What really make people civilized? How can a people be measured in terms of civilization.
These and other ancillary issues are the things I want to tackle in this write-up. A people are described civilized or uncivilized by the measure or quality of life they enjoy in terms of the education, health, right to freedom of life, privacy, speech or expression, freedom to associate with any group, or practice a religion of one’s choice.
When the quality of the enjoyment of the above inalienable rights to life received by majority of the people in a given society is high, then that particular society is described as civilized, but if the standard of enjoyment of the right are below certain acceptable standard, such society can be described as uncivilized.
In the preceding paragraph, I deliberately used the phrase "received by the majority" because if like the Nigeria case, where we have a population estimated to be around 160 million only a negligible percentage of about 5 to 15% of that number are enjoying the benefit of the rights to right living, then the society is not civilized by my own definition
Just look at our educational system. Every year, we churn out a very high number of half-baked granduants from the primary level through to tertiary levels. To even use the word half-baked is to beg the question as most of them cannot write their names.
Our health sector has nothing to cheer us, a lot of people are still being killed or rendered useless as a result of illness that could have been prevented or nipped at the bud. How can we arrogate to ourselves some measures of civilization when we are still living in most unacceptable and depraved environments not fit for animals. Sometimes last week, I read from one of our national dailies that more than 70% of our population have no toilets in their houses and still answer the call of nature in the bushes and back of dwelling structures where they live or work.
Our Human Rights situation is still at its state of the nature, that is to say, people’s right are still being denied by the rich and strong, leaving the poor at the mercy of the former. That is why corruption, and crimes of different categories are still very rife in the society.
In the Nigeria of 21st Century, people cannot profess and practice the religion of their choice in certain parts of Nigeria today. What about the quality of food we eat. Most of us are just staying a life with anything goes in order to keep body and soul together and even the scraps/stuff are not enough, or available most of the time.
The state of our infrastructure is comatose, energy situation is still at its rudimentary stage, transportation i.e land, sea and air travels are still in their infancy. Name it, tourism, agriculture, manufacture have not received any serious attention. With the above analysis, you will be able to place Nigeria into any category of ‘civilized’ or’ uncivilized’.
I think the political leaders in this country must determine to be sincere with the masses they claim to lead. Our educational system needed to be restructured to become more pro-active and functional and value-oriented. It is not only the political leaders, the leaders in different endavours of our life including the religious and traditional rulers, captains of industries must of necessity be masses-oriented, and masses-centered. We are tired of payments of lip-service.
I submit that it is only Nigerians that will insist that this syndrome of business as usual must stop. We can take our destiny in our own hands.