THIS IS NIGERIA
I know what you are thinking. Here goes another participant who appears to be trying to shoot her shot late as the trend appears to be almost outdated but no this isn’t another "tryout" for the challenge. This is my view on what I think Nigeria is. Now before I start with what it is, let us take a little walk down memory lane and see what it was. It’s no news that Nigeria was just a mass of land with heterogeneous constituencies. Each group of people with different culture and traditions. Living and governing their people the way they saw fit. We didn’t even know we were Nigerians until the white man put the nametag on us. Nigeria was ruled by the colonialists for over 100 years but I won’t bore you with the details of the colonial era because it’s only a preamble to Nigeria’s true story. Nigeria became a republic in the year 1963, that means to say she became fully independent of her colonial masters. At the time of the oil boom, Nigeria was seen as the giant of Africa. We are talking about a country whose major problem was how to spend its money and not how to make it, which if we are being true to ourselves is one of the biggest issues with Nigeria today because there is money in Nigeria for certain but what really bothers me is where and how it is circulated. I could name a thousand things wrong with Nigeria. I could talk about the debts, the corruption, the issue of electricity shortage, the nepotism and tribalism, the poverty, the impoverished educational system or the fact that we consume way much more than we produce. We could take a short stroll down the isle of the cases of the kidnap of the chibok girls, the oil tanker accident, the Fulani herdsmen episode. I could go on and on about our corrupt leaders and their still born promises, the ill funded government parastatals, bad roads, shortage of power and what not. but that would be a common Nigerian cliché wouldn't it? Complaining... its a natural gift we Nigerians utilize the most.
If you ask me I see Nigeria as an adolescent with bad parenting. As we all know in life there are good and horrible times and I think what Nigerians need to understand is that we are going through one of those bad times now due to bad parenting skills by the government. I asked a couple of people I know (and by a couple I mean a lot). I looked them right in the eye and asked them: what is your Nigerian dream? and they looked right back at me and well they said "My Nigerian dream is to leave this country" I won't lie to you, getting answers like this from people around my age group was quite devastating because we are often referred to as the "leaders of tomorrow".
Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with travelling or wanting to leave the country. I love travelling but what bothers me and inspired this post is what if everyone could afford leaving the country, would you really leave? and if you do who is going to stay to fix the problem. We keep comparing our country with developed ones like the US and the UK but we forget they didn't build their country in one day and they certainly didn't build it by running away from it once there were difficulties. Fine! the grass may be greener on the other side but the truth is it is greener where you water it. A wise friend of mine once said what Nigeria truly needs is a system that works. Nigerians are naturally intelligent and innovative. Most of the time people leave the country because they feel their skill won't be given enough platform to be valued. It's sad because this is also true
Nigeria would always be home. No matter how far you run from it or deny it. the real question here is 10- 25 years from now do you want to keep going about it like this? or do you want to be proud of it? do you want boast about it to foreigners? open it to tourists? then start doing something to help anyway that you can. don't just pray, faith without work is dead, don't use religion to cover up the blinding flaws of the governmental system, don't make excuses, stop trying to apportion blames. We always talk about corruption in the government but we forget corruption is in our roots. I saw a funny tweet that said : beat a child and offer him candy later, then ask him who made him cry you would be shocked at who he'd be pointing his finger towards and that's how corruption started. The literal sense surrounding this tweet made me realize the depth of corrupt roots in this country.
Nigeria is not just a mass of land. Nigeria is the people. Imagine a country where the wisdom of the elders are combined with the energy of the youths to provide better solutions. Imagine a country with a better economic and educational system. Imagine a country with stable power supply and good roads. Imagine a country without the money laundering and corruption. Do you recognize it to be Nigeria? I know it is achievable with the right people on board. But first... What is your Nigerian dream?