Nigerian intellectuals: A rotten knowledge
By Hakeem Babalola
The ability to understand and deal with ideas and information is needed in life. So when the most educated people in a country (especially those in the arts, philosophy, and politics) lack the ability to understand, learn, and think things out quickly; often the result is time and energy wasting. This is sad because a country can barely do anything without the active and genuine contribution from its intelligentsia.
Nigeria. Its intellectual class has not been able to understand and master its roles in nation building. They have succeeded only in using academic sophistry to confuse the society placed upon their shoulders.
They state their opinions as if they are the only correct ones and nobody could possibly argue against them. They express ideas and facts about Nigeria, but have not understood what lies beneath.
They engage in loud and confuse and empty talk. Their contribution has been a rhetoric masking vicious exploitation. They organize a series of talks intended not to edify but to entertain and flaunt. It seems to me that none of them can escape the tag price on their foreheads. It is just a matter of time.
In every election they just pontificate. They always scream yet we hear nothing. They have mastered the art of inviting every regime. Thus every regime is always worse than its predecessor. And they usually express it with the pride of locust.
In order to get rid of one regime, they often blindly invite any regime - whether good or bad; vision or no vision. Everything crumbles before their very eyes yet they offer grammar as the solution. They always wage war they have no intention to finish. They just want to show off; they just want to regurgitate. And this is where we are today. What a rotten knowledge!
How could they that call themselves intellectuals be surprised at the sorry state of the nation! How could they that call themselves the giants - of knowledge - not know there's no choice where there's no choice. It is as simple as that.
They always focus too much on the closing door that they often miss the door about to open. What is their agenda? Whose interest are they serving? What is wrong with our intellectual class?
From the beginning, they have participated in the affairs of Nigeria so much that one could say they are part and parcel of the rotten system. What is wrong with them? Where is their intellect? And what are they using it for?
But I tell you. This presidential election has exposed them further - for who they are. They are making it difficult for people to think clearly. It is not an insult to describe them as being in a state of mental confusion. They are making it difficult for the masses to know exactly what they should do.
One of the giants - of intellect - recently wrote an epistle titled, "The challenge of change - A burden of choice". In the essay, the giant tacitly endorses one of the two "giants" candidates. And for him, that is the burden. What burden, I ask!
O yes, they have deliberately centered this election on two "giants" candidates as if there's no other candidates; at least to lessen whatever burden in place.
To lessen the burden of choice, why not put your weight and might behind any of the other presidential candidates to give Nigerians a real alternative. And this I believe should be the issue of discussion right now. I mean since the election is not about the candidates, but about Nigeria. Oh no, the bigger the name, the bigger the ego.
Interestingly but not surprisingly, each of them always argue well in favor of their choice - their preferred candidate. And I say it is part of the confusion. I ask again, what exactly motivates our intellectual class?
They portray every election as an opportunity to move forward, but their utterances and actions lean toward backwardness. They say it is time to choose without any choice. They help limit our choice to the same side of coins. They use their mental resources to deceive, and especially to show off.
Nigerians in general should stop looking for a change anyhow. They should stop playing in the hands of our intellectuals who are themselves confused and have no clue about the next step. Nigerians should stop saying something like this: "If we miss the change now, Nigeria as a nation shall be history". It is a threat, and for me, it carries no weight anymore.
Haven't we heard this many times? Yet Nigeria remains today. Heaven has not fallen. Making fuss about everything. Of course, it's part of the ploy - to confuse us the more.
The way I see it? There's nothing left for the edification of the illiterate peasants with whom the intelligentsia has nothing in common.
Therefore, let them make themselves into a better person. Let them find their intellect not for the sake of the two giant candidates, but for the sake of their children's children. There lies the tormenting issue.