In some quarters, the phrase “The truth shall set you free” is used to coax people into admitting to some offense or the other, in others it is used to instill fear in the minds of young ones on the consequences of lies, and so on. On the real though, how much salvation does the truth really bring?
Think properly before you mentally provide an answer to the question above; i am pretty sure the average reader would go, “Yea, the truth is light”, or “The truth brings clarity”, or “The truth, told often helps you maintain your integrity”. Think of the question as a Nigerian, as a person who toils day after day to survive in this country. Realistically, does salvation lie in the “Truth” in this country?. At that job interview, would you be willing to reveal to your prospective employer that you have no working experience whatsoever? In the race to be awarded that mouth watering contract, would you let your benefactor know that you would not engage in illegal practices just to keep the job? In that bank where you work, would you refuse the advances of a customer whose account is worth millions just so you won’t miss your monthly target? In that school where you teach, would you teach your students properly if the government of the day has refused to enact the minimum wage for you and your peers? In that church you attend, would you preach vehemently against indecency or would you support it just so you could feed your eyes at every church service?.
The truth might set you free when you are a kid that probably stole a piece of meat from your mother’s pot, it could set you free when you die and have to face God/Allah/Buddha/Ogun/Sango/Amadioha, depending on which one you ascribe to. In my opinion, majority of the people living in this country today LIE TO SURVIVE. It is a common practice, it is the norm. Tell all sorts of lies between Monday and Friday (and saturday for some), then go to church on Sunday/Mosque on Friday (in some cases Sunday/Friday is not spared), pretend to “repent” from their “sins” and then continue the cycle the next week. The situation is so bad that it is a rarity to find a honest Nigerian. In cases where we find them, they are celebrated like Olympians bringing home a Gold medal. In a world where Lies oil the machinery that controls every sphere of our existence, what hope is there for those who struggle to lead honest, exemplary lives? What hope is there for those who still believe that “Honesty is the best policy”? What hope is there for people who still have faith in this dying country? These days you can not get/keep a job if you are not a “Yesman/Yeswoman”, or if you are not ready to “kiss ass” and play dumb while all sorts of atrocities are committed in the name of “Business”. These days the average Nigerian worker is terrorized in different forms at work, and is left with no choice but to resort to any means available to keep his/her job.
I have no solution to this problem, as it is entirely moral. Imagine a society where our leaders are Morally upright, right from the top, to the middle and the bottom. Imagine a society where you could get a job solely based on your academic performance in school. Imagine a society where you could teach your students like you love your profession, because your morally upright leaders would pay your what is yours as at when due. Imagine a society where more industries are created by government to absorb the teaming number of graduates from various institutions in the country, instead of relying on one industry because of the booty it brings them. Imagine a society where promotion at work is based on merit and not how many bosses “asses” you have kissed. Just close your eyes and imagine…… That is where the solution would begin. Till the people in the places of power close their eyes to imagine what good they could do for their country regardless of their tribe, we would remain a country where people LIE to thrive.
So, how prepared are you to face the realities of being a Nigeria? How well can you LIE?