Who is Nigeria? Me and you, right? What sort of independence are we celebrating? Independence from the British or from rot? Don’t tell me you went feasting because we clocked 56? Don’t tell me you invited friends and family to a dinner for Nigeria? Don’t tell me any extra naira was spent on dinning for Nigeria? Because at 56, this is a time to rethink our independence, it calls for sober reflection, it is a time to ponder together and to truly ask ourselves “are we truly independent?”
A fool at 56 partying just for age, looks set to remain a fool for a while. Look at these leaders… Leaders whose personal interests sends a country of 170 million people to recession. Leaders whose promises are “cajole points” for votes. Leaders whose believability means nothing. Leaders whose shame know no bounds. Leaders whose show of power illustrate no sense of duty to her citizens. The question for ponder here is… Would a leader be without followers?
Patriots have died. Nationalist have loped. Democrats have surrendered to greed. Nigeria has collectively lost what makes it stand. We are divided even though the map says otherwise. These so called leaders divide us to achieve their aim. They throw competence to dogs in the name of their village. They side-line ability in the name of partisan politics. Merit seem scarce this days. We fund a government that feeds itself fat with 70% of our national budget. Is this a nation worth celebrating any age?
Why wouldn’t we celebrate some will say? If there is life there is hope some others will say. Hope for what? Hope for your turn, right? Hope for your share of the cake, right? Or even hope for those crumbs from the masters table, right? Your friend who got into government has all the money to spare these days, how wouldn’t you hope for your turn of favour and blessing someday?
From our political, religious, regional and academic leaders to even all form of followership, be it political, religious, regional and academic… We have all sinned. We have betrayed our collective prosperity over our preferences. We have put our interest before that of our neighbour. We have shot down good men all to support the parasitic establishment. We have ruined our universities by fighting for our pockets above the quality of the system. We have ruined the health system by doing the same. We have ruined this country because we want our turn now.
We have all sinned. The soul of our dear youths are sold out to the establishment. The few ones with some soul are scared to scream or participate. We are even believing the “Bring Back our Girls” campaign is a waste of time and no one needs to be brought back. Where did we lose it? Where did we go wrong? Every feast made in the name of independence, be it in the villa or on the street is a show of waste that we so miss due to recession. We lack values. We fight for power. We hold on to it at the expense of integrity and responsibility.
Our lawyer’s today look like con men in regalia. They have chosen self and greed over our core responsibility to keep this nation sane and healthy. What haven’t we sold out to betray this country? And now after an era of waste, we want our national assets sold? To feed who? Me or you? Them or them? Now is the time to return and change our ways, to be led right and stay true to values that should promote the truly great nation that we should be.
What sort of nation do we want our kids born into? A nation of class and segregation? A nation of association over merit? A nation with a failed healthcare system? With failed roads? With less than quality airports? With a president with 7 presidential jets? Into a nation that feeds the rich and neglects the poor? It’s time to sincerely get involved so we wouldn’t regret the life we have lived for our prospectively great nation, Nigeria.
Stay true to the pledge… I pledge to Nigeria my country, to be faithful, loyal and honest, to serve Nigeria with all my strength, to defend her unity, and uphold her honour and glory… so help me God! Amen
—StevenHaastrup is branded ‘The Fixer’, He is a Communication Crisis Expert, an Image Management Consultant and a Public Speaking Coach.