Monday 29 March 2010

Nigeria: Stand Up! For Nigeria

Not to be dignified
When that mendicant (read megalomaniac) from Libya first suggested Nigeria split up, I considered it beneath me to dignify his rant with an opinion, having never equivocated about the entity of Nigeria or the identity of Nigerian, I could not be perturbed.
However, this new atrocity of a comment from Muammar Gaddafi [1] requires a comprehensive put-down but better still it is that one opportunity for true Nigerians to stand up for their country in purpose, in unity and in truth.
Feeling the whole of Nigeria
I do wish I had lived all around Nigeria, I only lived in the North and the SouthWest, but I do speak two of the three major indigenous languages of Nigeria.
My mother was born in the SouthWest, grew up in the North before travelling out for studies and returned to the North afterwards, she however speaks the three indigenous languages even though she learnt the third without having first visited that region.
She can well pass for an indigene in any of those places for her command of the language and her understanding of nuances of those tongues.
I remember my father struggling with his Hausa lessons, he really did not need to speak Hausa but the sense of Nigerian in him lead to his desire to integrate.
The great Nigeria
But Nigeria as a whole is a wonderful place, a country of 150 million people, maybe 250 tribes and just as many nations but with a common purpose and identity of which we must all be proud and be ready to defend.
If no one has yet seen the evil, despicable and Machiavellian notion of Colonel Gaddafi, review once again his absurd suggestion.
Nigeria should split along ethnic lines, if Nigeria really had clear-cut ethnic lines there might be a second to consider it, but to then give the example of the Yugoslavian split, it sends a clear message of a deep felt hatred for everyone who boldly declares their Nigerian pride.
Working this Nigeria
I would have welcomed the peace of a Czechoslovakian split, but Yugoslavia is one of bloodshed, sectarian violence, war, genocide and backwardness in comparison to ones neighbours - a split would make our sad history of Biafra child's play.
Obviously, we have to find ways to accentuate the things that make us uniquely and wonderfully Nigerians whilst we in unity militate against those things that divide us and take us away from the common purpose and desire of a great fatherland, great to us and great also in Africa. That potential greatness threatens small minds.
There is no clamour for self-determination in our country; what we seek is equity, justice, fairness and peace - with all the abundant resources of our rich country used to the welfare and development of our people by honest, courageous and visionary leaders.
This is the time to ask yourself if you are really Nigerian or someone seeking an unviable fiefdom with speculations of Utopia that do not exist.
The country we have
For 96 years, we have had the entity called Nigeria, whilst it was handed to us by colonial masters, we have run this country for 49 of those years, very few of the countries of colonial progeny that have split up in Africa have ever done so peacefully.
Nigerians need to rise above their religiosity and primitive clannish tendencies to the promise of a worthwhile commitment to a place called Nigeria.
We inter-marry along all sorts of lines, religious, ethnic, tribal, ideological and what else, we have one pledge, one anthem and one identity – it is Nigerian.
Any division would definitely lead to abnormal divisions which is very much like a cancerous growth which eventually kills the host – you can begin to kill Nigeria by entertaining the rotten thought of division and watch it die or starve this travesty of an utterance of oxygen and make Nigeria rise by condemning the notion in its entirety.
You can however allow a Libyan dictator to take away your right to be a Nigerian, but for me, all men would have departed the earth before Nigeria is no more.
My fellow compatriots – Stand Up for Nigeria.

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