An egalitarian Nigeria is one of those beautiful ideas. It sounds so enchanting, so desirable. Some even think that a democratic Nigerian society will be the same as an egalitarian Nigerian society. That democracy makes an egalitarian society possible. But that is not true. Since the beginning of time, historians, philosophers and other curious minds have been fascinated by the possibilities that exist in an egalitarian world. Unfortunately, every attempt at achieving an egalitarian society has never succeeded, however sweet the word sounds.
The very nature of conflicting reactions to the idea has been the chief reason it is impossible to have an egalitarian Nigeria. For whereas there are those who think all resources and opportunities should be shared equally among everyone, others believe the exact opposite. While the manifestation of these worldviews fall within the realm of learned behaviour, others can be explained genetically. Whenever genetics come into the picture, nature takes over the stage.
Egalitarianism is foreign to nature! This is an incontestable fact. Hierarchies and diversities are undeniable elements built into nature. Mankind might have been given dominion over other creatures but nature remains man’s boss. There’s no question about this. The strongest have their reach. The weakest have their kits for survival. Habitats are not equal and resources are not distributed evenly. There is just one sun and one moon plus many stars. And they are not equal or the same. We would require a different kind of brain to process and adjust to a world where the sun, moon and stars operate by egalitarianism. Or where all big cats and the rest of wildlife eat only grass!
Because an egalitarian society is foreign to nature, many who have embarked on its pursuit have done so at great costs. To others and eventually, to themselves. It is an elusive quest!
After coming to terms and accepting this reality, discerning minds have settled on the fact the best societies are those driven by justice, fairness, equity even though these elements themselves sometimes have their own contradictions that must be managed with tact and discretion.
Those who are quick to praise the wisdom of Solomon for its remarkable impact on the generality of the people in his days need to be reminded that his superlative performance as an administrator, came at great costs to some people. It took the ascension of his son to the throne for that bit of information about Solomon’s reign to be made known. For some inexplicable reason, the great Solomon did not know that some of his policies rubbed wrongly on the people. And we do not know why some of his advisers, who provided the new king with this fact, declined from sharing them with Solomon. Or if they did and the wise king refused to act on their advice.
Clearly, their recommendation that the new king review the conditions of those who bore the brunt of Solomon’s efficiently-run administration, was a masterstroke, which unfortunately, he rejected. That singular recommendation, tweaked here and there, and customized to the peculiarities of any society, represent one of the best ways to minimize tension, which arise in societies following clashes between those who want an egalitarian society and those who, directly or indirectly defending nature’s position, insist on no deal.