Opinion: Nigeria sans frontier (A Nigeria without borders)
by Ozia Nneamaka
I can write all I want. You can read all you want. In the end, it takes more than a pen and a clean sheet. It takes guts! It takes conscience! It takes plan!
Borders are demarcations separating two countries. Even continents have borders, but they are not visible, largely due to the mass of water separating the different continents around the world.
A country like Nigeria, within her different geo-political zones, expectedly should not have any form of restriction. Physically these borders do not exist. But psychologically they do. This kind of border is considered an impediment to any form of growth and development to a nation. It is a mental restriction.
Nigeria, my dearest country, used to be a country where citizens lived where they pleased, without fear for their lives. The story is different today. A child, who has lived only 10 years in this country, can tell the retrogression (in all aspect) that is looming in all direction. The systematic decline in the actualization of peace calls for alarm.
The peace that existed between a Hausa, an Igbo and a Yoruba neighbour in the northern part of the country is gradually becoming an illusion. More so the Hausa Muslims and her Christian neighbours.
If you lived in the country before the ‘war’ started, you’ll understand the present situation. A war where only one party is sufficiently armed. A war where only one party is winning.
Weekly, monthly, sometimes in spaces of 48 hours, scores of victims are recorded, injured, and more often than none, dead. In the history of war, the better side, the side more equipped, wins. It is not a game of football, where luck comes into play.
The warring parties have become the Boko Haram, an Islamic sect, that claim they fight for the emancipation of their Muslim brothers from western education and slavery, and the federal government of the nation. This continuous loss of lives may not end, in time if we do nothing drastically.
I can write all I want. You can read all you want. In the end, it takes more than a pen and a clean sheet. It takes guts! It takes conscience! It takes plan! Our patriotism should not merely be a frenzied outburst of emotion but a genuine dedication of a lifetime to the things that should hold us together. No country can attain lofty heights if she is burdened with hatred and bigotry.
I am from the southern part of the country, but have been opportune to live in the northern part before the chaos set in. The life in the north in the 90’s is a far cry from what exists today. The mayhem is not going to stop until ‘more’ is done, not to curb, but to annihilate this barbaric act! Promises are empty without actions. The authorities responsible for the safety of Nigerian citizens have failed woefully. They need to do more. In my assessment, they haven’t done anything. They are simply a body replete with ignorance on the solution to the security challenges in a society that has become volatile as Nigeria, especially the northern part.
One question I ask myself after any news of ‘another’ massacre is, ‘ what is my contribution in making things work as they should?’ Sadly, I always come up with little or no answers.
I am not one in a pack that believes that if the government doesn’t do anything, then nothing can be done. If we keep waiting for them…, I shudder at my own thoughts.
Find out what you can do. Do it. You may not be involved in the scores of death recorded regularly. But someone you know, someone you love, may become a victim, someday.
The borders can be lifted. It is possible. Nigeria can return to her glorious old state, security hitch-free. A country where I can walk the length and breadth of the east, west, south, and most importantly, the north, without fear of losing my life because my faith and believe is different.
When these happen, then Nigeria once again has become a nation, without borders.
Nneamaka Ozia is a dynamic young Nigerian with a passion for change. She wants her voice to be heard through her articles. She is a firm believer in the power of positive thinking and speaking.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.