Home Opinion/Editorial Our very own dear country, Nigeria!

Our very own dear country, Nigeria!

by Tosin Ajayi

I personally do not know what people enjoy about Nigeria or of being part of it. I, however, know many things that people from all over the country do not like and/or are not happy with, about her. Some of these are universal but a few others are personal to some of these Nigerians, either as individuals or as members of the very many tribes, religions, ethnic nationalities or another such basis of hegemonies in the country.

I also have what I consider to be a rare privilege, only shared or superseded by indeed very few other Nigerians. These include the privilege of having grown and lived in so very many and different parts of Nigeria, of having professional seniors close enough as to call me by either of my 2 personal names freely, as well as contemporaries and juniors or even protégées from all these parts, ethnic nationalities and religions in the country.

The singular value of these later privileges is that it allows one to see what richness we can get, if and when we decide to learn, to accept and to correct all the things that people are not happy about this country; and so, to develop a country that we can justly and happily refer to as “our very own country, Nigeria”! As I said in the very first sentence of this discussion, I do not know what people enjoy about Nigeria or of being part of it. But what I say above is one of them for me. The other one is that by the mere grace of God, I have been able to develop myself as to stand up to anybody anywhere in the world. So, when I go out of this country, and some bigoted racist or neo-colonialist minded person try to misbehave himself because I carry a Nigerian passport, as I have had not a few, I am able to immediately firmly and in a most civilized manner let him see the stupidity of such an attitude to me without searching me closer than the mere passport! It is my prayer that most, if not all, Nigerians are able to hold up their heads as high as this, whenever they are challenged like this when they get out of this place. This ugly phenomenon is surely one of the issues that ALL NIGERIANS irrespective of their ethnic nationalities or other attributes in Nigeria do not like about her. I will leave the others of these reasons for disgust with Nigeria for another discussion.

One of the benefits of the universal Nigerian exposures and relationships that I have developed as a person over time has allowed me to enjoy, is to have taken part in places and occasions when the many problems of Nigeria as a country are genuinely and a-partisanly socio-politically discussed. One thing that all these discussions that had endeavoured to go back to the earliest relevant times of the history of Nigeria, had all uniformly agreed upon, is that the British who colonized Nigeria eventually set her up for their very own unstoppable exploitation! They did so also for anybody else that they may favour sharing this with them howsoever, or perhaps to hand this exploitation to; with their subtle support only, from that far back.

Discussions which end at this point and then expect all the blame to go to the “British colonial masters” while they do nothing else to concretely correct that error, if error indeed it actually is, surely do no good services to themselves nor to any others of us by such a lazy discussion. The said British people did these things between 1914 and when they left in 1960 – a mere 46 years. However, we have been independent since 1960, 60 years ago! The evils that foreigners did in 46 years, we the very indigenous people concerned and the people who suffer the bad effects of such inadequacies right here in our own places, are not able to correct them in nearly one and a half times of the time taken to sow the said errors; and we still call ourselves anything to be respected by others?

It is in the agreement with the fact of this origin of Nigeria in the British selfish socio-economic colonialist intention that, of the two of our so-called heroes past, while the one called it “the British mistake of 1914 that must be corrected”, the other called Nigeria, “a mere geographical entity” but not a nation, created in 1914 by the British for their selfish colonial purposes. The others of these “heroes” had variously agreed with those two depositions, even if they did not have to say it out as loudly as that. However, “Britain” and the rest of her friends in “the West” have continued to enjoy the retrogression that Nigeria suffers, from that 1914 phenomenon, as well as to continue to support those who will help them perpetuate that retrogression.

Obviously, the people who continue to support or even to enjoy the Nigerian retrogression AS WELL AS TO PRIDE THEMSELVES THAT THEY ARE IN CHARGE OF IT and that nobody will stop them from doing so must think again. Do such people really love themselves? Do they understand what love means, or of the duty they owe themselves to first and foremost love themselves; without which they can love nobody else, neither of man nor of God Himself? A country that continues to exist as a mere geographical entity, with no chance of becoming OUR VERY OWN DEAR COUNTRY, of all the citizens thereof; what do those who are milking it so expect, that it will lead them to; IN THE MODERN AND VERY CIVILIZED WORLD?

The neo-colonialist agenda that Britain changed to between 1946 and 1952, from the original full colonialist one of 1914, has obviously “worked well” between then and 1976. But from 1976, despite several coup-d-etats and the later “managed political censuses and elections” that had succeeded in advancing it, there had been several actual coups and rumoured coups that tried to let us know that we should not be going this way. These include those that took the lives of Bisalla, of Bukar Sukar Dimka, and of Gideon Okar, who in his much rejoiced at coups by virtually every age, geographical and ethnic nationalities in the country, he went as far as carving out those he believed to stand at the centre of the on-going British or Western marginalization of the country. Supposedly, as has been suggested by some, his intention was that it was only in the remaining part of Nigeria that he intended to leave together will it be possible to discuss and develop a country that we can call OUR OWN VERY DEAR NIGERIA, where there will be mutual respect and end of mutual discomfort and undermining of one another.

Even though this did not happen then, things staring us in the face since 2015 are enough to tell us all that if the agents of hegemony do not repent soon and yield to an even playing ground for us to develop this OUR VERY OWN DEAR COUNTRY, NIGERIA, something will surely give way. Such people may end up receiving the crumbs of the bargain in the matter. May it please God to grant repentance to those people, even as it is beginning to happen in the VC Unilag issue now, so that we may rapidly progress to this good endpoint of creating our very own dear country, Nigeria; of equal and mutually respectful living! That is the country whose passports will no longer be a reason for attempted and often successful abuse outside the country; one of which we shall all be proud of and become an example for many other countries also.

Source: https://guardian.ng/opinion/our-very-own-dear-country-nigeria/

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