Opinion: Let us celebrate, the future is bright

by Habeeb Kolade

NIGERIA-at-52

 So you either join the bandwagon of blamers who blame Jonathan and every other person except themselves for Nigeria’s woes. You can also join those who would quickly flee the country at any given opportunity having lost faith in the country or those who believe Boko Haram and the rampant corruption are the worst to happen to any country.

We are cooking independence rice in our house! Who wants to come? Did i hear you say it is not worth celebrating?

 When I was just ten, I remember scolding my brother of 6 harshly for an offence, my mother had simply yelled at me that i was worse than he was at that age. You would wonder why I brought in this story.

 While many Nigerians have easily entered into the blame game and talk and dream about blaming or cursing the government, they are also quick to site nations like the USA, People’s Republic of China, South Africa and a host of others as immediate examples of places where things are perfect. But they easily forget these nations were worse off than Nigeria at our age. I would use two examples of our usual points of reference. While USA is the most powerful nation on earth, China has become known as the powerhouse of industrialization, modernization and economic advancement. Also note that these nations are also known for their huge population statistics like Nigeria. While USA got independence close to 250 years ago, China got independence from imperial rule over 100 years ago but the People’s Republic of China did not become a democratic state till October 1, 1949.

 Just like Biafra, the Southern States of America seceded totally from the United States in 1860 and went on to develop a new constitution for a new state called the Confederate States of America. And just like Gowon, Abraham Lincoln who was president decided a civil war was needed to maintain unity. Thus, the bloodiest war in America was fought which claimed the lives of 750,000 soldiers and uncountable number of civilians. In the end, the unity was achieved, United States was together again and it took close to hundred years to recover fully from the war. How long did Nigeria take? Well, we as a country is not even close to 100 years. However just when America was recovering, the Great Depression took them by storm in the early 1900s and unemployment rate hit 48percent for men and 58 per cent for women. There was a severe economic crisis, the stock market collapsed, over 85, 000 business died out and 5000 banks totally collapsed. America had to start all over again.

 China? I’d quickly refer to this excerpt from Wikipedia

 “The history of the Republic of China begins after the Qing Dynasty in 1912, when the formation of the Republic of China as the first constitutional republic in Asia put an end to 2000 years of imperial rule… Since its founding, the republic has experienced many trials and tribulations, being dominated by elements as disparate as warlord generals and foreign powers”

WIKIPEDIA (HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA)

China was in its early stages of industrialization and modernization in its early years of independence, just like Nigeria, when it was caught in the conflicts among the ruling government, the communist party, local warlords and Japan causing bloody wars like the War of Resistance and the Chinese Civil War. While also there was a incessant pre-independence debate on who should hold power between the majority Han Chinese and the minority Manchus (does this remind you of the Hausas and Igbos, Yorubas just before independence and immediately after?). Several millions of deaths and civil unrest caused by internal rebellions (Boko Haram?) shook China in its early years of independence.

 In 1916, barely four years after independence, Yunnan and several Southern provinces seceded from the Republic of China and declared independence from the autocratic government of Yuan Shikai. (why always the South). It was also characteristic of some Chinese leaders to seek loans from foreign countries to fund internal armies and fight internal wars, the British 25 Million pounds to Yuan most notable.

 While you can visit Wikipedia for more gory stories of the early years of Chinese independence that though was not colonized by foreign hands was greatly influenced by foreign powers, Britain most notable, China had to start all over again as People Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 as a new state governed by a communist party while facing stiff opposition from another formed Chinese government, Republic of China (ROC) which later fled to the island to form a republican led Taiwan. Taiwan is however still regarded by its citizens as the Republic of China.

 China too was hit with rampant corruption, poor wealth disparity, environmental pollution, widespread unemployment, inefficient state owned enterprise and corrupted Chinese cultures (does this sound a lot like Nigeria?) in the 1980s under President Deng Xiaoping whose reforms also caused the deaths of close to thirty million Chinese people.

 But unlike most Nigerians who had entered into the widespread blame game, the Chinese and American people resorted to working hard to make their countries great. While the Americans created the AMERICAN DREAM whether publicly or in their hearts, they all believed in the potentials of their country and resorted into the slogan GOD BLESS MY COUNTRY, GOD BLESS AMERICA with all their hearts, might and strength instead of blaming every blameable thing for their early woes.

 While President Deng’s reforms were publicly criticized by both local and foreign critics though improving the standard of living, Chinese men toiled day and night, to ensure the progress of the nation and recited with their hearts LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC (OF CHINA).

 You remember Ghana too, our black neighbours and how their graduates travelled to Nigeria to work as houseboys in Nigerian homes while some were cobblers before the widely known Ghana Must Go. You also remember the apartheid wars of the South Africans! Well South Africa still has the highest crime rate in Africa.

 What do Nigerians have? Curses and more curses for the government packed with destructive criticisms. Some people wake up cursing government agencies and sleep still cursing them (NEPA the worst recipient, Nigerian police too). And who are the critics? They are the teachers who go late to work and mind their own enterprises instead of the students, they are people importing generators and impeding Nigeria’s movement towards electricity stability, they are pipeline vandals, the book thieves, the tax evaders, they are the people who sell their votes for a fed wads of naira notes or not vote at all, they are students diverting student money to private use and using their positions to promote personal vendetta and progress, they are the lazy Nigerians who do nothing but talk undauntedly about the country yet involved in everything that is pulling the nation backward. And when you ask them what they have done for the country have nothing more to say and yet still continue in argument.

 So you either join the bandwagon of blamers who blame Jonathan and every other person except themselves for Nigeria’s woes. You can also join those who would quickly flee the country at any given opportunity having lost faith in the country or those who believe Boko Haram and the rampant corruption are the worst to happen to any country.

 Or you can come to my house to eat independence rice and let’s talk about how we can play our parts both individually and collectively to move Nigeria forward. Remember to bring your cutleries o!

 My grandfather used to say, when you sow a seed, it must die first before it sprouts with a new life of green, of fertility. Everything Good Will Come

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Habeeb Kolade tweets from @HABEEB_X

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

One comment

  1. instead of celebrating the present achievements(which is nil) we busy celebrating the future and we ve been celebrating it since 1960 still it hasn't come….too bad

  2. instead of celebrating the present achievements(which is nil) we busy celebrating the future and we ve been celebrating it since 1960 still it hasn't come….too bad

  3. instead of celebrating the present achievements(which is nil) we busy celebrating the future and we ve been celebrating it since 1960 still it hasn't come….too bad

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cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail