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We Just Can’t Afford To Say Goodbye Nigeria

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan

As one of the requirements to become a British citizen, eligible applicants are required to sit a test, Life in the UK test, which seeks to test knowledge of applicants on the past and contemporary realities of the British society.

Of great note is the fact that Britain is proud, as it is unpretentious of its history, as it served up in the required reading texts, a chore of both unsavory and illustrious parts of its more than 500 years chronicle of it’s evolutionary journey, illuminating the minds of it’s readers with the solemn truth; “Britain was not made in Heaven”.

The scars of British encounters with history, wars, social upheavals and human imperfections, did not in any way betray its well-deserved place as a distinguished member of the world’s great nations.

I personally found out for myself that Britain, like Nigeria, and most African countries it colonised, was riddled, in some more severe ways, with its own social and political problems, and contradictions as well, than one would normally be inclined to think.

The truth is this; Britain for instance, had had its “internal wars” with its own constituents. It waged a protracted internal cohesive wrangling with Ireland, resulting in the split which left Southern Ireland a republic since the middle of the 20th century. Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland would survive the many skirmishes, and hung on to the union. Even though some feelings of distrust still rankles.

The manifestation of this was made real, just recently, when the Scottish people embarked on a referendum, seeking to extract itself from the union of Great Britain. The backlash of that split, had it taken place would have made Britain a modern day apocalyptic example of political disintegration.

It would be stark naïveté to look upon the evolved nations of France, Britain, Russia, Japan, and America as political Big-bangs that exploded onto the scene of the human realm from the cosmos, all well and sitting pretty on nature’s benevolence, and had become modern-day political miracles without their evolutionary blemishes.

Such thoughts would surely leave a reality-vacuum on one’s subconscious scheme of imagination. But these nations were saved by their own people.

Britain for example couldn’t just wave goodbye to its own illustrious history, which has in its trudge, blood of patriots, selfless noble men and women, who were never under any illusions of personal or narrow ambitions, but driven by courage and vision of building one great, United Kingdom.

The British people indeed have always saved Britain. In the wake of the Scottish crises, just recently, David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, in the company of his political opponent, Nick Clegg, weighed into the scene, speaking not as divided people, but this time, as united statesmen, appointed by history to preserve the unity and glory of their land. The Scottish referendum for separation from Britain, mooted as potentially effective, was once more smoked out by the passion of the patriotism of its own people, leaders.

Nigeria must also have in its keep, a herd of people whose hearts throb with this kind of native patriotic mission.

1990 witnessed the most fascinating political miracle of the 20th century. A year the separatist nations of western and eastern Germany reunited to forge one of the most progressive comebacks of modern Europe. The newly united Germans took up the challenge of national development and in a space of less than three decades, restored the pride and glory of their once broken nation. That energy would be unrelenting as Germany tops the economic chart of Europe, delivering aids and strategic economic lifelines to the rest of the continent.

Germans had saved Germany. They survived the Hitler’s era of self-destructive expansionism, and the morale-shattering blow their loss of the 2nd world war dealt on them.

The South Africans freed their land from the stranglehold of apartheid. Through the savage-stricken streets of Soweto, Robin Island, and all the corners of the land that fear and oppression held sway, the people of South Africa, would stamp their feet’s in firm, resolute accord, in one life-saving march of freedom.

What more? The South Africans saved their own land.

Enough said and feared. What should we do as Nigerians? Watch the world laugh at our discomfiture and nervous response to dire national challenges?

We must keep exercising our faith in Nigeria as Nigerians. In our little corners, speak with bold, unfettered voices, that Nigeria lives. Work hard at our desks, and help the leaders, whoever they might be, in lifting and holding up the statute of our unity.

Nigerians must stand true to the demands of their nation by uniting in the fight against the enemies of the nation.

Despite our many undesirable pasts and the not-so-good present, we, Nigerians, poor or rich, Igbo or Yoruba or Hausa hold the ace to making our future as bright as it can be.

We then can’t say Good bye to Nigeria, just yet.


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