Nigerian Independence: The House Built on Sand

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You have often heard a parent, uncle, aunty, grand parent, Methuselah’s cousin talk about the good ol’ days. They talk about it like it is a thing of pride. They will sit down and regale you with tales of when the Nigerian Naira was stronger than the US dollar, when you did not need a visa to go to Britain or the US, when people were more respectful and were less sexual. Heck if you believe much of the things they say, you would think about 40 years ago Nigeria was a utopia of abstinent upstanding and hardworking people who could do no wrong. The fact however is far from that, those good old days laid the foundation for the state our country currently is in.

A few months back, I was watching a series of videos about Nigeria around independence and it triggered a tracing back of our history and I continued to watch more and more videos about independence, about the coups that followed independence and I also read about the coups of 1966 and the Biafra war. I came to a sad conclusion; many of the “founding fathers” we have venerated and made into models of selflessness, nationhood and sacrifice were in their own right, selfish, tribalistic people who thought of themselves, their immediate ethnic group and so on at the expense of the overall good of the nation. Of course this is just a personal opinion.

I believe the dearth of leadership in our nation was there from the very beginning. Our country was built on a very shaky foundation and hence it has refused to stand solidly for over half a century after independence. We had leaders at independence who were more concerned with maintaining their titles of “Local Champions” than forging a United Nigeria. We had leaders who even though on some level wanted to unite the nation and forge for the good of all wanted to establish hegemony of one group over the other. There was no mutual respect amongst the main groups of this nation from the beginning. Each group saw themselves as superior to the other and hence our nation was built on the crabs in a bucket principle. Every group trying to succeed and pull down any group they see progressing.

Yesterday the crippled giant Nigeria turned 52. My diagnosis as an uncertified doctor of BS with a certificate from the school of 419 (think school of hard knocks, naija version) is that Nigeria is suffering from an early onset of dementia (It cannot remember its past, cannot function properly and is prone to making poor decisions for its citizenry), arthritis (inability to progress normally), glaucoma (a torrid lack of vision by leaders and populace alike), loose bowels (a nation under the constant threat and throes of anarchy, crisis, division and insurgency), erectile dysfunction (Nigeria’s mojo is not working properly, it has lost the respect of nations it used to regularly kpansh on the African continent, it suffers performance anxiety and makes a lot of noise when it has had its burantashi) I can go on.

Here is the man who graces our 200 naira note speaking about Igbos and I bet his contemporaries held similar divisive thoughts

As Nigeria turns 52, what is your assessment of the state of the nation and what can we do to change it? I leave it to you, o ye of brilliant mind.

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9 thoughts on “Nigerian Independence: The House Built on Sand

    David T A said:
    October 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    An not surprised.. They planted seeds of regional n religious superiority. And guess what?? We are reaping it with a combined harvester. SMH

    TheRustGeek said:
    October 2, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    My current state of mind is one of ambivalence.. Having close members of my family schemed out of certain roles at work just because they come from the wrong part of the state hasn’t inspired any real loyalty in me…

    Even though there were issues in the past – I think those who remember, paint them as good because frankly, as a question of scale, things were not as bad as they are now.

      Sir Farouk responded:
      October 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Even though things werent as bad as they are now, i think that generation has a lot to be ashamed of instead of telling us stories. They have left us such a mess to try and fix

    Single Nigerian Man said:
    October 3, 2012 at 4:25 am

    I read some blog posts on independence and the hope of Nigeria, etc. And I seriously wondered if the writers were in the same country as me. I don’t think they are.

      Sir Farouk responded:
      October 7, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      A lot of them live in the bubble of wealth and middle class bliss that they dont notice the ills we face because it hasnt happened to them or someone related to them.

        Kiah said:
        October 10, 2012 at 1:44 am

        there is hope oh…i refuse to believe there is none…there has to be…if not, we might as well all just move to cameroon now!

    On Choices and Future Partners | Single Nigerian said:
    October 3, 2012 at 4:30 am

    […] At 52, Nigeria is still recycling crappage. Key word being recycling. People believe Occupy Nigeria was a success, meanwhile, the nation as a whole as taken a few steps backward in terms of progress and a few steps forward with regards to corruption. Happy Birthday Nigeria. Please read this. […]

    On Choices and Future Partners | Single Nigerian said:
    January 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    […] At 52, Nigeria is still recycling crappage. Key word being recycling. People believe Occupy Nigeria was a success, meanwhile, the nation as a whole as taken a few steps backward in terms of progress and a few steps forward with regards to corruption. Happy Birthday Nigeria. Please read this. […]

    […] At 52, Nigeria is still recycling crappage. Key word being recycling. People believe Occupy Nigeria was a success, meanwhile, the nation as a whole as taken a few steps backward in terms of progress and a few steps forward with regards to corruption. Happy Birthday Nigeria. Please read this. […]

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