The term ‘Masses’ could mean a casual reference to the common people of any society; it could also mean an ill structured collection of similar objects or people. It is a word frequently used in discussion topics of governance by most Nigerians when referring to the majority of the 190 million people who are allegedly downtrodden and not a part of the architecture of governance or beneficiaries of affluent living. This unsavory word is ignorantly used by most Nigerian citizens in reference to themselves and their place of belonging in their own Country.
The term ‘Citizens’ on the other hand refers to all the natives or naturalized members of a nation, state or other political community. It conveys a more deserved intimate feeling of belonging, interaction and expectations from the Parent entity. It also exposes the rather subtly derogatory and uncaring profile of the word: ‘Masses’.
The people of progressive nations prefer the use of the word ‘Citizens’ in reference to their own persons rather than the tasteless word ‘Masses’ which carries the uncaring undertone of abandonment. The people of such countries interact with their nation with an understanding that they are the individual building blocks of a whole entity which is their Country. They have a full understanding of their rights as Citizens and intelligently express this understanding with different issues of their national existence. Capable citizens are in positions of capacity on the strength of merit and as a result diligently engage tasks of responsibility with the whole hearted commitment of not failing other Citizens whose contribution regardless the scale sustains the survival of the larger entity which they all belong to. This system ensures that everyone is accountable to everyone with no sacred levels in the hierarchy of individual achievement. Regardless who it is, the system is mostly fair to everyone with regards to individual expectations and accountability based on an objective system of merit.
A nation mostly comprised of ‘Masses’ of people tells a completely different tale of emptiness with a National identity. Their voice is mostly unheard as it falls consistently on the deaf ears of a group of other people of the same nation who feel they are the rightful custodians of a good life. The ‘Masses’ of such nations with this weird arrangement literally feed off the crumbs which falls off the table of these higher mortals as they shamelessly dine on the common wealth which belongs to everyone with abject impunity. On a daily basis, the ‘Masses’ are fed with stories and explanations on the reason they can never get a good life, by a minority who are busy developing themselves and preparing a paradise on earth for their unborn generations to come. It is very sad to note that the psyche of the ‘Masses’ in the Nigerian space appears content with this loathsome arrangement and diligently keeps faith with empty grumbles and pointless actions. The unreasonable Minority understand that the best of the might of the Majority begins with endless recurrent complaints of neglect and ends with dramatic tantrums of no effect. The Minority already know that there can never be a coordinated and purposeful action from the Majority which can effect meaningful change. The Minority are the Puppet Masters with strings of absolute control on the Puppets who are the so called ‘Masses’. The prime reason for this abnormal psyche with the ‘Masses’ is simply an absolute ignorance of their strength of numbers, and consequently a dead Will to think differently and act differently.
This is the unholy and unfair balance in relationship between the divide of Citizens that make up our noble nation Nigeria where the spread of wealth is mostly unevenly distributed between the Super rich and the Super poor. The Super rich can be found in the corridors of power, top management positions of government institutions, and so called private establishments most of which are simply extensions of a diverted common wealth of the entire nation. Penal codes and the system of accountability are mostly reserved for the poor. The rule of law deals ruthlessly with the any of the poor ‘masses’ perceived to be out of line, but quickly turns a blind eye to the wrong doing of the Super rich minority who have the financial might to influence the system to their favor. Public social infrastructure is left to decay since it is perceived as the preserve of the poor masses while the local social infrastructures enjoyed by the Super rich constantly enjoys the financial patronage that gives it life and relevance. Public schools, public hospitals, public recreational facilities, public housing estates, and public transportation systems are all left in an abject state of disrepair.
The bulk of the manpower of the security forces of the country is dedicated to the services and protection of the Super rich whilst the remaining paltry leftover numbers are reserved to ‘secure’ the majority of the population classed as the ‘Masses’. These illustrations of absurd imbalance are abound and very easy to find for anyone with an objective conscience of reasoning.
The current reality of our disturbing classification of rightful Citizens of our nation is that as long as the psyche of a majority of Nigerians are trapped in the mindset of being the ‘Masses’ of the country, they can only be of very little productive relevance. The impact of this mismatch can better be appreciated when we recall that real national development has to do with the productive relevance of the so called ‘Masses’ who constitute a majority of the population.
Resolving this concern would require a lot of education and enlightenment. At this stage of decay, it would seem as if all hopes of changing this narrative rests with a very robust effort from the patriotic Citizens in our Mass media industry and our Educational institutions.
Until the Change Agents mentioned above assume this civil role of Patriotic responsibility to transform the narrative of the unwholesome word we use to refer to the esteemed Citizens of this nation, our collective quest for a dream nation may just simply remain a distant illusion of wishful thinking.
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