A WORD FOR NIGERIA
Manifestation! manifestation! I see people taking to the streets of Nigeria venting their frustrations in the handlings of state matters of great importance. Nigerians must be patient with the current administration of H. E. President Muhammadu Buhari, who is positioned at a time like this. Nigeria is in transition, entering into a new phase never before experienced in her history. A phase of turbulence socially, economically and politically. This phase can be fugacious and overcome only if Nigeria stands together as one nation.
Boko Haram sect had never been a threat to the might and unity of Nigeria, although it has cost Nigeria so many lives and inflicted pains and sufferings on countless Nigerian families. However, the real threat to the unity of Nigeria is at her feet from whence a stirring is rising. The agitation from the south has the potential to divide Nigeria along racial lines if the situation is not embraced with political sagacity and percipience.
These agitators are not thugs, miscreants and hoodlums, and they shouldn’t be seen or mistreated as such by statesmen. These are law abiding Nigerians with grievances. A people who “feel” that they have been neglected, marginalized and ill treated for too long. It’s unbefitting for Statesmen to have such negative views of these political agitators because the truth would be obvious that they lack the political will and the perfect diplomacy to engage in irenic approaches and dialogues that seek to build bridges. To look at them as enemies only dwindles any motivation for dialogue, and it could be seen by the general public as if the leaders are trying to extricate themselves from the official duties they owe the people.
These agitators deserve an audience to ascertain the real causes of the agitation. An empathic ear should be availed them and not bullets. It is never too late for Diplomacy. With political perspicacity, a convenient atmosphere for dialogue should be created for these Nigerians to vent their grievances. And Nigeria has competent institutions and officials who can employ and explore the aspect of exhaustive diplomacy in resolving this crisis.
Not only has the 2015 Presidential election shown, once more, that democracy is maturing in Nigeria, but also the the manner and pace with which the Nigerian officials contained the outbreak of the “Ebola Virus” that had the potential of killing millions of people, accentuate again that Nigeria has institutions capable enough in dealing with spontaneous challenges that befall the nation. The Pro-Biafra uprising can’t be any different. Nigeria has the know-how to pacify the agitators. For the sake of the unity that all peace-loving Nigerians seek, let them go for dialogue! Brutal repression or indifference only widens any existing rift.
Wisdom says that, “The best way to stop a child from crying isn’t by hitting the child hard but by going after what triggered the cry.” Oppressiveness isn’t just undemocratic and undiplomatic but is never a solution to any genuine social problem. People can be killed but an idea can never be killed.
The glory of a nation is in the strength of her differences. Heaven itself is a multicultural environment with a nonpareil glory. Diversity makes a nation powerful, resourceful, and wonderful. The future of a United Nigeria is greater than her past. And greater than the future of any divided people within the federation craving policies of isolationism.
The existence of Nigeria is the will of God and in God’s hands. God has never and will never abandon Nigeria to herself because the Church has been praying for her. But the Church must continue to pray for her. Pray for her peace and unity so that Nigeria may survive as One Nation under God. We strongly believe that prayer changes all things.
I have heard of the so called “National cake” from the lips of well meaningful people. Of course, we love eating cake. Cake is good, sweet and pleasant to the taste. Some of us love exhibiting our top notch skills in the cake-baking artistry. However, when import of such is made at the helm of power, it becomes a patent display of insularity and unsophistication.
Nigeria is not a “National cake” baked and shared among those of a rapacious disposition whose views of leadership and service are brewed by a culture of acquisitiveness, personal avarice and cupidity. Seeing Nigeria in such light isn’t only a mockery to decent politics and justice, but also, it distorts the views of true leadership, breeds professional ineptitude, contaminates the aspirations of potential leaders, holds the destiny of the nation hostage and it gives Nigeria a myopic existence.
No! Nigeria is a country of stunning diversity. A nation with a miscellany of intelligent people of various disciplines, ethnicities, languages and cultures. Nigeria is a federated nation and her people must at all times be made to feel federal and federated in all words and actions.
Every indigenous people of Nigeria must be made to feel as belonging to Nigeria, and must enjoy that asset of diversity which Nigeria possesses and presents. No indigenous people of Nigeria should be regarded and treated as a disenfranchised minority. And none should be oppressed, vilified, berated or denigrated by way of speech or print.
Nigeria’s cultural melange is a factor of her greatness, unity, stability and prosperity which all Nigerians must equally and freely access and benefit from. No Nigerian or group of Nigerians should be marginalized by virtue of culture, religion, gender or language, because no Nigerian is better than another Nigerian. Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians. And the distribution of her resources should only attest to the veracity of the just mentioned statement.
Every Nigerian inherited Nigeria and owes such inheritance to posterity. It’s a moral duty to pass on to the generations to come a much better Nigeria than was inherited. A Nigeria that has benefitted from the services you offered her. A nation Nigeria you are proud of because you contributed to her beauty. To be candid, the best legacy of any patriotic citizenry is the platform of peace and stability which she passes unto her posterity for prosperity. By the grace of God, may that aspiration for peace be an enviable patrimony for your progeny. God bless Nigeria!
Rev Dr. PC Akubueze
A Word For Nigeria