He who says a fool at 40 is a fool forever has indeed not heard of this great country of ours and this would come across as a great surprise because unless that person lives under a rock or a great shroud of ignorance, the name Nigeria is one that should be etched in the minds of every living being by now. Having been in existence for up to 100 years as a nation, our balding spot as well as the grey hairs we have grown (from being sucked dry and burnt down) are all the evidence we need (and have) to prove our wisdom to anyone.
We have aggressively managed to shelve a lot of misdeeds from times past and present, and our stowing ability provides us with hope that no matter what rises against us in this country, we would make more shelf room. A ride down memory lane will reveal that it is our great experiences that have strengthened us till date.
Do you remember the Nigerian civil war? Everyone knows that the war was the only real conflict weever had in this nation and even at that, only few lives were lost – Unlucky people who found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Other sundry community clashes, Niger delta emancipation struggle, and Boko Haram killings do not merit a mention in our spotless history. These are just minor irritations. I remember that Gowon was quoted to have said after the civil war that the victory was not over the Igbos but against those who wanted to destroy us. You see, the only problem Nigeria has are these faceless ghosts who are always trying to destroy us. They are not Igbo or Yoruba or Hausa, they are those people who want to taint our immaculate record.
It is common knowledge that no ethnic nation within Nigeria is discriminated against ormarginalised. Those who cry foul are just playing to the gallery by trying to paint us as tribalistic, unfair and exploitative. These are but frivolous allegations because our federal character system provides a level playing ground for competent and incompetent people alike. This Federal character system provides a level playing field for men, women, under-aged voters and livestock. Does our population census not attest to this?
Our country is a great one indeed. If not, tell me which other country placates its militants by sending them on holidays and trainings abroad. It doesn’t matter how much blood they’ve shed. You see, this is what we call the carrot and the stick approach- we allow them shed as much blood as they want and when they are satiated, we offer them the carrot. Sanusi once complained about a one billion naira carrot. Isn’t this chicken change in our stupendously rich Nigeria? I have heard many liken the Nigerian government to a business organization, interested in enriching the pockets of its officials. In our Nigeria where one can rise overnight from being shoeless to being highly placed, all I can say to these ingrates is, wait your turn.
There is a general belief that Nigerians are a happy people and we all know this is true. We have a rare gift of finding the silver lining in every situation. We know how to speak out when our legislators make laws we don’t like and after a while we learn to give things a rest and wait for another issue to arise. After all, you cannot flog a dead horse back to life. The Nigerian excitement is a necessary ingredient for human existence. If you doubt it, ask our diaspora social media activists. These cowards throw stones from faraway lands nudging Nigerians in Nigeria to act the act, while they talk the talk. This division of labour works for everyone. We all become CNN, BBC and Aljazeera celebrities. An experience we can add to our CVs.
At this point, we must hail our prayerfulness, a characteristic of ours which has solved many of our problems. That is why our President has rightly declared that fervent prayers would solve the insurgence issue. I agree with this but I am still confounded that a well-funded intercessory committee has not been appointed. Isn’t praying for the solution to our problem as important as the National CONFAB? We all know that faith can move mountains. There are many examples to choose from but my favourite is the way the walls of Jericho crumbled with “Prayers”. Tell me which military tactical plan could be better than this?
Our centenary celebration must go on and illustrious sons must be awarded. Many critics have said that this is wrong considering that just a night before, innocent children were slaughtered, but tell me, who is really innocent. By stopping the celebrations, we let our enemies win. Those faceless ghosts, trying to pull us down. And what is this ruckus about the awards given to our heroic past Heads of State and Commanders in Chief? Why can’t people just forgive them, overlook their abuse on human rights, forget their corrupt thieving and wait their turn. Aren’t we ingrates when it has to take their children to remind us that they caused our inflation to reduce, tar our roads and spared our lives.
It is Nigerian to respect the dead. How can we continue to fight people who can’t talk back or defend themselves. We need to understand that someone suddenly hit by death and didn’t get the chance to tighten the loose ends of his offshore accounts like his contemporaries should be spoken about with some measure of sympathy. Let us turn the fight toward the living.
The Nigerian democracy is thriving. Ours provides a fair platform for all- failed past Presidents and ex-convicts alike. We need not worry about defections as a new name is all it takes to erase the past misdeeds of its members. Our greatest democratic achievement is settlement. Take the recent Nigerian Immigration Service recruitment as an example. All it took to solve our unemployment problem was to conduct a hasty stadium interview. And when this went awry, our good President settled bereaved families with jobs. Other nations should emulate our robust democracy and genius for providing employment. A word for the Nigerians swamping to the hospitals to claim imaginary injuries, you’re too late so wait the next turn.
The journey so far has been tough and although we know that tougher scenarios lie ahead, we believe that we are well equipped to stayed sewn together as one big Nigeria- the cracks can always be white-washed. More burning issues like allowing every girl be married off whenever her parents see fit; keeping homosexuality at bay; scolding our philandering celebrities to wisdom; checking what our youths say on social network sites and ensuring they do not insult their elders sporadically; maintaining our private jets with the billions it requires and providing Nigerians with more generators and less fuel to power their homes, must be tackled without further ado.
ChizitereOjiaka via www.chizitereojiaka.blogspot.com