A call to arise and facilitate Nigeria’s growth
By Ridwan Adelaja
At a very tender age, I understood that Nigeria is a country in distress: always having to battle a fundamental crises or the other. And, contrary to prophesies, so designed, by our religious heads to give us hope and reason to believe our trials won’t last forever; I have come to realise that those prophesies are mere wishful fantasies as none of them ever reached fulfilment. Whether these men are real and anointed faithful(s) or not is a topic for another encounter.
The present day Nigerians are never the first to wish and pray for betterment. As a matter of fact, the wishing of our people for an improved economic situation is an inherited dream passed on from time down time. Our people have always looked forward to a creamy future so promised. It is however disheartening that they have always had to wake from their dreams, to find something much unpalatable.
According to history, the country has never for once been in proper shape. Sometimes, we are very close to getting it right only for a daunting circumstance to evolve from nowhere, and withhold our ship from sailing. Paraphrasing the African Hero Mandela, “our walk to freedom is indeed long and still on.” And, we cannot but continue to pray to hit the mark, someday. Every Nigerian must understand at this point that, this is really not the time for sweet talks, if resuscitating the country is our open option. Indeed, the toying with the prosperity of Nigeria is unforgivable. It’s quite absurd and unimaginable how our so called brothers sell out patriotism to greed and selfishness.
A whooping 56 years after independence, we should be ashamed of ourselves. The African mind is a powerful one, so praised. Africans have always demonstrated to be people of strength and goodwill. It is however unfortunate that, a country with such global respect and reputation like Nigeria keeps suffering from internal maladministration. Following the trend of events, we will agree that time has never come upon us when things were ever right or considerably fair. We only get to admit we had a better past after the passage of deadlier situations. Our fear today is what lies ahead. If we must project the future from the present, it is obvious, if proper care isn’t taken that, an unthinkable sight and landmark economic disaster is what we are plunging into.
Without going too deep into the past, we can establish that ours is a country in distress -with something spectacular at different times to complain about. During the time of former president Olusegun Obasanjo for instance, though the value of the naira never got this bad, our people complained and asked how we got to where we had to exchange a dollar for N140. On the subjects of poor electricity generation and security failings, our voice bleat on the dailies like goats set on for slaughter. Stories on kidnapping and armed robberies were also common headlines. To this day, we are still struggling to be free from many of these national hiccups. This is a few weeks after the celebration of our 56th year of Independence. But we may as well ask: how independent are we, as a nation? Of course, we have been in this for so long. And, there is really no need to draw up hope again for another long term prediction. Dates have failed, prophesies lied. The only thing reasonable for us is to keep those things aside and face our problems head on.
We are a nagging nation; always complaining about one thing or the other but never capable or ready to proffer solutions to the many wrongs around us. I’m guilty here, also. How much of our problems have I solved? It doesn’t really help writing to condemn the system we are a part of. We cannot continue to cross our legs, fold our arms and watch the fatherland fall apart? Every Nigerian (at home and abroad) should be ashamed of the current state of affairs in the country.
Truth be told, there are institutional problems, governmental mismanagement and unfavourable policy implementations as a result of some cabals in the name of leaders who are hell bent at milking the nation dry. However, we cannot continue to nag if we mean progress. We have got more to do than prayers, complaining or engage in beer-parlour arguments. This is the time to display our sense of responsibility in contributing to salvage the situation. We should be ashamed if we cannot help our land outlive all of her troubles in every way we can. We must accept that Nigeria is a project under construction. And, we must all take active part to build her because if we don’t rally round to restore sanity, we may sadly have to die dreaming of a great Nigeria.
Pix: Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode
Ridwan Adelaja is the current President of The Campus Ambassadors, TCA Lautech, and founder of Speak Quill Initiative –a youth led organisation for peace, science and national development. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org