In the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Fifteen, there was a country called Nigeria, in the western part of Africa. The country was rich in natural resources and human resources. Unfortunately, it imploded and suffered self-destruction. Some say it was because of visionless and corrupt leadership, while others believe it was because of its morally decrepit citizenry However, all observers agree that the various malaises that led to the downfall of that great country were preventable.

One hundred and eleven years before its collapse, it was actually two disjointed entity that was joined together by another country that once had the adjective “Great” qualifying its name The country Nigeria could not even agree whether or not to celebrate its centenary. The country was gifted with many citizens who were great critics (watchers) but not doers. These critics, many of whom lived in the diaspora, suffered from a disease called anti-patriotism that had no genuine cure because of its nebulous nature.

Before we forget, the country had over 200 ethnic groups and its two major religious groups could not see eye to eye. In fact, it was not uncommon for the group from the northern block to use fear, blackmail and even bombs to bargain, especially when they felt that they were being marginalized – whether real or perceived. This part of the country had actually ruled the country for a majority of its existence, especially using the brunt of the military.

This northern part that many believed had a feeling of “entitlement-to-rule-the country” running through their blood veins, had their original African culture so subsumed in the culture and religion of their caliphate conquerors, that they lost their own actual identity. Although they had had varied original languages and beliefs, they were so brainwashed by the influence from the East that they actually believed everything from that part of the world. It was not uncommon for them to send their children to a different part of the world to indoctrinate them in anti-west (mostly anti-American/anti-British) education. They clamored against western education, while at the same time benefiting from the same western education. Those who did not visit this part of the country erroneously believed that the wealth of the whole country was carted away here and used to build streets of gold, without realizing that the masses were groaning under the weight of massive poverty that made them easily susceptible to terrorist tendencies and political-religious exploitation.

On the other hand, the southern part suffered from delusions of grandeur beside its fallacious belief in its unity. They did not fully comprehend that their “unity” was anchored on a distrust of the north. Even the south also crumbled into many parts. They failed to see the handwriting on the wall. They forgot that the main ethic group in the southwest was not even united, although they had a similar language that had had various dialects. The south constantly engaged in self-aggrandizing debasement of the north, while the north surpassed them in the federal civil service, judiciary and political leadership of the country.

A few years before their implosion, the President from the south and another governor from his same region were engaged in a chess game that involved bloated egos. Sorry, it was not actually clear whether they were the ones playing the game or the ones that were being played. In other words, no one was able to prove whether they were used as pawns by their “good detractors.” By the time the dust or smoke cleared, no one really came out a winner as the region lost out. In fact, their fellow freedom fighters-turned-insurgents, were spotted in the creeks again fighting for resource control, but this time, there was no more an ailing benefactor from the north to grant them renewed amnesty. That southern President, for one reason or the other, could not earn respect from his people, even though he was highly educated. Many still considered him weak and rudderless, without acknowledging the unusual challenges he was facing, including saboteurs within and outside his own cabinet and ruling party. Some expected him to be brutal and genocidal like his once upon-a-time benefactor.

Forty-nine years before its collapse, the southeastern region had another freedom fighter cum warlord that heralded the demise of the country when he tried unsuccessfully to extricate his people from the vicious grip of post-colonial malady. He foresaw that the political vicissitudes will not (and did not) benefit his lost tribe of Israel. He died before seeing the division he heroically sought.

That great country lovingly nicknamed “Naija” was sadly the sleeping giant of the continent of Africa with some of the greatest intellectuals that can be seen today spread out throughout other countries, helping those countries develop in academics, sports, law, engineering, literature and fields as technical as fetal research and nuclear physics.

May it rest in peace and in pieces.

This is frighteningly a possible Epitaph. Is this what the United States predicted, what Boko Haram plotted or our undeniable destiny written by our enemies? 2015 can be a great and positive watershed moment, instead of a disastrous time of bloodshed as intended by our “dogs and baboons” prophets of doom.

Our collective destiny and history is in our hands.

I apologize to some of my many readers and followers if this piece was too verbose and technical, but the point could not be made otherwise.

Prof. Alex O. Atawa Akpodiete
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Articles by Prof. Alex O. Atawa Akpodiete, Esq.