Opinion · Politics

Nigeria at 56


It’s been a journey of 56 long years, and it seems we are farther from the Promised Land than when we started. We have watched on as the hopes and joys at independence slowly turned into agony. I’m tempted to despair sometimes. When I take a critical look at our situation, I feel that this Lord Lugard’s ‘experiment’ – as a friend described it – has been a massive failure.

But why shouldn’t I despair? We have been anything but independent! We still need to visit German and Indian hospitals to treat our own; we still rely on Thailand’s rice to feed our own while arable farmlands lie fallow here; we have crude oil we can’t refine on our own; we can’t get the best education in our own universities; we can’t generate enough electricity on our own; we haven’t found adequate technology to construct good roads on our own, our security men can’t protect our own; we hardly can do anything on our own. The only thing we seem to be truly independent at is CORRUPTION. We produce that on a massive scale here – only a few countries can challenge us on that.

We have become a nation where corruption is handsomely rewarded, mediocrity is praised to high heavens and the upright are scorned. We have become more religious but less godly. Ethnic and religious bigotry pervades the atmosphere. Every great nation-building idea that worked elsewhere has been defied by our country, remaining in the realm of theories for the academics. Human life has become expendable in pursuit of wealth. We are fast becoming a laughing stock in the comity of nations. Though our story has not been all doom and gloom, the silver lining in our clouds have been few and far between.

There are indeed more than enough reasons to despair for those who truly love this country, but I will not. I am a believer. I believe a new set of leaders who have not bowed their knees on the altar of corruption are in the making. Those who will not be satisfied with mediocrity but will pursue positive changes with all their might. They will uphold justice and place high premium on human lives. I believe a change is coming, it will be sudden and beneficiaries of the present disorderliness will be caught unawares.

So I will rejoice! Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Saviour. “For this is what the LORD says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the LORD…”

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