Nigeria, My Nigeria. What can I say? You turned 50 yesterday and you have been awash with a lot of messages but mine is different and simple. I say PATIENCE + ACTION. America is 234 years old this year, England derived its name and thus became a “country” in the 15th century; it is 6 centuries or 600 years old! I still say patience.
I also say ACTION because there is a term called “climbing the shoulders of giants”, meaning that the fact that you start later does not mean that you start at the end! In fact it gives you an advantage because other people have gone before you and made mistakes, tried different models, it is therefore up to you to study and then adapt the lessons learnt to your own situation (notice I did not say adopt as we have done; particularly with our laws without changing them to suit the people that we are and our own peculiar mindsets).
Patience without action will lead us to an explosion (no pun intended concerning the Independence Day bombings). We need to introspect, retreat. Ask ourselves who we really are and what we really stand for and how much bigger we are than this money that seems to have caused us to go blind deaf and mute! And use that to determine how to correct the grievous mistakes we have made going forward.
I do not condone the bombings of yesterday in anyway BUT it did not take any level of clairvoyance to tell that it was coming. I hear the cake cut at the Eagle Square yesterday cost
N72Million! Pray tell, did it have diamond icing? Some people in this country (not too far away from you, yes YOU), do not have and cannot eat food worth N200 a day. The Nitel workers had protested just a few weeks ago, that rather than celebrate Independence their salaries which have remained unpaid for 30 whole months (a year and a half) be paid. Think about it, if you did not get paid for a year and a half and had to feed your 3 children, clothe them, pay school fees and take care of your wife, would you be able to? Let’s be real, if we all do not start to take action in our own little way these stories will become common place and we will be afraid to live! I mean, our President was celebrating in Eagle Square when 3 days earlier a bus load of Children we kidnapped on their way from school!
I do not exonerate the ordinary man, including myself. One day I went for a burial and got robbed there, 2 items were taken from my bag, a Nokia E71 phone and an 80 gig Ipod, I was very sad but when I thought about it, just those 2 items cost N 140,000 (at the time, they cost less now), and I thought how do 2 items in my bag cost that much, when I have neighbors who do not have food and live in uncompleted buildings? I do not apologize for God’s blessings and neither should you, but are we blessed like dams- who store up? Or are we like rivers who share once filled? It’s a smaller scale of the larger picture, the government official as well, sees his time in office as a time to dam up the resources instead of fixing PHCN and blessing you the Nigerian, so we all dam, dam, dam and pray for our turn in office, so we can dam some more!
I tell you, if GEJ had said Nigeria is not celebrating this year’s independence, because of the issues we have, no light, no water, people dying of lead poisoning in the North, the outbreak of cholera there, the kidnappings, the people dying of asthma and all forms of cancer in the Niger-Delta and that the resources to be expended on the celebrations were going to be channeled to just one of these problems! Let’s say he said all these and did not even use the money as he had said, he would still have made a difference. It would be as though someone was finally listening. As though the cry of Nigerians has gone to his ears.
I say let us be patient with Nigeria and not condemn her, because she will become what is said of her- people, nations; generally live up or down to expectations of them! I say patience so that we can view Nigeria with love, because what we do not love, we cannot nurture! And I say action because ALL of us have a part to play! It is not the politicians alone that have taken Nigeria where she is. You the good man, who sits quiet and reads his newspaper while the politicians have squandered and the country has been raped, have probably done more harm just by your inaction, than they will ever do by their greed!
NIGERIANS, ARISE FOR NIGERIA.