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Their deceit, our gullibility | Guardian Nigeria News

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If half of the promises made during the election campaign were kept, Nigeria would be a much better place to live today. But the opposite is true. Nigeria is an outstanding example of Plato’s philosophy of history, which holds that every regime is a corruption of its predecessor.

We have witnessed first-hand promises made and promises broken. We were promised prosperity, but we lived in poverty; Promised uninterrupted electricity, we suffered uninterrupted blackouts; Promised safety, we got no peace; Promised an end to corruption, we witnessed extortion; Promised good roads , we took a bumpy road. It is difficult, if not impossible, to deduce that campaign promises are lies told by desperate vote-seeking politicians.

A liar intends to make people believe what he knows is not true. He speaks lies and words which he knows to be false in order to deceive. He is intentionally misleading. Thus, Thomas Aquinas said that three things happen when you tell a lie: the first is the lie, the second is the will to lie, and the third is the intention to deceive.

But there is a contradiction within us that, while we humans instinctively crave truth, we often find solace in falsehood. We love truth, but lie even more. Even liars like the truth. Lie to him, he won’t like you lying to him.

Because of this contradiction, whoever bears witness to the truth will be seen by those who love lies as a disturber of their comfort. The false belief that lies bring comfort leads to the belief that anyone who tells the truth is an enemy.

The most dangerous thing in life is not to go to war, not to go to a battlefield full of bullets, but to witness the truth. You have to pay for honesty. Socrates died for telling the truth. Those who talked to him thought he was an annoying gadfly. Biblical prophets are on a dangerous mission to speak the truth to their nation. They fall victim to the willfulness of the leader and the led.

Jesus Christ was crucified because the leaders of his nation could not accept the truth of his message. Archbishop John Chrysosto of Constantinople was exiled for disturbing the comforts of the palace. Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador was assassinated during Holy Mass after his sermons angered the minds of El Salvador’s military dictator.

The persecution of the prophet is a recurring story in our country, Nigeria. We also killed our prophets. We live in a Nigerian fantasy built on lies. That’s why everything we’ve done so far has led to the collapse of the cards we’ve been putting together.

A nation perishes when its leaders and people refuse to stand up for the truth and find comfort in lies. A nation cannot be built when we see white and call it black, see wrong and call it right, and see right and call it wrong.

Today, things are difficult for us because we and our leaders like to deceive and console ourselves at the same time. It is not only our leaders’ fault, but our people’s fault that our condition is deteriorating. We are not ready for the truth, and our leaders, seeing that we are not, deceive us with false promises that they neither can nor intend to deliver.

There is a saying: Lie to me once, and shame you once. What a shame for lying to me twice. Shame on us. Because we willingly and repeatedly succumb to deception. We have allowed ourselves to be taken for granted. We are always willing to worship and sing the praises of our oppressors. We have turned our minority communities into bandit dens. A public official who embezzled the people’s money returned home to a warm welcome. In Nigeria, a motley group of different ethno-religious groups, we are willing to cover up the indiscretion and misconduct of politicians belonging to our ethno-religious group, while we are also prepared to amplify the evils of other ethno-religious group politicians. Our tolerance or intolerance of political misconduct depends on the ethno-religious affiliation of the perpetrator.

This country is far from true development due to our selective intolerance of bad behavior. Our total disregard for objective moral norms is to imprison ourselves in a prison of collective lawlessness. If we really want to be one nation, not a bunch of ethno-religious bigots and chauvinists, we need to move away from the false narrative of ethno-religious mutual suspicion and contempt. pity. We lack the political and moral will to integrate. Instead of taking on the noble task of nation-building, we prefer to engage in malicious ethno-religious unity under the pretext of stereotyping members of other ethno-religious groups.

The question today, especially after the 2023 elections, is not who is a national chauvinist, but who is not? How many Nigerians will not vote according to their ethnic affiliation in the 2023 elections? But, in a sanctimonious assumption, Nigerians who voted for their own ethnic community’s candidate accused other Nigerians of tribalism because the people they accused also voted for their own ethnic community’s candidate. To us, what Jesus said to the woman who was caught accusing adultery should have been: Given our ethnocentric politics and voting patterns, let the person who has committed no crime be the first to throw a stone.

Since 1960, Nigeria has failed to deliver on its promises because we love to deceive ourselves and comfort ourselves at the same time, we crave truth and at the same time find comfort in lies. As far as the political class is concerned, it has shown an uncanny ability to divide and conquer. The way our diversity is being exploited echoes the voice of Bob Marley: “They don’t want to see us unite. All they want us to do is keep fussing and fighting.” Nigeria is a product of the deceitful politics of the ruling elite, And the credulity of the people’s accomplices facilitates this deceit. Only the truth can set us free.
Father Akinwell, OP.



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