Saturday, March 1, 2014

Nigeria Centenary Celebration: A Period for Sobriety: But More of Sadness

African Head of States
In Zungeru in 1914, the Nigerian amalgamation deal was finalized by the British colonialists. The amalgamation of Nigeria at that time was consistent with the spirit of expansionism that was a driving force, not only for the British, but for all Imperialists that include the Romans, Dutch, Russia, Belgium, France  etc.  The establishment of economic and political hegemony over nations was the tradition at the time.  It was a race among the Imperialists.

At its peak, the British Empire was the largest empire that the world had ever known. At some point, British Empire extended over a quarter and a third of the globe and it represented an area of over one hundred and fifty times the size of Great Britain itself. 
The same could be said of the Roman Empire and many other Imperialists, with colonies greater than the sizes of their home territories.
These Empires dominated their colonies for several centuries and exploited their resources to develop their nations.

The larger the expansion of the colonies the more the political and the economic power of the empire. 

The Point: 
Nigeria founding Fathers
There are many Nigerians, who out of frustration with the turn of events in Nigeria, especially since our Independence, are calling for the disintegration of Nigeria.  We understand and we share their frustration.  The bitter truth is that the more fragmented or smaller we are as a nation in terms of geographical extensions, the less our political and economic clout and well-being.  Those imperialists amassed vast areas of the planet for their political and economic strengths.  They turned their nations into economic and political power houses with vast resources plundered from their colonies.  What the Imperialists could do with the vast expanse of colonies, Nigeria can do much better with a united country. An amalgamated Nigeria should be a cornerstone to a better and a stronger Nigeria, if we can get our acts together.

The Sobriety:
What have we done with our self governance in the last 54 years? Nothing much really. As soon as our democracy was launched in 1960, the powers of darkness went to work against us.  The evil powers found home in the hands of Nigeria enemies  Its own citizens.  Not long after the Independence, our nation was plunged into political and economic darkness by those who have the monopoly of violence. There was no excuse, good enough to truncate the peoples' government as we saw in 1966.  We were plunged into darkness and plundered by successive dictatorships.
In a democracy, there would always be disagreements or conflicts of opinions. There can never be a justification for the type of mayhem that was inflicted on Nigeria at the early stage of our self governance. Government of the people, by the people and for the people have built the world economic and political superpowers. It has brought out the best in its citizens.  As we look back into our history, we ask ourselves, what could have been if........ We should never celebrate years of servitude of Nigeria by few Nigerians. This celebration is a time for sobriety.

Our Anger and Sadness:
The centenary celebration is the right thing except for the wrong reasons.  A review of some of the honorees of those who served this nation churn our stomach.  If part of the reasons for this celebration is to honor some of the listed, then the reason for this celebration is misplaced. Some of these honorees were the same hands of evils that plunged this nation into the political and socioeconomic dire straits we are today. To honor these bigoted buffoons is to insult the spirit of Nigeria. Nigeria history will do more justice where this administration has failed.  The names of these buffoons will be in the dark history book of Nigeria for many generations, for their villainous betrayal of our nation. They brought Nigeria to the precipice of a failed state.

While this administration may have done what is politically correct to honor these buffoons during this centenary celebration; we think the charade has debased those who actually deserved the honors. The likes of late Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Fawehinmi, Achebe and many others including our living icons like Soyinka etc. 

The Imperialists have been nurturing their democracies for many hundreds of years.  After 54 years of Independence, and with little to show for it, Nigeria is beginning to taste democracy again in the last 4 years. We are a nation in a hurry because of the lost time brought upon us by the brigands that truncated peoples' government in 1966; and was followed by successive dictatorships.  This administration is the closest to a democracy we have had after many years of dictatorships.
Only a sustained and a strong democratic institution can lead us onto our destined glory. Democratic system brings out the best in humanity.  Dictatorship is tyrannical and it destroys what is good in all of us.  We have seen what it has done to Nigeria. Amalgamation is not the problem of Nigeria. United Nigeria is a stronger Nigeria. There is strength in number.  A disintegration or fragmentation will only make Nigeria worse. Let us stay together as One.

At Center for Modern Nigeria, we welcome this centenary celebration; but we are saddened by where we are today.  After 54 years of Independence we have little to nothing to show for it.  We are still struggling to establish a strong and a stable democratic institution, we have derelict education and health care system, epileptic power supply, stone-age infrastructures, high unemployment, national insecurity and systemic corruption as a result of many years of dictatorships.  And we are honoring the same brigands that brought these calamity and the infamy on us.  History will not be so kind to them.

This administration cannot afford not to deliver on the transformation agenda.  99% of Nigerians support this administration and the success of our democracy.  It is a rare opportunity bestowed on us by the Higher Power. We must all step up to the plate to make Nigeria an economic and a political powerhouse in Africa, as it was destined to be, before the dictators came calling.

Nelson Mandela said it right: "........"You know I am not very happy with Nigeria.............Some people tell me your country may break up. Please don’t let it happen."  

We are disappointed in ourselves too. We are not happy with ourselves.....

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