NIGERIA…..NOW AND THE FUTURE
I have gone back and forth since the 1st of October when Nigeria turned 50, contemplating whether or not to write this post. I have felt a mixture of anger, disappointment and hopelessness. Questions of whether we can ever dig ourselves out of this enormous sink hole we find ourselves float around in my head. Like a child with kwashiorkor our growth is deformed and stunted. Corruption has deprived us of the nutrition we need to grow.
So i have decided that this post will be about Nigeria turning 50. But over the next four weeks i will put up a blog post every Monday about my blueprint for Nigeria’s future path to success.
On the 1st of October 2010 Nigeria turned 50. And in usual Nigerian fashion the festivities and fanfare had begun weeks earlier. The Government has set aside millions to celebrate this monumental event. But was there really anything to celebrate? Or do we need some serious refection on how stagnant we have stood for the better part of 50 years. The thieves who have stolen, the pride,hope, and opportunities of plenty a Nigerian still wander the streets of our country seeking to wreck more havoc and are greeted with thunderous applause for the most part. We have failed miserably as a nation. It sickens me to my stomach, to think of how much we have been blessed by God and how little we have to show for it.
Should we have spent all those millions celebrating this so-called milestone birthday? should head of states from nations around the world have showed up and be entertained and housed at tax payers expense? I say ABSOLUTELY not.
The President should have given a grim and solemn speech about how little we have achieved over the past half century since our destiny was formally transferred into our hands by the British colonial masters. He should have spoken about his future for this country in detail and outlined in specific terms his plans over the next four years if he is elected president. What he wanted to get done, and vow to start the process of turning this country around over the next 50 years, so that when we celebrate 100 years we can look back and be proud.
But in true Nigerian fashion the celebration had to happen at whatever cost, come rain or shine whether we have achieved anything or not the party just had to go on. We had to exhibit our stupidity to the world.
Think of this analogy for a minute. If you had a son who was about to turn 21 ( 21st birthdays are usually a big deal and parents usually have a party for their kids) who was still in kindergarten, when all his peers were already in university would you still throw him that party? Or will you give him a candid talk about how he needs to get his life together and make something of it. I assume that is what a majority of us would do. We would demand success from our child, so why not our government and ourselves.
Our infrastructure is non-existent; the roads, power grids and railways with the exception of a few are all from the colonial era. Over 15 billion dollars has been poured into fixing our power grids, but its impossible to go for a whole week without uninterrupted power and that’s being generous. Our educational system needs major revamping. Our leaders have become bolder and better thieves. Yet we celebrate. Celebrate what?
The people who have ruled us over the years had no real understanding of the problems of Nigeria, neither did they have the passion to transform the country. Without a meshing of these two elements, disaster beckons. Our leaders constantly use anticipatory terms like “PLANS, HOPES, EXPECTS”. How many times have you read a newspaper headline that said FG plans to fix power supply by 2010? Plenty I assume. Have you ever read FG fixes power supply? No. Every thing promises to get done, but nothing actually does
We have become sympathetic to looters and thieves, only in Nigeria will you still billions and still show your face because you know nothing will happen. Alamasiega stole millions from Bayelsa state when he was governor, yet the people there clamoured for his release, saying he was their son who was being persecuted. People like this should rot in jail and never see the light of day. This is just one example. There are thousands like him who thrive on thievery. They become emboldened because they know they can get way with clearing the government confines for their personal use
Nigerian leaders and its people have a serious problem. Kilo se wa? In Yoruba language that means whats wrong with us. Sometimes you have to leave that country to see how rotten it has gotten. It’ a shame. But i have vowed to be part the change that that country needs. We all have to do something. Things must change. I don’t want an amen after you read that phrase. Religion has also made us gullible. God won’t help us if we don’t help ourselves.
Look out every Monday over the next four weeks for my blueprint series. Leave a comment and tell me what you think. Lets share where we agree and disagree. Have a great week!