I and my Aunty visited the ever bubbling Lagos market, she enter the market with an unusual alertness, her eyes flickering and basically not inviting, she hugged her beg as though the essence of her life was in there. she asked me to remove my wallet from my back pocket, because the pick pocket the market breeds were ones with gluey hands and swift legs, I assured her that my back pocket was secured enough, except if these so called pick pockets could somehow hypnotize me to dislodge me of it. She also instructed me to carefully watch as the trader we are patronizing measure the half bag of rice, the quarter bag of garri and the paint rubber of beans she was selling to us, so that she would not rip us off. I wonder why she specifically instructed me to do this, because I know that this trader (as I can infer) has been the long vendor of food stuff to her family. I was forced to ask why she had asked me to keep an eyes on her as she measured, even with her suspicious eyes still fixed on the unaware trader. I wanted to know if the plump women had tried to swindle her before. However, she said she had no problem with her, but that she was just ‘careful’ and ‘watchful’. As we left the market, we saw a man distributing food and money to the chain of beggars lining the pedestrian way, she at this point revealed that she does not give to beggars because most of the use the money given to them to spiritually attack their benefactor. I wondered why she, like must Nigerians. Is this being paranoid or being ‘careful’? I feel that I am an opposite of this. Call me gullible if you like.
Trust is a very essential lubricant in the wheel of human relationship, and when this is lagging in a relation, that relationship is bound to hit the rock, such relationship would come to an halt inevitably, there is no gainsaying that a lot goes into trusting a person, this means that you have the assurance that a person can be relied on and can be believed and that, such a person you have invested your trust in would not disappoint you or hurt you. Despite the ease in the disposition to trust a person, at least for being an human, trust to Nigerians is a scarce emotional gesture, Nigerians find it hard to trust even themselves, not to talk of their fellow Nigerian, there is this paranoiac feeling engrain in the human relationships Nigerians have, they are suspicious of those around them, they are of the mindset that people around them are envious and are out to hurt them or take advantage of them. However, if you are too trusting, you would be seen as gullible.
I have always wondered why trust is no longer ingrained in the mind of people today, back in those days, our forefathers displayed their wares and left stones to indicated the price of the commodity without the fear of you wares being stolen, but now, it would be utterly stupid to do such a thing, our forefather slept in their houses like babies without doors, now, even with the doors and gates, people still live in fear. It is basically unwise to render help to stranger, because you feel that their intention is evil. Lagosians this days don’t wait to give directions to people, because though this, people have fallen into the trap of criminal, some have being victims of kidnappers and even ritual killer, for that reason, strangers are potential trouble, any time a person ask for directions, even if it is genuine, Lagosian fasten their pace. Even before you open your doors, you must ask question to verify that your visitor is to an arm robber or a hire killer, for instance, my aunt would not open the door to a stranger until she is sure you are not there to harm her, she would ask series of annoying question from the visitor before the person is allowed in. I do not blame her, she have been robbed severally, and am sure her experiences in the hands of these evil men, have caused her to be paranoid in an annoy way. People are now, basically conscious of the potential evil and not the good around them.
When you also consider the relationship between a client and a service provider, you hardly find the element of trust, Must Client don’t trust the professional that handle their project, My uncle does not trust his Mechanic, just like my mummy always question the quotation of her Bricklayer, this is because they think this set of people are dubious, Nigerian are always distrustful of the Nigerian Security forces, especially the police force, because their friendship to the citizen starts and ends, when they are handed tips. Parents don’t trust uncles and aunties with their daughter and sons respectively, because of the perversion that they have been hearing on News Networks. The congregation don’t trust their pastors with the offering and tithes as a result of the massive fraud evident in this sphere. Also, Nigerians son trust their political leaders, they usually see them as backstabbers, and not people to invest their trust in. Above all, Nigerians in diaspora have being stigmatized and dehumanized as a result of the conception that Nigerians have criminal natures, and as such cannot be trusted. All Nigerian to them are fraudulent and corrupt.
Above all there is the absence of Tribal trust; though Nigerians have multiple tribes, most parents find it hard to give their children’s hand in marriage to a person of a different tribe from theirs. There is this feeling that they would end up feeling sorry for doing so, because of the difference in culture. To state the obvious, a Southerner, probably an Igbo Man sees and Hausa Man (Northerner) as a person you should be careful around, there is this mutual suspicion that questions the compatibility of various tribes in the enclave called Nigeria. This mutual suspicion is more evident during elections. This has in no small measure affected the growth of this crippling country. It is therefore true that trust build a country, and its absence it breeds confusion.