Sunday, July 06, 2008

My Country or bust!

There is nothing basically wrong with Nigeria
By Our Reader
Published: Sunday, 6 Jul 2008
On the morning after Murtala Muhammed seized power in July 1975, public servants in Lagos were found “on seat” at 7.30 in the morning. Even the ”go-slow” (traffic) that has defied every regime vanished overnight from the streets!

The new ruler‘s reputation for ruthlessness, discipline and hard work was sufficient to transform the style and habit of Nigerians in the course of only one night in the then unruly capital. That the character of one man could establish that quantum change in a people‘s social behaviour was nothing less than miraculous. But it shows that social miracles can happen.

There is nothing basically wrong with Nigeria‘s character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land, climate, water, air or anything else. Nigeria’s problems is the unwillingness and the inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility and challenge posed by personal examples, which are hallmarks of true leadership.

Nigeria has many thoughtful men and women of conscience, a large number of talented people. Why is it then that all these patriots make so little impact in the life of our nation? Why is it that corruption, gross inequities, noisy vulgarity, selfishness and ineptitude seem so much stronger than the good influences at work in our society?

Why do the good ones among us seem so helpless, while the bad ones are full of vile energy? Nigeria needs patriotism this time around. What is your own contribution? Are you a caterpillar or a builder?

Patriotism is an emotion of love directed by critical intelligence. A true patriot will always demand the highest standards of his country and accept nothing, but the best for and from his people. He will be outspoken in the condemnation of their shortcomings without giving way to their despair or cynicism. That is my idea of patriotism.

The government cannot do everything. Nigeria as a country needs more of this gesture from philanthropists and patriots.

Akin Agunbiade,

P.O. Box 2265, Dugbe Post Office, Ibadan,

Oyo State.

Mr Agunbiade is part of a minority of Nigerians who do not use the excuses of past failure and present inadequacies to excuse their failure to see the possibility , probability and capacity for a great nation that is in the Nigerian soul and reflected in its characteristics. We often hide behind the hideous simplicity that stereotypes the country as a 'failed state' . The people who specialise in this kind of comment are the people who have benefited the most and enjoyed its best. Their expectations so out of all order to its true starting point. Their comments often shaped by their own disappointment with where they are and where expect to be virtue of their positioning. They hide behind what they regard as a good old days when things worked. The fact that this is mostly fantasy and that the demographics of the nation has most of its population in non economic active age is actually not factored into the debate. Of course one agrees that there is a lot to challenge a saint about present day Nigeria but what are we going to do about it? In fact what are you doing about it.

I read about a Tanzanian police chief responding to the killing of albinos for a form of ritual medicine. He blames these acts on Nigerian home movies. The New York Times in its coverage does nothing to challenge what is obviously a disgusting excuse for nothing short of the most extreme criminal behaviour. Nigeria and Nigerians have never learned the power of a brand and how it shapes motivation, attitude and behaviour. Everyone and anyone can expresses the most vicious indictment of the country. We participate, often in legitimising these views whether it is accurate or not.

Nigeria is not a failed state or even a failing state , it is an emerging state. It has been phenomenally slow to evolve to a level where it can use the productive energy of its people to power itself to the elevated status it should rightfully have as the largest population of Africans and black people in the world. Surely it is in the interest of every African and in fact every black person that the extraordinary experiment that is Nigeria succeeds. Its success is the ultimate nail in the coffin of inferiority complex, stereotypes of disease, destitution, destruction. It is the confirmation of the promise of the 21st century becoming the African Century.

With all these in mind the f**k**g b***s*** in Niger Delta must stop at all cost. There is no excuse for allowing the extreme behaviours of some to define the destiny of the many. If these guys kidnapping and killing can show how they add value to the oil then by all means give them what they want. This is not their argument , their shtick is this comes out of our peoples land. The question is whether their people are not Nigerians? So it is now legitimate to take up arms against your country because you feel resource allocation is unjust. It is time to straighten this s*** out. For those of us who are down for the future of a Nigeria undivided and working together for greater good it is time to stand up and start a movement that reflects our ideas, ideals and ideology. It is time to get in print against an elite intelligensia whose negativity and nagging, paralyse good faith public officials trying against the odds. It is time to attack the zero defect merchants against the constant probe the last man/woman mentality and impeach at first disagreement behaviour. It is time to hold people to account without kidnapping the future of the country in the populist and pandering politics of gestures. It is time for relentless efforts at transformation driven by intelligent, practical and sustained actions of people of goodwill. It is time for my country or bust where are you in this?.

1 comment:

Tunji said...

Right on Brother. We all need more of that righteous anger that ten propels us to do something about the situation.