Nigeria: The Dilemma Of A Nation
Nigeria is undoubtedly a country with great promise. On account of her favourable weather conditions and rich supply of natural resources, Nigeria was once described by my good friend, Olanike Omolehin, as a country situated in the heart of God; and I agree with her. However, in the same piece, she laments the woes of Africa's second largest economy calling it, among other things, “My sweet country where NOTHING works”. And that's where the dilemma is. As much as we cannot deny Nigeria's potential to become one of the most desirable nations to live in, we also cannot shy away from our pervasive challenges.
One problem that has especially bothered me over time is our value system which seems to have little respect for human dignity and the sanctity of human life. Needless loss of lives does not seem to bother us anymore. When we're not talking about the destruction being wreaked by Boko Haram, we're discussing the havoc being inflicted by Fulani herdsmen. That is not to mention police brutality, illegal detention, dehumanising condition of our prisons and various acts of subjugation.
In November 2013, at least twenty-five people lost their lives while apparently trying to invoke the beggarly generosity of a politician. Now, some folks are capitalising on the challenge of unemployment to waste our youths. And the youths themselves are too blind to see. While the Nigerian Immigrations Service has been in the spotlight as a result of the tragedy that attended its ill-advised recruitment test over the weekend, a cursory inspection will reveal that many other government agencies and privately-owned firms are equally culpable.
When are we going to develop value for human life in this nation? When are we going to stop treating people with indignity? When are the "masses" going to stop running after every foolish scheme like hungry dogs scrambling for dry bones? When are we going to ditch the lie that we are "the masses" and wake up to the reality of our true identity as plenipotentiaries of the Most High God?
We have wallowed in the mud of greed, selfishness and corruption for too long; and this has robbed us of our collective power as a people. As a nation, we have allowed a few bad eggs to spoil our omelette. We are not going to tolerate this anymore. Now is the time to stop playing the fool and start living out our true identity as the great nation that we are. Change is imminent. A revolution is underway. We cannot avoid it.
Philip Amiola is a teacher, writer and campaigner of empowerment. He blogs at www.philipamiola.org and tweets from @PhilipAmiola.