Nigeria @ 54: Matters Arising By Akuma Stephen

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Nigeria as a country has faced different challenges as a nation since her independence in 1960. These challenges range from long military rule, civil war, militancy, rigging and now terrorism. It is pertinent to note that every country in the world has its own challenges and the solution to those challenges lies in the hands of the citizens and leaders of that country.
On assumption of office, Gen. Murtala Mohammed said: “It is time to think, reflect and act”. This period of dwindling hope and disenchantment of Nigerians should be a period of thinking and reflection. It should be a time for us to reflect on the events of the past and then put on a new garment of action to salvage the falling state of our country; As Gen. Mohammadu Buhari rightly said: “Indeed today and future generation of Nigeria do not have any other country but Nigeria; we have to salvage her together”. As a saying goes, “Heaven helps those who help themselves”. It is true that our leaders have failed us, but what then as individuals are we doing to add value to Nigeria. It was John F. Kennedy who said that “Think of what you can do for your country rather than what your country can do for you”. Kennedy’s statement goes in line with the popular saying that ‘the quality of tomorrow leaders lies in today’s followers. The Change we seek can only come when all hands are on deck starting from our immediate families. The family is like what the chemist call the Nucleus of an atom and what the biologist call the cell of a living organism. The major change and reorientation Nigeria needs must start from the family because it is the smallest unit of our nationhood. It is imperative to note that revolution can only occur when followers are acting right and rulers are acting wrong.

Too often we have been blaming leaders for corruption whereas we the followers have failed to contribute our own part as a patriotic Nigerian. The market woman that uses inordinate means to cheat her customer is as corrupt as the Local government Chiarman that steals 10 million naira. The young man that is not interested in hard work but 419, yahoo-yahoo and drug peddling is as corrupt as a Minister that steals 1 billion naira. The thug that snatches ballot box at a polling station to perpetrate rigging is as guilty as his sponsor. The Student who relies on free marks from his/her lecturer is as corrupt as the lecturer who gives him/her an undue advantage over other students. The citizen who refuses to report strange movements around his/her neighbourhood to the Police is as guilty as the criminal and the policeman who fails to react swiftly to a crime scene.

One of the greatest undoing of followers is the lack of sacrifice towards national building. When I Picture Nigeria diagonally from Chad Basin to Lagos and from Sokoto to Bakassi, I discover that the problem with Nigeria is not MEND, Boko Haram, OPC, EGBESU Boys, BAKASSI boys, MASSOB, ethnicity or religion. The problem with Nigeria is the corrupt Elites that have deliberately put the masses on hunger in order to manipulate them at their own freewill. The problem with Nigeria is also from the masses that are not ready to contribute their quota and also endure in a struggle that will liberate them from the shackles of these vampires called Elites. The entire crisis in Nigeria will end if and only if there is food on the table for all Nigerians and shelter for all; for nobody is perfectly free till all are free.

There is this misconception that the problem with Nigeria is religion. There have never been religious crisis in Nigeria! We only have political crisis hiding under religion. If the crisis in Nigeria had been religious, the whole of southwest would have been in flames because Christians and Muslims live door to door in the south west. In fact, you can have a family of four where two are Muslims and two are Christians in the south west. If the crisis in Nigeria had been religious, there would have been total war in Sokoto state because that is the seat of the caliphate, and the state where the Jihad started. Sokoto is one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria. Religion is just the wind that disgruntled and unscrupulous politicians use for their nefarious political tussle. Plateau state crisis is a good example of this, because the ordinary people of plateau state are just fighting a fight they know nothing about. Mantu and Daire are in a better position to explain the crisis on the plateau.

To build our nation in the path of peace and prosperity, we should be ready to say the truth at all times irrespective of who is involve or who it concerns. The truth which our Lord Jesus Christ emphasize in the Bible book of John chapter 8 vs 32 that “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. The founder of Sokoto caliphate, Usman Dan Fodio also said that “Truth cantered on conscience is the foundation for a better tomorrow”. These statements are not far from what our traditional religion affirms, because the god of thunder (Sango or Amadioha) abhors lies and will easily strike dead a liar. It is important to note that the worst of all liars are hypocrites and sycophants.

I believe if we all do what is right as patriotic Nigerians, the system will correct itself without any need for a Revolution or foreign assistance.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

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