nigerians are feeling the horrific effects of the disaster. The crisis, however, was by no means a sudden crash. Its approach was heralded by many signs. Corruption, mismanagement, incompetence, greed, selfishness, inflation, empty religion, rigged elections, and failed leadership were all harbingers of the calamity. Instead of facing their relentless challenges, Nigerians kept putting off the day of reckoning by directing their attention to self-centered and unproductive pursuits, with the result that the country steadily became worse, leading to the disappointment Nigerians are now experiencing.

Presently, the country stands between the past and the future. Nothing can be done about the past. It has come and gone. Like history, we cannot change the past. We can only report it. However, much could be done to reform the present and shape the future. No one can say with certainty how Nigeria will turn out. All we can say is that the future of Nigeria is in the hands of Nigerians. If the people turn from their evil ways and free their trapped energies and suppressed initiative, their destiny is greatness. If Nigerians persist in their current errors, the future is bleak.

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