The Nigerian myth didn’t begin today. Perhaps, some would think it began in the 1960s. However, I have to invalidate that, solely footing the idea that her legend began with time in itself. It started when even the ages cease to recall. Her story is intertwined with the seedlings in her tummy; the Nigerians. Her future, and the rebirth she seeks nonetheless, has its umbilical cord buried with these people. Whatever future we dream of, is thus, as much as she can envisage.
Nigeria is a cache in itself, with her natural resources numbering more than that of her many friends. She has the capability to outgrow her current quandary. This is bearing in mind, that her past mishaps have been forgotten. The dregs left in the wok after the British invasion, should have been enough to suffice her. However, the forces of political instability, sleaze and mismanagement have been the hitch. Still dwelling on her failures is redundant. The needful is to consider the fact that she still has the potentials, to take forward steps and soar like the eagle she was born to be.
In the political arena, she has dolefully failed. The problem therein has not been the military intervention. There is little truth probability in the fact that we’d have been better off, if she had remained in a civil reign since sovereignty. The snags have centered upon the lack of consistency. New governments many at times would start setting up nascent policies after inauguration. The practice should have been the execution of the already laid down policies. It shouldn’t matter, if the former ruling party is dissimilar to the one in office. National appeal should be paramount over party interest, if we want this structure to work.
Red-tapism and nepotism should be eradicated to ensure ministerial qualifications and efficiency. The grand commander of the federal republic (GCFR) isn’t a lone-wolf. He delegates authority to the state, local government and ministerial offices. Hence, financial misdemeanors cannot be solely attached to the president. If we want the future Nigeria to have that change we so badly seek, we’d need to shape our thoughts. We have to selflessly assume our responsibilities, by showing the right attitude to work. This should begin to surface from the auxiliary staff in the civil service, up until the administrative units. This is the hierarchal process we would acquire, if we want to cultivate that seed of progress.
Whence talking about ethnicity or religion, all we have to do to savour a sweet future in this aspect, is to preserve our heritage. A nation is characterized by the unity in belief, ideas and traditions. Our culture is the way of life we should treasure. Even in 2074, we should be mouthing Àmàlà, Tuwo sinkafa and Ofe Nsala. Yorùbá, Gbagyi, Nupe, Hausa, Igbo, Edo and a host of our mother tongues should not have become extinct. Our world should echo our ethnicity, just like the Chinese who speak Mandarin, eat Szechuan tofu and still celebrate their Chinese New Year, even if everyone else does with the Gregorian calendar. It’s that pride of what’s ours, that black elegance, which creates our being different. Nigeria is after all the popular giant of Africa, bequeathing all that afro-pop, juju and Fuji the world tangos to.
Nigeria shouldn’t be the economic failure it is, at this epoch. It shouldn’t be heard of that we are falling in the annual poverty rating chart, like what is happening in our reality. After all, she produced notable economists like the present director-general of the world trade organization (WTO), Madam Ngozi Okonjo Iweala. It is a fallacy if we enunciate that we are bereft of human resources, because we have more than is sufficient, in our about 250 million citizenry. Our economic policies aren’t lacking. Our need is embedded in institutionalization. After all, we have a lot of industries that have been thriving so well. The capital market, second tier security market and Nigerian stock exchange are blossoming, with the involvement of brokers, jobbers and issuing companies. There is wide flooring for economic development. What does America have, that we don’t? We are simply not utilizing our ends and means. In the future, strategizing would save us the pain of balance of payment deficits.
The future we whine for her isn’t unreachable. We only have to learn the ropes. We have to see that we are the star we fret about for. No one else brings her the change we clamor, we do. Now, we must rewrite our stars with our own palms. Whilst doing this, we need to build sugar towers. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we can achieve the impossible, if we clasp our hands together. Remember, just you can commence the revolution, for a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Oyeleye Mahmoodah Temitope, 15, is a Nigerian secondary school leaver. She is a member of Hilltop creative arts foundation. Some of her works have been published in journals. She emerged winner of ‘HIASFEST Nigerian prize for teen authors, fiction category 2021.’