In Nigeria we are primed to fear from an early age.

Fear our leaders, fear our teachers, fear our pastors and then fear our seniors in secondary school. We are taught to fear so much that it becomes a subconscious almost comical part of our life. We see the driver that literarily bows almost prostrates on the ground to greet his oga or the secretary that jumps to carry their bosses bag as soon as they enter the office or that supposed senior employee that is still buying food and fetching water for her other senior senior colleagues.

To us it looks silly, almost comical like the picture of Festus Okotie-Eboh walking down the streets of Lagos with his flowing cape tied to the neck of a child … until we realize that this is exactly what happens in most of our secondary schools especially boarding houses. Juniors carrying books for Seniors, Juniors fetching water for Seniors, Juniors running to greet their Seniors and getting in trouble if they don’t do it fast enough or well enough. Majority of us have been part of that system, either as a junior doing the serving or a senior receiving the service.

And in a way what we did in Secondary school has evolved to become a part of our politics, corporate lives and now … a way of life.

So while we laugh at the way some of our leaders are worshiped and while we compare pictures of them to their more humble counterparts in the West let us remember that you and me where part of a similar system. If we want to stop leaders from being worshiped we might (emphasis on might before the voltrons start forming) have to start by stopping the worship of Seniors in Secondary school.

Culled from; Written by Okechukwu Ofili