By Adebija Vitus
The issue of indiscipline especially in public places by Nigerians is a major problem confronting the nation. Many of our social amenities like: water, light, educational and health systems are malfunctioning because of our nonchalant attitudes towards making them work.
We watch these infrastructures decay and rather than complain to the appropriate quarters to effect an improvement to them; in order for them to serve us better, we prefer to keep mute and manage. Anybody who dares raises an objection to the pathetic ways we are being treated, is shouted down. He or she is told to manage what is available because that is the best the nation can offer us.
In fact, you are seen as if you are coming from another planet; not ready to face realities.
I will never forget the day I tried to complain that we were packed like sardine in a taxi, after we had paid the required transport fare! It was the commuters undergoing the same ordeal with me that tutored me on the need to manage; that it was better than nothing. They told me if I wanted a comfortable ride, I should put my car on the road.
It is a common sight to see vehicles plying on the wrong lanes on our roads; or even see vehicles without headlights, trafficators or good tyres on our roads. It is a common sight for overloaded taxies having a free access through the highways while private vehicle owners travelling alone in their cars are waved down and thoroughly checked by traffic officers. The list of atrocities committed in public domains in the country are endless sure that they should be sources of concern to law abiding Nigerians; and therefore, wanting to know the causes for such incivilities!
The current chaotic situations of things in the country point to one thing: INDISCIPLINE! Really, many Nigerians are not disciplined especially when it comes to our actions in public domains. The order seems to be: since it is good enough for me, it must be acceptable to others! Why is this so?
I am told that in neighbouring Republic of Benin, the people are orderly especially in public places.
A British friend of mine once told me that while in UK, the driving licenses from some African countries are honoured, they will subject that from Nigeria to undergo driving test because of our reckless behaviours on our roads here. This might even explain why many Africans abroad involved in criminal activities tend to feign that they are Nigerians; just to denigrate our image as a country to the outside world!
Even in Ghana, the amenities are functional, I was told by a Nigerian friend of mine currently studying there. Are we therefore surprised that Nigerians seek greener pastures, education and health even in neighbouring African countries? The question therefore is, why are things different in Nigeria?
I think, everything can be traced to indiscipline of many Nigerians especially in public domains and the fact that there seems not to be commensurate punishments to these acts of indiscipline.
There is really the need to address our attitudes to things. Acts of indiscipline should be punished. Our immunity to acts of indiscipline should be checked, if we hope to create a better Nigeria; because where there is no punishment, there is no offence. When those involved in acts of indiscipline are not punished, there is the likelihood that many others will perpetrate such acts or even commit greater acts of lawlessness.
Our leaders should lead by examples. A situation where they are seen breaking traffic rules with impunity, will only encourage others to do so.
Our law enforcement agents also need to improve on bringing to book offenders who violate public ethics.
The idea of collecting bribes in order to free offenders should be frowned at. I often get surprised by the temerity with which officers on the roads collect bribes before public glare; and nobody dares raise an objection!
Making Nigeria a better nation for all, is a collective venture! Play your role, while I play mine. At the end, Nigeria will become the Paradise we all desire. May God bless Nigeria!