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Stanship Pandemic In Nigeria

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If there is any lesson the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it is that pandemic is not a word to be trifled with; it connotes a serious crisis that demands all hands on deck.

While a Stanship Pandemic may not be a medical crisis, it is a crisis nonetheless, and it would require every sane Nigerian who is not yet lost to this Us vs THEM mental health condition to arrest the situation as soon as possible. The ramifications of not doing this will be far-reaching and unpleasant for all involved.

From Big Brother Nigeria stan battles to the musical legend fanclub wars, anyone who pays attention can see that Nigeria clearly has a stanship problem. Every day, on the timelines of different social media platforms, you find fans of different celebrities engaged in one conflict or the other. These battles are sometimes instigated by the celebrities themselves, but more often than not, they are invented by the fans themselves. And it can be triggered by the most mundane things that only make sense to those involved. This is not restricted to reality shows and musical celebrities. In fact, truth be told, it has always been a part of the sports fan culture, particularly amongst football lovers. Sometimes it is about football clubs. Other times, it also revolves around persons. Although a case might be made for them that the conversations are a lot more intellectual and full of banter rather than the superficial and vitriol-full discussions of the other stan groups.

None of the above are, however, as dangerous for the nation as the stans of politicians. The very idea that there are people who hero worship corrupt politicians with absolutely no redeeming qualities who have stolen public funds that should have been for the benefit of all is almost unbelievable but the stark reality in Nigeria. Every day, Nigerians from different parts of the country vehemently defend the same politicians whose actions and inactions are directly responsible for the current deplorable state of the country, exhibiting traits very similar to those exhibited by those suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

This phenomenon has been ascribed almost wholly to tribalism in the past, but although the stans of a particular politician are mostly found amongst people of his/her own ethnic group, they also have some amongst other ethnic groups as well. This invariably means tribalism is not the only contributing factor to political stanship.

Interestingly, a recent study published towards the end of 2022 in the BMC Psychology journal claims that “there is a direct association between celebrity worship and poorer performance on cognitive tests”. The findings of the study definitely show why the public opinions of these stans, more often than not, lack coherence that suggests some form of intelligence and just might be proof to back this writer’s unprofessional diagnosis. Either way, if a trained Psychologist and Researcher ever gets interested, this phenomenon would be worth looking into.

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