Over the years, since the great colony, Nigeria, became a sovereign state, togetherness has always been a hotly-debated topic that often divides opinion. In this recent time, it seems as though the nation is about tilting off the edge and so, many theories of cohabitation are being proffered. But it goes still with the saying, that, “hope is the last thing that dies”. It is therefore my pride to believe in the emergence of a new Nigeria; the Nigeria of my dream.
To start with, now perhaps more than ever has there been a repression and continual parade of fear and panic in Nigeria. Nigeria has been steadily encroached with deleterious impingements of tribal agitations, ethnical predilections, insurgency, economic instabilities, morale infringement and general moral decadence. All through my childhood to this day, the deteriorating state of the nation has been the headlines of the news. The news is either introducing a new call for panic, complain or fear. However, within these uncertainties, through new eyes, one can see a promising Nigeria with befitting applaud and ovation. I have read in the hall of fame of how Nigeria had stood tall in civilization even before the Neolithic Revolution period; how she thrust through two centuries of the British Colonial over-lordship among the vanguard of the African continent and how she joined in the comity of independent sovereign nations reputably. Although the wake into the fading label of this great country and the uprising tussle for stability in these recent times is sickening, I cannot be too punch-drunk to slum into the question of; “what happened to the Nigeria of our fathers’ dream?” Because, there is more to the future than meets the eye. A dignified Nigeria can always emerge.
Tellingly, it is always very easy to recollect the fissures within the structure when Nigeria attained her independence. The seeming shove over the years have been the contest of a federation where true federalism is not being practiced, marginalization and unbalance federal structure of ethical proclivity, the intimidation by politicians and bureaucrats who only want to satisfy their ill political adventure; nothing more, and evidently, the fight for the abundant resource. These notwithstanding, I dream of a new Nigeria which must not only ‘sustain’ but work to improve and thrive; actualizing her full potential as a label and icon in the Africa continent and beyond. A country integrated in harmony, knit in the edifice of her diversity. A country partitioned into a colony not by the Berlin conference of 1884/1885 or freed from the confines of white skinned men by a coalition with an aspiration for ‘just independence’. But a country that strove as one, through thick and thin with a resolve to function as a ‘culture area’. This; is the Nigeria of my dream. A people who would live in harmony, with industrialized states, serviceable health sector, efficient educational system, ethnical coherence, tribal indifference, shared governance and social justice. Social justice with synergy of right to life, right to dignity of human purpose, right to fair hearing, right to private and family life, right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, right to freedom of expression and the press, right to peaceful assembly and association. I dream of a country where power is given to the people. A place where after having stood under the whisky sun for several hours, you would sit and smile as the sun finds its rest while waiting for final results because you knew that whether it fell on the favor of your choice candidate or not, your vote counted and election was free and fair.
Furthermore, it may seem that the sole reason for the brain drain and relocation of Nigerians to other countries is the search for greener pastures, but looking at this drift critically, people indeed need a leadership under which their life, health and security matters allot and this also, is the Nigeria of my dream. I dream of a Nigeria where the Igbo man would put on the ‘babban riga’ and the headpiece of the ‘fula’ and the Igbo woman would tie round her waist the ‘abaya’. I dream of a Nigeria where the Hausa man would wear the ‘agbada’ coupled with the ‘sokoto’ and his wife would tie the ‘gele’ and love to wear the ‘aso oke’. Not for ceremonial purposes or for favoritism during campaign lodges and flag- offs but to have a good feel of the beauty and the richness of the cultures of this great country. I desire to see a nation of icons and elites, compatriots who would blaze the trail in any sphere of influence they represent outside the country, especially, culturally. People like the Nigerian Professor, Charles Egbu, who was recently appointed Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University, Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Olajumoke Olufunmilola Adenowo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie among others. Also, on the political front, I look forward to a Nigeria where there are no internal rivalries. A Nigeria of peace and hope just as she is known for her commendable peacekeeping interventions and operations and her influence in securing the independence of the member States of the Africa continent. Just like the Nigeria who proposed and received ECOWAS endorsement for a Standing Mediation Committee which should intervene in a timely fashion during the crisis in Liberia under the administration of our beloved then head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida. In fact, the existence of, and peace in Liberia and Sierra Leone today are traced to the peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building efforts of Economic Community of West African State Cease-Fire Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) led by Nigeria. This is the Nigeria of my dream.
In addition, Nigeria overtook South Africa as Africa’s largest economy since 2013 and has remained top on that list. This is a global applaud for my dear country and her influence is wide growing. Investment by foreign countries in Nigeria is growing. Nigeria in the present may be a challenging place to operate but as remarked by American’s economist and writer Cook, “the nation is too important to ignore”.1 This too, is the Nigeria of my dream. Commending the Nigeria entertainment, media and arts industries, the Nigerian Film Industry (Nollywood) is globally recognized as the second largest film producer in the world. It is one of the priority sectors identified in the Economic Recovery and Growth plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria. These industries has spun a new level of enculturation so much so that recently, words from the Nigerian ‘pigin english’ have been incorporated into the world’s English Dictionary. Words such as ‘chop’, ‘danfo’, ‘buka’, ‘chop-chop’ and more are examples. This shows the extent of how well the Nigerian culture is perceived, recognized and accepted globally. On the sports front, my dear country, Nigeria, is still well deserving of the title “The Giant of Africa”. In soccer, athletics, boxing, basketball, volleyball among others Nigeria stands out and she is not ready yet to give in. This, is the Nigeria of my dream.
On the whole, against the backdrop of a changed colonial policy, Nigerians should come to become more encouraged through peaceful cohabitation and participatory development of common goals. Nigeria is our father land, a country whose compatriots and ambassadors we are, a country with a hallmark of expounding effulgence. Responsibility is therefore placed on us to join our heroes past to pledge to our dignified country, Nigeria, to be faithful and loyal with a resolve unbending to stand and uphold her honor and glory. There is a brilliance of hope the future holds because there is still a country, and that is the Nigeria of my dream.
- Cook, M. (December 29, 2019). Recently Became Africa’s Largest Economy. Now It’s Too Big for Businesses to Ignore. Retrieved 20/09/2020
Paul Akherialea wrote in from firstname.lastname@example.org