Each time we talk of vandalism, I could rightly predict that most minds think about rail tracks, petroleum products pipelines, electricity transmission lines’ destruction, etc. When Eniiyi Dupsy Oshy Jp prayed for me, saying, ‘Naija polit’rick’cians will never vandalize your reservoir of truth and wisdom!!’, she made me think deeply about our socio-political spaces populated by vandals of all shades and characters.
Dale Williams, 2009, writing on the experience of a friend whose about-to-be completed building got vandalized by vandals, said, ‘vandalism is the opposite of creativity. So, intellectual vandals by acts of omission or commission destroys our mental strands, competence, intellectual capability, mental strength and leave you hollow. These intellectual vandals are everywhere. They are in your communities, churches, mosques, schools at every level, the military, banks, corporate organizations, healthcare institutions, etc. I think the only place intellectual vandalism would be non-existence is heaven because hell will be full of after-life-and existence intellectual vandals.
Let us look at a few examples. In our clime, many of us see using the left hand to eat or write as an abomination, abnormal, and inconsistent with our culture. So, we do everything to force that child to use the right hand. Unknown to us, we have intellectually damaged a significant part of the child’s mental acuity because the brain is ‘cross-wired,’ which means the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice-versa. So, the child is left traumatized and confused, and may grow with many knock-on effects like bad handwriting, nail-biting, defiance and provocative behavior, reading difficulties, etcetera (Antyhinglefthanded.co.uk).
The Lord that created a left-handed child puts in place all the intelligence and architectural design to make that child function using the left hand, have great ideas, function optimally, and excel as a left-handed person. Still, we feel we know more than the almighty God and, boom! We vandalize the mental intellect of the child. I have seen buildings and markets built over ten years, and the approving authorities watched only to take a few hours to bulldoze the edifices. So, innovation takes a longer time to conceive and mature than the destruction by intellectual vandals.
I have heard complaints about trusted friends in high places who asked their friends to bid for contracts, which they did. They also left copies of their bid documents with their so-called friends. Later, they discovered that the friends intellectually vandalized them by using their proxies to get the contracts executed, after which they no longer pick their calls.
In so many organizations, so much intellctual vandalism is going on at all levels. A lady in a corporate organization had a migraine needing hospitalization. The only time the boss attempted to reach the lady in the hospital was when they needed the password to her computer for some vital information. Some bosses and peers see nothing good in their fellow workers. They blackmail them, bootlick to turn things away from the credit and merit-worthy workers to themselves. Bosses who should be coaches and mentors turn themselves into competitors, and all you hear is ‘I’ not ‘we’ and not ‘us.’ We hardly credit our subordinates for what they rightly deserve.
What about our school system where a lecturer could ask a student, ‘why are you wasting your time in this university? Some others have been told, ‘I cannot see you graduating from this university.’ These students could be slow plodders or ladies refusing requests from the guys that can never take no for an answer. Ideal educational curriculums should take students through cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. But most of our public schools’ system more than often stops at the ‘cognitive’ and make us believe that the university certificate is our meal ticket. So, we memorize to pass examinations instead of passing through a school system, which should pass through us to make us self-reliant after graduation. Besides, we miss out on the affective and psychomotor domains that would have helped us build relationships, make us mentally strong to face a tough tomorrow, build resilience, propel innovative studies and innately motivate us not to give up. The outcome is that the people enter the labor market with psychomotor disturbances, cognitive and affective dissonance, which make them relieve their stress levels with all manner of substances. These are all strategies to perpetually keep the masses under the elites’ control, just like the advanced nations are doing to Africa.
Intellectual vandals in social spaces make it impossible for citizens to practice their professions, get employment after graduation and forcing them to relocate abroad. Intellectual vandalism breeds extremism, bandits, insurgents, 419ers, yahoo-yahoo, and yahoo-plus professionals that make life difficult for the majority of the people.
Any faith-based organization that preaches dollar alerts from heaven into congregants’ phones in an all-night miracle service without preaching faith plus work makes adherents mentally lazy and kills innovation and creativity.
Intellectual vandalism makes the central government give handouts to states to kill their appetite for innovation to make them perpetual beggars and come back to Abuja, cap in hand for rents every month.
Please take a look at the spraying mania in parties where people spray bundles of one thousand naira notes in their hundreds with youths and villagers watching with awe. They do not consider the reputational damages to Nigeria’s image. We have laws prohibiting stepping on our currencies, but who will bell the cat when the high and mighty are involved? What they are indirectly saying is why not join us instead of going to school or learning a vocation? They knock nails into the brains of youths to think only money and nothing else..This intellectual vandalism discourages hard work.
If we all knew that in all facets of our endeavors, the people who should be leading, coaching, and mentoring us are the ones vandalizing our intellectual capacities, maybe, we would have been more proactive and vehemence in asking for our rights.
Things are getting worse. More and more of our economic and election freedoms are taken from us by the day through handouts. These guys are making us less effective so that we can always depend on their handout pathways. The other day, I watched a video of recharge cards shared among the less privileged. Guess what? They were happy and jumping at it. Soon, because food is so expensive, the subsequent handouts of rice and beans will quickly follow. Unfortunately, people forget that the foodstuffs will be for the next four years, which will come again in 2027 if at all.
Distribution of naira to people will also commence from the second quarter to the election period in 2023. These strategies vandalize peoples’ ability to innovate, think, make sound judgments, and fall for anything to survive the night.
With the above, do you still blame the masses that have the numerical strength to change the trajectory and narratives but would rather remain silent to survive the pangs of hunger?
Once again, thank you Eniiyi Dupsy Oshy Jp, for provoking this post.
Grace and peace!!!
Williams Dale, (2009). Intellectual Vandalism. Accessed January 19, 2022. https://thoughtleader.co.za/intellectual-vandalism/
AnythingLeftHanded (n.d.) The effects of making a left-hander write right-handed https://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk/…/changing-left-to…