By Odumodu Gbulagu
The most populous black Nation and the pride of the black man.
The 7th most populous nation in the world.
A member of OPEC as oil producing country.
A land blessed with abundant natural resources.
A land flowing with milk and honey.
A land blessed with abundant Human Resources, as it has the 3rd largest youth population in the world, just behind China and India.
A country of over 200 million people, 250 ethnic groups, and over 250 languages.
A home of beautiful people, with diverse culture and tradition.
A regional power in Africa, a middle power in the world, and emerging global power.
A country that helped liberate South Africa from apartheid, sent troops to Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone,etc to restore peace and stability.
A country with numerous aquatic life, arable farmlands for Agriculture, lush vegetation, and wildlife.
All these, yet Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world?
Nigeria has everything it needs to succeed and develop.
Which way Nigeria?
We fought fierce and agonizing, but avoidable civil war, yet the things that caused the war has persisted.
If we had stuck to the Aburi accord, and adopted a regional government, what we hitherto call RESTRUCTURING today; we would have gone far.
While we couldn’t learn lessons from the war and past uprisings, countries like Rwanda where there was genocide, has settled their differences, moved on and are now miles ahead of us in development, peaceful coexistence, technology and stability.
Liberia is moving on too, and we are still stuck in the past.
The likes of Singapore, Malaysia, UAE and others were behind us, but they have all overtaken and gave us billions of miles ahead.
Almost 60 years after independence, we are still grappling with gross human rights abuses, violence and killings, hunger, poverty, epileptic power supply, lack of healthcare system, lack of potable water, mass unemployment, electoral violence, very bad roads, little to absence of rail.
Lack of water, housings; in fact every basic needs of humanity.
Bribery and corruption are rife, tribe and ethnicity, nepotism, religion still play important roles in our lives, politics and governance, and are sacrificed at the altar of merit.
No political ideologies, no leaders who can sacrifice for the good of the nation.
Self and family comes for them first, before the masses.
Nigerian politics is a very quick way of enrichment, and not service to humanity.
No directions for the youths, as they are impoverished with unemployment, and are fine with handouts from politicians to survive.
A lot of graduates but no jobs!
In saner climes, bad governance unite the masses to demand for good governance, and rise against the government.
In Nigeria, we don’t mind how corrupt a government is, once it’s from our own divide of the country.
When a leader is criticized, the divide he comes from, and those who benefits directly sees it as hatred.
A country that has 3rd largest population of youths in the world means active and abundant Human Resources, but because they are neglected, they are lost to the developed world.
Majority of our professionals have fled the country, and many more still leaving on daily basis because the future gets bleaker by the minutes.
There is no solution in sight, as the little gains we made, have been bastardized, and can’t be built upon.
The foundation of the country is shakier than ever.
We are more divided than during the Pogrom and civil war.
Though there was never unity, but the remaining strands of fiber holding us together have been broken.
It has gotten to a point where we cannot function together again, as it stall the progress we would have made.
It’s high time we restructured Nigeria or break it up.
There’s no basis for oneness!
Sunny Okosuns would be rolling in his grave, knowing that Nigeria is yet to find a way to follow.
He would’ve been ashamed to ask “WHICH WAY NIGERIA” again, because Nigeria has not been able to find a destination in this fast changing world, and that the 80s when he sang the song is still better than 2019 in Nigeria.
Odumodu Gbulagu can be reached on: [email protected]