For those that witnessed our independence; their mind would be filled with crowded memories; memories of the projected destination envisaged. The memory of the attractive flowers of violet turned unattractive, the memory of kindness melting away, the memory of closely knitted cultures now faltering like a pack of cards…The memory of decorum turning delirium …
Today the freedom we had has metamorphosed into distress; innocent people from the Northeast cannot sleep with one eye closed, the people in the Northwest are closely monitoring the activities of the bandits, the southern parts of Nigeria are beginning to witness the aftermath of lingering crisis in the north.
Today the charming dinners we had is turning into harrowing dinners.
Today what we have is the rich getting richer, the middle class are getting squeezed out and the poor are pregnant with triplet of anxiety, fear and hatred. These savage offspring are born daily and are dangling terror in most parts of the country.
Today, the pattering rain of cash has dwindled and the glittering oil is shrinking yet the smoke of insecurity bellowed to every nook and cranny of the country.
Today the descendants of the birds that squeaked on top of the treetops during our independence are howling for lack of food.
Today, can our leaders look back and say they have fought a good fight without remorse for their past deeds? Today, can we sincerely say with confidence that our crop of youths are ready to take on the mantle of leadership?
Today, the heir of the frogs that croaked are crying accent of mercy.
Today we have the likes of typhoons, landslides and earthquakes that were once alien to us signaling the earth is changing.
Today with the climate change, no one is sure of anything; it is a looming threat that we must be prepared for.
Today the masses are clamouring for restructuring because of the present knotted structure.
My eyes mist whenever I recite a phrase in our national anthem, the labour of our heroes past, shall never be in vain and I pray that our fallen heroes’ effort shall not be in vain. On the other hand, I feel quite nostalgic for the recitation of O God of creation, Direct our noble… but the question is , are our youths dissecting the wheat from the chaff?
It’s unfortunate to say that our preceeding sailors who were supposed to sail us safely to our projected destination were struck by strong wind and we have since being sailing on turbulent waters.
The probing questions is, when did we get it all wrong?
We cannot look back further than after the oil was discovered in Oloibri in the now Bayelsa State. Like a pirouette dance, oil money started to flow and we forgot about streams of resources at our beck and call. Today, oil extraction remains the biggest divider among us yet a unifying factor. The rubber plantation was not in short supply, cocoa money performed wobders and groundnut pyramids reached the sky.
As we celebrate our independence today, it is a period of reflection where the affluence in our midst who lives in an environment where they don’t have to think of electricity bill, they don’t have to think of what to eat, they don’t have to of what to wear think of the poor who are married to squalor living in a place they don’t want to live , a place surrounded by roaches, smells of urine billowing from the backyards as if they are back-tracked to eight decades ago where all that were available were free range of toilets in the backyard. Some of them sleep on the pallets and do not need repellant to keep rats away from romancing their toes at night…poverty.
What is the missing link?
The developed world are talking about electric cars, artificial intelligence decentralisation, crptocurrencies, the Sementic web linked data, block- chain technology, renewable energy, among others. A developing country like Nigeria is still talking about building good roads,
provision of electricity, telephone and water supply. We are highly religious country waiting for God to solve all our problems. We are always gazing skywards to receive everything from him . We seem helpless and hapless, :frightened like chicken who heard the roar if the wind, flapped, squawked and hid under decrepit banyard. We pile up debt for our children’children instead of riches…
Until we begin to harness our true potential, until we begin to design reality rather than merely reacting to it, until we do away with standards and structures that are absurdly ambiguous and riddled with loopholes, we will continue to dance around the question unanswered…