Let’s face it, when it comes to the state of our country, we Nigerians are like infants refusing to admit that we’ve pooped.
How else can we explain that despite being such an aware group of people, we also are collectively so complacent? After all, Nigeria surpasses many nations in submerging politics and society. Gather a group of Nigerians of any social class and you are guaranteed a perhaps somewhat biased, but nonetheless informed, political rundown. There is no denying that we are aware of the crap in our backyard.
However, instead of abhorring our failures, we have labelled them as ‘The Naija Factor’, a factor, which in its essence describes a defeated and futile resistance to injustice.
This same factor also cripples the Nigerian woman from achieving equal status as a member of Nigerian society. Gone are the days when the likes of women like Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti, Charlotte Obasa, Oyinkan Abayomi and Margaret Ekpo featured as prolific feminists of their time, advocating gender equality in politics, in franchise, in business, in leadership and in the household.
Today, those struggling for Women’s Rights are barely given a voice, whilst Nigerian women remain second-class citizens. The attitude of complacency that is built into ‘The Naija Factor’ seems to have shut its heavy lid also on the cause of Nigerian women’s emancipation. We have come to complacently accept the very institutions, which systematically produce women that despite equal legislation, such as the right to education and the right to vote, still have a long journey to reaching the social status of their male landsmen. All too often, within the justifications of our social institutions, such as those of marriage, family and religion, we lazily accept the belief that a woman is inferior to a man. Under the influence of this flawed belief, Nigerian women are struggling to claim their position in society.
To end on a positive note, I’d like to highlight a sense of ‘neo-Nigerianness’ occurring, a non-complacent attitude brought forward by events such as the recent demonstrations in Abuja and Lagos, which prove that Nigerians are getting tired of operating within and contributing to the decay of Nigeria. I hope that a similar wave of activism will take place towards challenging the obscene patriarchy we live in, and that we have allowed to become part of the factor which is tremendously resistant to change, ‘The Naija Factor’.
I also blog at MsAfropolitan