David Hundeyin identifies Nigeria’s core challenge with standing up for morality and the truth on most matters of self-interest.

Until Nigeria and Nigerians learn to prioritize certain basic ideals and standards over individuals and personalities, we are NOT heading anywhere fast. Bola Tinubu’s certificate forgery may just be a symptom of the wider problem, but how Nigeria handles it is, I think, a watershed moment in the country’s history.

Our current situation goes beyond the issue of forgery or the person of Bola Tinubu. This is the nerve centre of what is wrong with Nigeria, the country, and Nigeria, the human society – unequal, inconsistent, subjective, and dishonest application of rules and behavioral standards.

If a group of Nigerians should ever decide that someone is on “their team,” there is nothing they are not prepared to ignore, overlook, make excuses for, or tell lies about, no matter how obvious the misbehavior is, or how egregious the cover-up lies must be.

That’s why when a woman says no to a popular musician in a nightclub and his fragile ego cannot handle rejection, he and his posse end up shooting her fiancé and endangering the lives of everyone present, only to later pay them a gagging settlement. His fans choose to hound and harass the journalist who reports the incident instead of requiring the most basic human accountability from their favorite.

This is why a politician who has till date never proved that he completed secondary school, would run for office. When his lack of qualification is called out, his supporters would be like, “Even if he presents a NEPA bill as his certificate, we will still vote for him.”

It’s how come when a big story comes out detailing serious corporate governance failures or malfeasance by a powerful investor or tech bro, the immediate response by his friends and beneficiaries is ALWAYS to attack the whistleblower or the person who reported it by inferring that they are misguided or maliciously trying to “bring his business down” instead of dealing with the actual issue.

This is why half of my family avoids me or looks at me funny. After everyone has finished cursing the government and complaining about “Nigeria he nor good o”, we will remember that we share a surname with prominent people in the same government. I’m supposed to support the government because Aunty Bimbo is Lagos SSG, Uncle Biodun is ex-DCG NIS, Ben is NPF Lagos PRO, etc.

It is why I’m even sure that if I wake up tomorrow and become the opposite of everything I have ever stood for, I will still retain a following, because too many people would value the feeling of “liking” me over the material reality that I would have become a monster.

The most successful societies on earth today are those that have learned to enforce certain base levels of legality and behavioral expectations across board. The least successful ones are the ones where prominent people commit crimes like certificate forgery in broad daylight, and people come on national Television to dance naked in support.

Until Nigeria and Nigerians learn to prioritize certain basic ideals and standards over individuals and personalities, we are NOT heading anywhere fast. Bola Tinubu’s certificate forgery may just be a symptom of the wider problem, but how Nigeria handles it is, I think, a watershed moment in the country’s history.

Blessings to us all

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