With all the happenings in Nigeria now, one could see that Nigeria is now on a showcase to the world. She can’t hide herself anymore. There is nothing she can say about herself the world does not already know. She is an object of spectacle. The world knows more about Nigeria than her citizens. Nigeria went through civil war and the wounds are not yet properly healed. Every time, the wounded are hurt by their gimmicks especially from those who didn’t experience the war. Nigeria is now infiltrated by Boko Haram, Bandits and other small Islamic extremist groups leading to various abductions and killings. These are used to attract funds from the government and overseas. Those overseas feel happy hearing the News of various numbers of Boko Haram members that have been killed by the Nigerian army. Those we refer to as BANDITS are baptized Boko Haram members. It seems the Change of name is to enable them expand, penetrate and operate as normal.
They have the definition of what normality is. Many of these extremists are struggling or fighting for liberation from other religious ideologies but they would not call them terrorists while those struggling for self -identity and nationhood have been labeled the enemies of the country. Freedom to liberate has become opium to others and that is in Nigeria’s untold stories. The recent pronouncing of Oduduwa Republic reawakens the interest of many other Nigerians. Is Nigeria still playing the game of Unity in diversity or a game of futility? How long? After building Human structures, infrastructure and citizens representing her all over the globe, Nigeria should adjust itself to a sizeable number for effective administration as the colonial masters did. Governance is becoming bulky and confusing. Restructuring for a regional government should be adopted. Many Nigerians seem to have no appetite for Igbo Presidency but other parts of Nigeria like Anambra are deeply rooted in their own thinking of building Airports and other infrastructure that can help alleviate poverty. Negative human thinking has prevented man from forging ahead.
Where you come from can make your wonderful ideas become unacceptable. That is the syndrome of Nigeria. Appointments are tribally and religiously coloured. El-Rufai is saying that Igbos can’t get presidency by threat of secession. This is the problem we face in Nigeria where some people think they have the right to make some region achieve their presidential ambition. Abduction and banditry is now fast becoming a National phenomenon. The target on students clearly indicates that those in operation are Boko Haram members rapidly spreading their ideology of undermining education. How can those who don’t appreciate education come into the Nigerian stream of politics to decide what should be done. These are the imbalances in the Nigerian system and politics. It is not a matter of fixing our people into the system what matters is working to suit the public and function well as a healthy nation. Quota system is outdated.
We should try to eliminate things that can taint our image and strive for excellence. India has been working towards improving their country but they could not manage the Covid-19 outbreak. Joe Biden; the American President was trying to raise hands to help them because they have been meeting up with their global expectations. They struggled to conquer poverty and Nigeria became the poverty capital of the world. Some people don’t make any effort and they begin to call for help. It is said that heaven even helps those who help themselves. You can’t move further by asking for help when you haven’t put anything on ground. This is the Nigerian syndrome, always at the receiving end. Nigeria with all it takes cannot really stand on its own ground and be proud of its nation. How come India has overtaken Nigeria? It is because of lack of energy to reinforce itself to be a nation of substance. Many are already tired of the daily News regularly coming out from Nigeria.
The world is watching and shaking their heads at what is happening. A recent online poll was put up by PUNCH Newspaper on whether Nigeria should be or not. A great number of Nigerians online poured out their hearts that the contraption called NIGERIA should cease to exist. The bitterness expressed by youths across various Nigerian ethnic lines was a clear indication of gross failure of our government to unite the country to be patriotic. Everywhere in Nigeria is filled with gloom of insecurity and even our military men complain of being sabotaged and butchered while fighting terrorists. The whole security apparatus has been infiltrated. No one knows the difference between the military and Boko Haram members. Insecurity in Nigeria has brought new terminologies like Bandits, herdsmen and unknown gunmen which have spread across the country unleashing mayhem.
Where are we heading to? Who is in charge of Nigeria? Someone that calls himself a religious leader is at the forefront of speaking for the bandits and telling the government to speed up ransom payments to the Bandits. He is allowed to walk freely while those fighting for freedom are labeled terrorists. Even the federal government is begging and negotiating with the bandits while our Military men have gone powerless. This is sad! We indeed need a divine intervention through prayers for Nigeria. Lootings are going on freely in almost all government establishments and no one has been brought to book. Looting allegations are seen as nothing by our politicians of today. Gone are the days politicians served with integrity and avoided soiling their hands so that they don’t get reprimanded by their kinsmen and church leaders. Today these same people reprimand them when they are not bringing money while in power. Societal pressures have made many to struggle to meet up in the society thereby engaging in several atrocities. Different shades of crime are all around where we live. We only care about worshipping wealth without questioning their sources.
Anything that can bring money no matter its evil effects on us is overlooked. The situation of the country can be likened to a heavily pregnant woman that can no longer cover her pregnancy with clothes. Even if the media and citizens are forced to be silent without talking, nature itself would talk because it is also affected. It takes only a Patriot to speak against injustice and proffer solutions but the true enemies of the state are quiet and squandering the national resources. Other world powers know our country better than us and they don’t rely on our own narratives to rate our country’s performance. Our performances and actions are on a great showcase to them like a live television. We can no longer sugar-coat or praise our country to appear patriotic through eye service when our leadership flaws are glaring and obvious to the whole world. Packaging and distortion of truths in the midst of various economic shortfalls without striving to fix the problems makes us look foolish and suspicious in the eyes of other countries. The government should embark on a total reconciliation with her citizens through introductions of result oriented economic policies and also create enabling atmosphere for businesses and potentials to thrive and the world would see and applaud us. Few men’s wealth is like a drop of water in a mighty ocean. Wealth should spread across the citizenry.
• Very Rev. Msgr. Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and a Social Justice and Peace Advocate.