A lot has been said about Nigeria, the good, bad, positive and negative. Volumes of texts, historical archives of both past, present and Anticipated future destination of Nigeria has been, is being and Will always be discussed. However, on the 1st of October every year, we are minded by the fact of our independence to cast a retrospective glance through the pages of our corporate existence, how it all began, what has transpired over time, the successes and challenges we have as a people under God and the way forward.
Thinking about the problems of Nigeria seems to be more scary than writing it down, in the mind of every Nigerian lies this indisputable fact that all is not well with Nigeria. We are often times unable to capture these maladies from an unbiased viewpoint as each one and all is saddled immediate tribalistic interest protection. For the Northerner, the problems of Nigeria may be different from what a southerner may term problems of Nigeria. However, underlying these variables is an incontrovertible Centre point that subsumes all perspectives of what is wrong with Nigeria. “failed leadership and followership”.
Inasmuch as I for one will desist from towing the line of accusations, it must be pointed out that Nigeria is where it is today because, we have gotten it all wrong from the very start. Both the led and the leaders. And what seems to gnaw its teeth perpetually on our development and progress is our nationalistic tendencies. Not many believe in Nigeria as an entity unless for securing an interest for their immediate locality they lay claims to the “one Nigeria mantra”. And when that interest is not covered, we clamor for division.
Under international politics as we know it today, interest is the superior currency that motivates participation or discourages it. Britain wants to exit the European Union because Germany and France had mounted the pyramid of administration and they feel cheated under the arrangement as Boris Johnson observed. Although this may not represent the collective view of all Britons, this is the state of affairs. When a deal does not favour a country like the Revoked IRAN-US nuclear deal and indeed other treaties, we have seen one or more nations pull out entirely. Same goes for the UN, AU and to our local unions, associations and institutions. The pertinent question is.. ‘is your interest sufficiently covered?”
While many decisions will represent National or collective interest, it is now an official fact that in Nigeria, both you and me place our personal interest first and above all interest. Perhaps, if all politicians from the eastern extraction worked for the interest of Easterners, our narrative would have been different. Same goes for other regions.
Man in every guise is an Interest motivated being of which he rationalizes with a philosophy of his own making. Justifying, recalibrating by every known techniques his innermost intentions and selfish aspirations.
As sad as it may seem, we will never attain our glorious height sooner if we keep up with this menace. It is not peculiar to Nigeria but for us, it has become official and widespread. And if you cannot beat them, you quickly join them because it is easier to convince 1 man doing the right thing to tow the path of 99 men doing the wrong thing than otherwise.
The rot in our Economy define how a Soceity that is yet to come to terms with reality will continue to exist. China is 70 years this year and subtract 59 years from that and you’ll have only 11 years gap from independence. Consider where they are and where we are as a nation, then you will acknowledge how pitiful it is to be Nigerian.
Because we have less than 5% of Nigerians who are extremely rich, sometimes it overshadows the fact that over 80% of Nigerians or more live below poverty line. And it is for the sake of these people that we write, for persons who are less privileged, who do not have access to basic social amenities necessary for life, those whose voices can never be heard no matter how they complain, those boys and girls whose future is already mortgaged and will grow to join the army of millions of hopeless Nigerians going round and round the circle engaged in an intense rat race. For these people, the Nigerian independence mean nothing to them and holds no promise for a brighter future. If after 59 years of self rule and this is all we can make of it, then shame on us.
With the lingering discussions on minimum wage, the high cost of doing business in Nigeria, lack of Power, good and accessible roads and the recent increment in VAT, closure of border and ban on importation of basic foods, life for the average man has become in Thomas Hobbes description, nasty, brutish and capricious. Things has fallen apart indeed. For Achebe and a whole lot who share his philosophy, we don’t know where the rain started beating us and we are in a more serious dilemma because we can’t tell where or when it will ever stop.
All is not well with the education sector, with the security architecture, with Religious structures, finance, health sector, transport, the civil service, and ultimately, the leadership of Nigeria. We have learned and sophisticated people in Nigeria but it barely reflect on out national outlook, we seriously under perform and pitifully, the next generation seem to be in utter confusion and holds no promise, misguided priorities seem to champion their course and that is the greatest ignominy for any nation.
As the day go bye, the nascent democracy we pretend to have is being destroyed and damaged by illegality, breach of rules and regulations, flagrant disobedience to court orders and constituted authorities, violation of the constitutional rule of law, criminality seems to be a part of our everyday life. One may begin to wonder “at this rate, is there really any hope for Nigeria?”
We must begin a soul searching, we must evaluate how and what went wrong. We must ask ourselves critical questions at this time of our national life. Obviously, all is not well with Nigeria. When a body part becomes diseased, sometimes it’s better to treat it and make it better. But at times, cutting it off entirely saves the entire body from imminent danger of general infection. Nigerians must take the tough decision to either salvage this nation and keep it in one piece or have it entirely disbanded so we can all enjoy peace.
Happy 59th independence celebrations to Nigeria.
About the author
Njoku David chibueze is a law graduate of Chukwuemeka odumegwu ojukwu University, Anambra state.
For knowledge and Justice