The Rise and Fall of Our Motherland

by Chinyere Ugomma Eze-Nliam

Through out history, it is the inability of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered the most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” Haile Selassie.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama.

I have always believed in the virtue of candour, to call a spade a spade instead of a farming tool. In these days of political correctness, i find that straight forward talk is going the way of horse and carriage and that is a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions if i ever saw one. I have therefore resolved as a New Year resolution, to talk, talk and talk no matter whose ox is gored.

The problem with Nigeria is not only the complete ineptitude of our elected (selected?) leaders, their wanton and wilful refusal to abide by the Rule of Law or the fact that we now operate a four tier system of government, the fourth being corruption which is more or less institutionalized, systematic, endemic and entrenched. The 800 pound gorilla in the room is the led, the masses, this generation of sufferers and smilers, who have been turned to economic refugees in search of the ever elusive green pastures. Yet, we apply our ingenuity to fashioning out songs to satirize our ordeals but lack the courage to stand up to our “politricians”. A country of 150 million people is being held hostage by a mere 1% of the population.

One of our greatest mistakes is that we do not give our leaders, our role models and the likes, the right to be as flawed as we are. I am in no way endorsing the corrupt and intrinsically wicked acts of our selected leaders. The point is that we have not in any way justified to ourselves and our unborn children that we are doing our best jointly and severally as Nigerians to rid our system of this anathema. After all, they say charity begins at home. My people say that the water that gathers for the snail, also gathers for the dog. Let us therefore reflect on the countless generations after us that would witness the moral, political and social decadence that Nigeria has sunk into. Unfortunately, most of us no longer believe in the Nigeria project. How then can one fight for what they don’t believe in?

I believe in the Nigeria Project because I grew up in a functioning Nigeria. I grew up in a Nigeria where I woke up and went to bed with light. I grew up in a Nigeria that offered very sound high quality education at the cost of peanuts. I grew up in the era when if Nigeria sneezes, the rest of Africa and beyond will catch pneumonia. Am I comfortable with the steady decline and international irrelevance that is Nigeria today? No I am not. Am I confident in a renewed and revitalised Nigeria? Yes I am. Do I believe that our generation can usher in the desired change? Yes we can and yes we will. Will I live long to see a new Nigeria take up its revered post as the giant of the black continent? Maybe not but a journey of a thousand miles commences with only one step.

Fellow Nigerians, we live in a world where we know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. Democracy is much more than ballot boxes, political parties, thuggery, GMGs. It is also the right of a people to say in one voice, “We’ve had enough” regardless of tribe, religion and social divides. I love my country too much to allow it to be sidelined by a bunch of self seekers who are totally devoid of any form of altruism. My heart bleeds anytime Nigeria is in the news and not for good. The hour has come to make it right. That is why it was imperative for Anambrarians to take the initiative and bell the cat on 6 February 2010 with the unprecedented win in that for the first time since the creation of the present day Anambra in 1991, a governor was reelected for a second term. Maybe, now the rest of us spineless Nigerians will be emboldened enough to continue in the stride.

I rest my case.

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