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Friday, January 28, 2022

MUCH ADO ABOUT THE NIGERIAN ELITE

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He’s drunk, when I hear some of the words used in our public discourse, like elite consensus and I ask who are the Nigerian elites really? I have constantly inquired, what does the Nigerian elite class consist of? Is it the rent they have benefited from at the expense of other hardworking Nigerians, just because of their political connections or the circumstances of their birth? Or the frenzied corruption they have perpetrated in areas where al-Qaeda should be a service.

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I have also thought about education. Perhaps you go to Russell Group School, Oxbridge or Harvard management courses by CEOs or Mushroom University in Canada in the name of study abroad.

Isn’t it shocking that during elections we mention elite consensus, but vote for leaders based on illogical criteria like last name. So what is the elite consensus thing we’re talking about? How did this elite consensus lower the rate of inflation or lower the price of Garri in the market?

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Chuka Okadigbo said in a famous essay: “If you are so emotionally attached to your tribe, religion or political inclinations that truth and justice become secondary considerations, your education and exposure is futile. If you cannot think beyond frivolous sentiments, you bear responsibility.”

Does Nigeria’s so-called elite go beyond petty feelings?

I thought elite consensus was supposed to bring powerful and introspective thinking to the political system, but elite consensus doesn’t thrive outside of a frenzied perspective of prejudice, tribalism, and religion.

One would think that the Nigerian elite with their exposure would rise beyond tribalism, religion and affiliation to objectively chart the course of development for Nigeria, but it is all nonsense, it is akin to thinking that you are paying a service fee in high standard slums. From ikoyi everything is fine.

I think the problem is also about the overt expectations of our elite, when we think because they speak ‘good English’ they are smart. I must add speak English well in Nigeria, language is not a sign of intelligence. My grandmother with a blessed anniversary didn’t speak English well, but she cleverly ran a company for over 60 years selling Chinese clothing in Dougby. For good measure, you’ve never been in debt.

I think we should redefine this elite debate in Nigeria and really ask with all the education, how did they make Nigeria better? We have PhDs and technocrats serving Nigeria, so why haven’t things changed in the country? Why do we keep going in circles?

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When you hear some of the so-called elite speaking in Nigeria, all you feel is nausea and despite that, some people still demand elite consensus in politics. I dare ask who are the elite in Nigeria and what does the elite class consist of? Could it be because they live in slums on Ikoyi and Victoria Island? Could it be education or “good English”? Or could it be a family name? please tell me.

Rufaioseni, rufaioseni@gmail.com

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