Never equate motion to be progress (Peter Drucker)
Tomorrow beckons. It is the dawn of a new day for the most populous black nation. Nigerians by the instrumentality of divine providence and human statemanship on the part of actors in its polity has averted a major disaster. It is very easy to take things for granted. 2015 was until now the greatest uncertainty in the life of Nigeria. Many; home and abroad predicted gloom and doom. Their apprehensions were founded in the stark realities that steered us in the face. Today, we stand resilient in the face of many debilitating challenges that face us. Our gratitude goes to God who is the Governor among the nations and to the heroes of our nation; citizens of this great country who have lived through these times. Yet, tomorrow beckons.
The more you look, the less you see.
The grand illusion. To be successful at the wrong things is nothing but failure. True success is about the accomplishment of a worthy goal and a worthy goal is an objective that moves one forward. Real success is progressive and by progress, we refer to sustainable progress. It is easy to in the interim celebrate an outcome but only to discover a grand scheme of illusion. In other words, it is all too easy to be penny wise but pound foolish. Wisdom is the the ability to know the difference in people, places and events. In a world of utter deceit and adversity where foes pose as friends, one needs wisdom to live. Never has there been a time when we (Nigerians) need to be wise. We must not allow the euphoria of our recent accomplishments to becloud our sense of tomorrow. We must choose our friends carefully and be discerning of the the counsel that we entertain.
Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.
History re-visited. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Niger_Company), on 1 January 1900, the Royal Niger Company (Now “United Afrcan Company”) transferred its territories to the British Government for the sum of £865,000. The ceded territory together with the small Niger Coast Protectorate, already under imperial control, was formed into the two protectorates of northern and southern Nigeria. Ninety percent (90%) of Nigerians have no clue about this event. Berlin Conference means nothing to them. The mention of “United African Company (UAC)” rings no bell in their heads. Even when they know how the name Nigeria (Niger Area) came to be, all they have is admiration for Flora Shaw (the woman who christened Nigeria) and how Mary Slessor led the stop to the killing of twins). Now, there is nothing wrong with admiring Mary Slessor, Flora Shaw or Lord Lugard (Nigeria’s first Governor General). But, it is criminal not to know the context of the British imperialist regime and how that has shaped and continue to shape the future of Nigeria. Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. This is why we admonish people to consider a little more robustly the events of the past. Whether we like it or not, the past is capable of defining the future. What we do today will greatly determine the outcome of tomorrow. I have always been fascinated about the level of ignorance that pervade our society. It is such a staggering level of ignorance I must say. Many of us including the well-off and schooled are largely uneducated. The other thing that worry me is that for those that know, their lack of urgency and conviction makes one sick from within. This phenomenon makes one wonder how powerful “mind control” really is.
When we cry we shouldn’t stop seeing.
America is not our moral compass. Can the blind lead the blind? The folly of expecting others to help us and save us from our misery must stop. There is no way it makes sense that America or any of those nations should help us without expecting anything in return. A gift has an intention behind it. Let the receiver be not deceived. Conspiracy theories abound about the role of America in the world and how the American society has lost its own democracy and gradually in the cusp of becoming a fascist society. For the purpose of this piece, I will not align myself with such controversial opinions but I am very much interested in asking a simple question? What has America got to offer us? This is the nation with the highest debt profile in the world. Or, shall we pretend that we don’t see that they have their own unresolved issues? Serial Police brutality and racial profiling? Moral breakdown of manifold proportions? These people have problems of their own to which they need serious help. I know what is greater than poverty and that is losing one’s own liberty. There is an ongoing battle for the soul of America as is the soul of all nations. We should be weary of the cheap advances of those who truly have nothing to offer us. If America is the definition of success then, woe betide us. No way! America is not the definition of success. It can’t possibly be that we are that unambitious and desperate to make America our moral compass or our model of progress. So, what does this mean for us in our journey to build an enviable nation?
Be careful what you wish for.
It’s in our hands. The future is in our hands. Take a trip to South Africa and travel around through the lens of an ecologist and you are bound to notice the highly disturbing situation I haven’t yet found a name for. The recent Xenophobic attacks is a mere foretaste of what the South of Africa is. I maintain here and now that South Africa is a time bomb waiting to explode. Apartheid is far from over. Those who have experienced South Africa know this to be a mere statement of fact. Again, what has South Africa got to do with Nigeria? The reason why South Africa comes up in this narrative is so that while we benchmark ourselves against that country and their are many positive things to be inspired by, (South Africa has a smaller GDP and less than half of our population but generates more than 40,000 megawatts) we would remember that they are by no means our standard of progress. True development is not mere infrastructural but human. The quality of humans residing in a place; their culture and values determine whether they are progressive or not. Of a truth, the basic things of life (access to water, electricity, quality education, human rights, e.t.c) are critical in maintaining a healthy balance, the greater measure of success and what determines the sustainability of a nation and the world at large is the value system. We must be careful not to mortgage our future and that of the unborn on the altar of facades. We must choose our friends carefully. We must be weary of hypocrites, doomsday deceivers and sycophants who have nothing but snake oil to offer.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria; God’s Own Country.