Somebody out of ignorance or selfishness or should I say cognitive dissonance disorder said, upon all the write-ups in the newspapers and social media, “has the notion changed Nigeria for good”? It is pertinent to say to everyone with the same mindset, that we will not stop talking or writing until the right driver emerges to propel the engine of change we desperately yearn for in Nigeria.
Prior to rape of the Nigerian nation by our hawkish politicians and militaricians, I mean in our boom period as an economically prosperous nation, North, South, West, East were not known for religious strives and tribalism. Nigeria was the cynosure of all eyes in the international community as an example of peaceful coexistence nation. Our leaders were outstandingly revered and respected.
You remember the struggles for independence by our resourceful nationalists; our joyful, peaceful and the serenity of the academic environment when students were queens and kings? You remember when we had the money but how to spend it constituted a great debate in the local and international community?
You remember when Botswana government begged for one of our geniuses and legal luminaries (Akinola Aguda) to be their Chief Justice of Botswana? You remember the outstanding performance of this legal genius when he single-handedly transformed Botswana’s laws and drafted the country’s enviable constitution? You remember our vibrant civil service and workforce. When permanent secretary was sacrosanct to professional ethics and norms. You remember when we were dazzling the world in all areas of sporting events?
You remember the first invitation of our prime minister to the United States of America by President John F. Kennedy; when Tafawa Balewa arrived at US airport for heroic welcome; when Balewa sauntered from our amiable Eagle(green white and green) presidential flight to the podium confidently, and addressed the voracious and eagerly awaiting people of the United States? You remember Balawa’s few revered entourage and ministers to the White House?
You remember when Prof. Wole Soyinka mesmerized the world through his literary gymnastics and got his Nobel price in literature? And also when Achebe’s literary genius put Nigeria in the highest pedestal among the comity of nations? When his book: “Things fall apart” has been translated to more than 50 languages around the world. Perusing through any sophisticated local libraries and bookstores around the world, you are as proud as this writer to be a Nigerian to see Achebe’s books adore the bookshelves.
Prior to a disastrous discovery of oil in Nigeria, we remember the greenish west of cocoa, the beautiful groundnuts pyramid of the North and entrepreneurship and innovative prowess of the East?
You remember when corruption was least mentioned in our daily political and economic lexicons? When Salvation was the engine of evangelism instead of prosperity? Today, our leaders are ambassadors of corruption to the world. We know it, we feel it, they know it. Where is the collective sense of shame?
Very nostalgic!!! We shouldn’t stop talking, acting and writing. The power of talking, acting and writing is greater and more powerful than the barrel of guns and coercion. I strongly believe we can still get back our lost glory if we get our acts together. All we need is our collective sense of will and sincerity, love and determination to make it happen.