The Problem with Nigeria (2)

Look around and you might notice the disgraceful sight of various ethnic social cultural groups parading themselves as serving the interest of their tribes and people. They come outside in the open to advocate for unity, but hide under the cover of their tribes and religion to secretly preach ethnic jargons at their meetings. This is Part of the problem with my dear country Nigeria, and part of why we still fight over indigene ship and breed the reprehensible settler syndrome. Try dating or marry a woman from anywhere in Nigeria, the first question that is bound to confront you is where are you from? Wish tribe are you? And what religion do you belong? Many young men and women have been denied their rightful privilege to choose and wed their heartthrobs based on these feeble excuses of tribe and religion differences. Yet, we all go to the same markets to sell and buy, without discriminating against the tribe or religion of the person spending the cash.

How many of my country men and women have been slaughtered and their property destroyed in the name of tribe, religion and settler syndrome? How many have lost their jobs and livelihood just because they don’t belong to a certain tribe or religion? Something they never made themselves. Or is there anyone alive who can claim to have created him or herself and decide what tribe or race they want? I tell you, most of our problems in this big rich country are man-made Wahala, planned and created by our fellow countrymen and women for selfish interests. Part of the reason why we are still swimming confusingly against the tides of development and daily confronted with the current Katakata of insecurity, kidnapping, terrorism ,armed robbery, ritual murders, and frequent ethnic-religious crises across the country.

The monster call corruption now resides permanently in most of our ministries and government agencies. It has long stolen patriotism and the fear of God from the conscience of some of our public servants who now daily find joy in looting and milking the nation dry; building gigantic vanity structures, cruising proudly in artificial toys, chasing after licentious women and breeding spoilt kids. The blight of corruption has eaten into the vision of some of our greedy politicians so much that most of them are too blind to see the poverty in their communities and the impoverished conditions of their towns and villages, including the frail figures of their hungry looking towns men and women; the same purported people whose interest they were expect to represent.

A prudent glance at Nigeria would reveal a glaring fact that we don’t appreciate what we have and who we are. Across the country are able and creative manpower, but the quest for importing other peoples creativity from abroad and zealously marketing and selling them; thus encouraging capital flight and enriching these other people and their nations has always been part of the problem. What really happened to that Nigeria of old, where we had prolific writers like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Abubakar Imam, Ola Rotimi, Cyprian Ekwensi and Flora Nwanpa? These great pen-pushers helped revolutionized the Nigerian literature and brought us respect and honors in the eyes of the world. Today, despite the large concentration of intellectual citizens across the globe, our literature presently is nothing to write home about.

What happened to that promising country that had some of the best schools in sub-Sahara Africa, some of the best brains in almost all facets of human endeavors, including some hitherto world class industries? The Nigeria nation today depends largely on imported products and brains. We derive pride in importing anything under the sun; ranging from used and discarded second hand fridges, second hand clothes, toxic radios, out model TVs, virus infested computers, outdated used books, and fake drugs, expired beverages, frozen chickens and packaged food. Our big nation now goes as far as importing matches, toothpicks and other simple cheap things that could be manufactured here by the abundant manpower and creative brains wasting away in all corner of the country.

What sensible nation would keep importing fuel to its citizenry, despite having one of the best crude oil in the world? How can we expect to have a made in Nigerian car when we have never appreciated the ingenious creativity of our mechanics that despite their local breeding could always dismantle any car in the world, fabricate and fix any spoilt parts and reassemble it back on the road. How do we expect to win medals in major sporting activities in the world, when we have long dumped the idea of grooming from the grass root? Instead what we have today is a politicized sporting establishment. Strangely, those ruling us expect to see development in the country when in actual sense they have gone against the natural laws of nature, which glaringly shows that everything that grows under the sun start from the root. Unlike before when the past nationalist leaders had a sensible vision of developing the local authorities that are the roots of the nations to the top, our present crops of prejudiced divided leaders have relegated the 774 local government areas to a mere space of milking money to feed and sustain their expensive and unworkable system of government and at the same time maintain their insatiable flamboyant lifestyles. After all, leadership in Nigeria today is all about sentiment and not quality.

Believe it, the problems confronting this diversified nation are too enormous to mention, but thankfully, they are artificial quandaries that the citizens can tackle and wrestle down if they have the will and courage. The Nigeria nation can really stand tall among other nations in the world if the Nigerian in Diaspora can sincerely sacrifice their intellect, wealth and collections to the development of their nation, without subscribing to the ethnic- religious division tearing the country apart, just like other diasporas are doing in other countries across the globe. An example is India, where the Diasporas of this populous nation have been able to inculcate their nation into becoming one of the biggest Information Communication Technology giants in the world. Or what stop those running the affairs of this overshadowed great nation from taking an example of how the Chinese, though the most populous nation in the world, have been able to utilized their enormous size into becoming one of the greatest technological advanced nations in the world and catapulted their country into a rich economy.

This country, I tell you, is one of the luckiest on earth, blessed with various tribes, cultures and diversified people. Look prudently around you and you are bound to notice this in its beautiful topography, its vast rich land, and the various countless life sustaining agricultural produce from its captivating weather. Which other country on earth then would I want to swap for this naturally gifted country? I think none, believe me – I love this country no be small.

Written by
Ahmed Dodo
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