Nigeria at fifty two: a blessing or a curse? On a positive road we are but why are we still tottering. About the eighteen century ago, the Eastern, Northern, Western and Southern colonies were joined together. By 1914, Sir Fredrick Luggard amalgamated them together to, form one nation. This the wife, Florence christened as Nigeria meaning along the River Niger. She lived as a colonized nation from then till 1960 when she got her independence.
Since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 till when it became independent in 1960, peace reigned. Soon after the exit of the whites, that heralds the blacks reign, distortions set in. At first, it was thought that the whites were directly responsible since those who succeeded them were their puppets and not a true representation of the blacks. This could be argued to some extent based on their actions. Despite the fact that they left governance, the land and quarters that belong to the Africans were duly under their control and influence. Example is found in Kenya, Nigeria and other Africa countries.
At independence it was jubilation all over but unknown to us that it was the beginning of incarceration and genocidal acts. In 1963 Nigeria became a republic as such was sovereign. The supposed first republic then could not wed themselves together. This was not due to ignorance but as a result of greed. The avarice them, was not restricted to money alone but also to administrative positions. Instead of sitting down together to plan whether what operates was good enough for them they were rather found jostling for posts. No wonder it did not take long before a coup took place. What supposed to have been purgative in nature was seen as segregative. Instead of bringing a final result of harmony, it led to serious dichotomy. A coup they thought was one sided and consequent upon that, a follow up coup that exterminated the reign and the lives of the likes of Aguiyi Ironsi and Faguyi came on board.
Due to this lopsidedness, the Aburi accord emanated. As a follow up to that, there was civil war for almost two years. During this period, lives were wasted and valuable properties lost. Even the recently seceded Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun was part of it. Many in the cause of this war lost their lives and entire families.
Having identified our problems as that of greed, corruption, insincerity and administrative ineptitude, what should we do? From the look of things, it seems as if the present crops of leaders are paying lips service to it. Why is the nation in a stand still? What are we going to do if we must progress?
These problems have eaten deep into the fabric of nearly every Nigerians. We have good plans when we are out of position but the very moment we get there such lofty ideas vanish into the tin air.
Our pioneers started very well but never reached the pinnacle of power successfully. What we are experiencing now is an offshoot of their actions and inactions. From Sir Ahmadu Bello to the present leadership of Jonathan all witnessed infantility. But the difference is change. What type of change do we really see? From start, despite their attitude, there seems to be a high level of discipline and decency in terms of their actions that forced corruption to close to a zero level. But as they keep changing from one administration to the other, the decay and inept act manifest itself in full force. By 1985 when the then president and Head of State Ibrahim Gbadamosi Babagidda popularly known as “Maradona” came on board, corruption in high places became to an extent so to say a legalized activity.
Here is a nation with crude oil yet we import fuel and its products. We have four refineries yet none is functioning. Licenses are given out to people to establish their refineries still nothing happens. The cabal of a thing should be discontinued if we must advance. If Niger Republic can build a refinery and even export to Nigeria its products, I think a very big lesson must be learnt from this. Our starched money outside this country should be judiciously used to develop this nation.
The cost of our governance should be drastically reduced. It is only here in Nigeria you see elected people earning so much. No wonder they are always ready to do anything to make sure they sit perpetually at the corridor of power. Should we close our eyes and pretend not to see and know what is happening? Our leaders are they of a truth leaders or dictators? Does the common man have a say in the day to day running of his nation?
Is it not surprising how our power industry is been administered? Paying for the services you did not enjoy and using your tax money to cater for the police that are not responsively responsible for your guidance instead will end your life prematurely through a purported accidental discharge.
We need sincere and honest people to come on board to take over the headship of this nation. Indeed we are tired of hearing a particular story every now and then. Maturity and diplomacy should complementarily be employed in our governance system. All we need now are leaders that will be sensitive to the plight of Nigerians not in rhetoric but in action.
Our destiny is in our hands we must look for a solution to it now or remain under the chains of oppression, repression and dehumanization for the rest part of our lives. When the Egytians felt that their system had failed they reacted. What was the outcome? A free and egalitarian society! What about Libya? When they observed that the structures were no longer potent enough, what did they do? Did their action produce result? I am not an advocate of war. But if we must progress and live peacefully, we must be prepared to act.
We have assumed so much for long to be one and on the progressive side yet we are not. We have fought the civil war but could not come to terms years after it. What is really our problem? Can we say we are progressing or retrogressing? This current snail paste development if at all is it not worrisome? What are we suppose to do as a nation?
Nigerians, don’t you think it is time we sit together to decide how our now and future will look like? What we have in Nigeria, if America have half of it, it will be hundred percent better than what it looks like now. Here in Nigeria that we have all these amenities, how are we utilizing them? Is it a general problem or leadership problem? When we are out of this place we behave ourselves and are rated as one of the best but back home we are something else. What really is the problem and how do we go about it?
If our future is of essence to us, we must as a matter of urgency and necessity think on how to give update information of the six geopolitical zones that constitutes the nation called Nigeria. “To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done”. With our rhetoric, can we achieve this height? Are we sincere in making this nation what we profess? It is high time we stop deceiving ourselves let call a spade a spade..
Once beaten twice shy. We want a nation where we can conveniently live together as one. Go to bed with our two eyes closed and wake up alive. Those fermenting this dastardly and dirking act should be aware that even if no one sees them God is watching them. Let us sheath our swords and come together as a people to decide on how to move this nation forward.
Wonders abound when we understand the workings of the Lord. Faith without work is dead. Show me your faith and I will show you my work. Both faith and work are complementary. They work as two indispensible entities. Faith is essential, no doubt. What is faith if it is stripped off action? Of what use is work when it is not anchored on faith? The key word that drives faith to realization is action. Minus action, faith is non-existent. And what makes work effective is action. Both faith and work need action minus it, it is dead.
At every given moment of our life, one thing is essential to us. That is our ability to act. Whether in religion, politics or social life we must act directly or indirectly. It is this action that will translates to result. Of course we all are desirous of this result.
In our difficulty times we don’t need to be static but to move forward and act. As a nation we must be prepared to move so as to get the result needed. Note: there is no crown without the cross. Without acting, the result will definitely not come.
It is time we take stock of our failures and successes and do a kind of evaluation in order to ascertain the developmental stage that we are and know what to do. We cannot keep crying all the time. No our God is merciful. He desires mercy and not sacrifice.
WRITTEN BY IFIDON BENSON