Hello again, folks! Its a new month, April Fool’s day, a holiday and yes, despite all evidence to the contrary—at least in this part of the world where we are consistently spiritually fastidious—it’s a Monday!
And while there are better ways to celebrate such a rare day—the best of which we think is to lie in bed all day—we have decided to take some time off our lazy schedule and cook you up your regular Monday dish. Consider this our Easter Message to you—but more on that later. First of all, let’s take a quick look at the idea of conspiracy theories—aka “I’m totally nuts” mentality. You know, that idea that someone somewhere is actually running the show for you.
We all have that friend—except if that person is you—whose neck we want to wring whenever a debate starts. The one friend that doesn’t take issues at face value but believes that there’s always a secret agenda, by a secret group of people, to control the ups and downs of social interaction. Try to explain to this friend that, for example, the value of the Naira is falling because of unstable Central Bank monetary policies, and he or she will argue that actually, it is the Intergalactic Confederation of Biafra that is trying to destroy the Nigerian economy.
Of course, there are some kick-ass situations that have once been regarded as outlandish conspiracy theories, but before you reach the conclusion that fiction is actually fact, a little scientific principle called Occam’s Razor should have been set in place. Occam’s Razor, to explain it as simply as possible, advises that in solving a problem, the simplest explanation is usually the right one, and that, you should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.
And that’s how you do it in everyday problem solving and activity—starting with the most simple explanation: from basic problems such as deciding whether to ignore the sound of a door opening in the middle of the night or bringing out your shotgun and firing wildly to solving complex socio-political problems—such as the vexatious Boko Haram issue—and this brings us to Goodluck Jonathan’s and the Easter message.
If you were sensible enough not to bother about the goodwill message, permit us to intrude upon your blissful ignorance through this link. And for those of you who still can’t be bothered, the gist of the message is that we should love one another and not allow terrorists to destroy our unity—-very basic stuff, really. But in the midst of these yawn inspiring exhortations, an insightful inkling into the mindset of the president slips out. He tells us whom he thinks is responsible for the crisis in the North.
As far as the president is concerned, the Boko Haram issue is not a local problem—it’s a global problem, far bigger than the domestic concerns of Nigeria. In fact, there is little or nothing Nigerians can do about this problem except suck-up to God in fervent prayer, while hoping that the “global terrorists” will have the decency to leave us in peace and go bully someone their own size.
And that’s the lure of conspiracy theories—it allows you to be lazy and indulge in wishful thinking. Even worse, it encourages you to think that whatever failures you have are not your fault—but the fault of some other factors; ignoring the fact that some other person was successful despite the presence of those same factors.
There are no global terrorists plaguing our country: Boko Haram is a mash-up of bad policies, religious illiteracy and political ambitions, and someone has to explain that to GEJ. Meanwhile, here’s the proper Easter message for today: troubles cannot be wished away by referencing some external controlling agent. If you cannot tackle the issues that you face with proper diligence, then you will continue to suffer. Stand up and go kick that “cabal” in the ass—or die trying. Just sitting around, moping about your circumstances will achieve absolutely jack shit.