2 September 2017
One will not be surprised to learn that some eager Nollywood producers have gone far in producing several comedy films to capture some of the events and actions emanating from Nigeria in the last few weeks.
It took someone two days after the rat-rodent-ruse to compose a beautiful song about the apparent fairy tale. Check it out: from chilly stories about recovered loots from yet-to-be arrested looters, secession dramas, a gad fly called Nnamdi Kanu, a gale of quit notices, hate speeches, hate songs, return of our ailing president and his reintegration after more than a three-month medical vacation.
These were prologues that came in the midst of cries for restructuring, herdsmen-farmer clashes, renewed militancy and insurgency, state legislature fights, PDP melodramas, talks about religious domination, and rising allegations of APC’s campaign promises facing daunting challenges.
No doubt, writing a script to connect all these will take some tact. But the storyline must reflect certain messages: the paradox called Nigeria as a country of the fine, fiery, and fiendish. Its citizens get the message every day from their leaders that they cannot do anything no matter what the leaders say or do. And that the country can easily be made a great place to live in, only if the leaders receive deliverance from vision-related ailments and apparent lack of will to resist parochialism.
Judging from the untapped over 44 solid minerals and unimaginable human capital, Nigeria’s resources can take care of a 500-million capacity population for another 100 million generations. Then, what is the wisdom in all the trouble? Even if all Nigerians turned to Christianity or Islam that would not solve the country’s problems because there are many Christian and Muslim nations that are fighting. It is only pitiable short sightedness to see religion as Nigeria’s problem.
One social analyst recently chronicled the litany of ground breaking achievements of Nigerians around the world including building an advanced car for GM, the Chevrolet Volt (Jelani Aliyu), the world’s fastest supercomputer (Philip Emeagwali), and only last week building a computer that can smell bombs (Oshiorenoya Agabi).
It’s on record that Nigerians are among the highest earners in the U.S., with over 60 per cent having college degrees above America’s national average of 30 per cent. The Imafidon family in the UK was recently named the smartest family in the land.
In May 2016, Nigerians made up 43 out of 96 graduating pharmacy doctorate students from Howard University, with 16 of them raking in awards out of the 27 given out.
Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri, Chimamanda Adichie have made names in literature, and Aliko Dangote, and Adebayo Ogunlesi have built business empires rivaling anyone on the Forbes list of world’s richest.
When ranged against the smelly news about Nigeria on the international media and what Nigerians say about the country, it seems the world has been unfair to Nigeria. There is definitely a lot that is good and great about the country.
However, we believe that national greatness is more about institutions and internally-generated and controlled systems and actions that afford every citizen the opportunity to realise their full potentials.
That was why Barack Obama called on African nations to build institutions during his tour of some east African nations in 2015.
National greatness is a lot more about a country as a holistic entity, rather than about disparate individuals, many of whom took advantage of good social systems in other countries, having even ran there on asylum.
That’s was the argument of another social analyst who believed that if Barack Obama had gone to contest presidential election in Kenya, he may have ended up being killed in one of the pre or post-election violence.
A look at the wonderful messages coming from our leaders at Sallah shows very good media aides, speech writers and leaders who know what is good.
Is it not easy to change action to match the narrative of the melodious tunes of good wishes, vows to make Nigeria great, and promises to cement Nigeria’s non-negotiable unity?
The truth is: it is possible, but what is stopping it. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Tafawa Balewa, Micheal Okpara all had economic blueprints that were already succeeding before the war rhetoric came to distract all their efforts. Can someone please revisit the templates they left?
Cerebral Lemon calls on the Federal Government to listen more to the traumatized masses and to start to make Nigeria great again, if one is allowed to borrow from a popular political slogan.
It would be sounding trite now to call for restructuring, to call for devolution of power or to warn that hate speech will continue if the cries of Nigerians are taken for nothing. Yet, Nigeria’s government needs to say what it will do to amend governance in Nigeria.
Many people have continued to allude to Nigeria’s unwillingness to shed the toga of colonialism and forge her way to self-determination. We believe this is another area the country should reconsider.
If Nigeria’s political campaigns continue to come from London as we saw in 2015; if leaders continue to talk about what China will do for Nigeria, and if politicians behave as if no president will emerge without foreign support, then the political shortsightedness will continue to take centre stage in Nigeria.
May the country get visionary leaders to take Nigeria out of her continuing distractions.