Politico cultural activist and media personality, Mr Ropo Ewenla has advised political elites in the country to wake up to the challenges of growth and development in the country by appreciating and utilizing aspects of our culture to fast-track a healthy development. According to him, the challenges we face in our political and national development are due to the neglect of our culture. According to him, no country develops independent of its culture.
He made this submission while speaking with our reporter in Ibadan. Citing a number of examples, he noted, “In china for instance, their culture determines their political direction. We seem to think that our culture does not matter. Once we think that way. All kinds of political systems will be thrown upon us. How many political systems have we tried by the way? Quite a lot. This is because we have neglected a culture that will show us the direction to go. So, we kept doing a la carte from all over the place.’
We have people sit down in a constituent assembly and say oh, this is what they do in America let’s take part of it. This is because there is no cultural direction.’
Going back into history He noted, “We use to have a house of chiefs, which meant that those traditional rulers too matter. That is what perhaps we should have improved upon but was abandoned in the name of trying to catch up with the rest of the world. You cannot catch up with the rest of the world if we neglect our culture.”
Speaking on the quest and drive by many Nigerians especially the educated elites to appreciate western culture, values and systems over and above our own values and follow the trends around the world in the name of globalization, he noted thus, “There is no Globalization without Glocalization. That global pot where everyone is eating from, it is some people who brought their local content to that pot. It is when A brings, B brings and D brings, that is when we call it globalization. It is not a miracle. It is contributions of different people, it is collage, and it is a mixed art. That is why we call it globalization. If we forget who we are, what are we going to bring to the dining table? There is a buffet and everyone is supposed to bring something along. You can’t bring what is mine and say you are contributing anything, it will be of no value.”
He decried the abysmal level of development in the country which is due in parts, to our inability to look inwards for solutions to our problems and the quest to look up to the western world and their systems. This he noted has rubbed us of some basic initiatives and development strides we should have taken as a country to promote our development. “Nigerian University wants to invest in how to make solar panels; the Chinese have gone beyond that. We are the once who should have started it. Because this is the area of the world where there is much heat. People who are in cold places are making air conditioners. We who need it are not making it. In 2018 we are still stupid enough to export cocoa. How long does it take for the human brain to wake up? In 2018, we are still exporting crude, and then looking for money to import refined products for our own domestic use. We mine raw things and export them; they refine it and sell it back to us at exorbitant prices.” This is absurd, he concluded.