NIGERIA: A LAND OF BROKEN DREAM?
AT one time, this Land was fondly called Niger-area in late 16th and early 19th centuries. From mere conglomeration of dynasties, empires, kingdoms and chiefdoms, even before the amalgamation of South and North, alongside the Lagos protectorates in 1914, Nigeria possesses all it takes to remain a formidable force on this planet and as one indivisible nation.
Nigeria was uniquely designed by God to within the period metamorphosis into a dreamt land of her founding fathers: not only as a separate entity but power bloc of black race. Her beautiful sceneries, climatic conditions and the favourable atmosphere attracted the early colonial explorers, notably from Portugal and Britain.
Guided by their fates and united in common front for collective destiny towards self-rule, our independence strugglers, having reduced their tribal, sectional and religious interests successfully, forced their way through on October 1, 1960.
The colonial masters, despite all oddities, left the land intact and gave Nigerians political and economic independence. Today, quite a number of Nigerians have excelled in various fields of endeavours: Medicine, education, engineering, security formations and information and communication technology, among others. Not only are they shining stars at home but also abroad in Europe, Asia, Midde-East, America and Latin America.
With all those developments, yet Nigerians seem to be playing into the hands of colonisers who only have interest in our abundant mineral resources. We know how we are being treated in foreign lands.
Do we also succumb that we are naturally exploitative, owing to what they claimed that nothing works with Afrikaans in Africa. Otherwise, under what guise are we experiencing these unending skirmishes, killings and bombings of our people by our people in our lands which seem to have defied our varied home grown military measures and solutions by our own governments?
We need to be wary of global fifth columnists, looking at the fate of our close neighbours where total atmosphere of peace cannot be found in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Somalia as well as Mauritania, Cote D'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sudan and of recent Mali and Guinea-Bissau, just to mention a few.
A situation that has not only posed some threats to the continuum co-existence of the Nigerian state, a land believed to be a major player in world economy and as most Black populated and due to its potentials in agriculture, globally rated to be a twentieth economy in the world by 2020.
In that respect, President Jonathan has since been rolling out a well thought out four-year transformation programme of leaping the land from sub or regional force to become the twentieth global economy.
Unfortunately, terrorism is being perpetrated on a daily basis in almost all the lands; in fact, even the 2011 election of President Jonathan appeared to have aggravated the nation's security challenge.
Nigerians who have lived for ages in states like Borno, Yobe, Plateau, Gombe, Bauchi, Kaduna and Kano, flee those areas as hardly a day passes without attacks or clashes between sect-members and security personnel, innocent civilians or public figures. The endemic corruption is also rampant at all levels of authorities due to bad governance at all tiers and arms of government.
Despite the way Sudan ended up as
land of broken dreams, Nigeria seems to be on the threshold of history whether the present leadership might be fated the same way, since Nigeria's President was sometime last year, a guest at Sudan break-off ceremony in Khartoum.
Like in any other country, the President is always the symbol of Power and authority and as Man of the Moment, serves lastly as instrument of guaranteed protection of both lives and property of Nigerians anywhere they reside. But in recent times, the President unprecedently admitted the infiltration of his government by presumably the dreaded terrorists group called 'Boko Haram'.
The group has been fingered as main culprits behind daily bombings of offices, places of worship, barracks as well as shootings and killings of innocent people in their private residences and market places?
Worried by this unabated heinous crimes, the Nigerian government went ahead to imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in some select states and LGAs.
Is that not an indication that Nigeria now drifts under President Jonathan who many believed to have thrown in the towel against the dreams of our founding fathers. Even the curfew he imposed in selected trouble spots, according to some, has escalated the general break down of law and order in the entire North and some states in the federation.
This, they said, had now, not only in the affected states, brought about an uneasy calm and general apathy amongst residents who on daily basis complain of harassment and unnecessary detour due to check points or diversion by the members of the JTF across some highways in the nation.
Finally, President Jonathan should heed the calls of his fellow compatriots so that he cannot fall on the bad side of history. Therefore, to prove wrong Campbell etal's prediction of 2015, President Jonathan should look inward with a view to correcting injustices in the land.
The government should implement the federal character principles where it does not relegate merit to the background. Nigerians should also be able to exercise their entitled rights in any state they choose to live, therefore abolishing parochial indigeneship policy. This would ensure access to scholarship, medication and employment in every state of their choice.
While security agencies intensify efforts to control the excesses of the Boko-Haram sect, traditional rulers and religious leaders must also be in the forefront in cajoling militants to sheathe their swords and embrace peace.
Our national discourse should eschew tribalism, ethnicity and religious intolerance but promote peaceful coexistence and the spirit of being our brothers' keepers. It is only by so doing that government can guarantee ending religious insurgency in the country by June 2015 as President Jonathan promised.
Mr. MUHAMMAD ALKAKI ADAM, a public affairs commentator, wrote from Abuja.