IF YOU ASK ME ABOUT NIGERIA AT 100? BY MUHAMMAD MUNTASIR ADAMU

If you ask me; na who I go ask? The matter wey we see so, e tay wey e start. No be me go talk am, e heavy for mouth. If you ask me…The matter for ground…Eh! Na who I go ask? Omawumi
If you ask you ask me: We were never really united right from the word go, Mutual distrust and suspicions, a civil war, coups with several colorations, countless ethno-religious and socioeconomic clashes, an almost clueless political class and a citizenry sailing by these wind make us Nigeria.
But the matter wey we see so e tay wey e start, today when you look at Nigeria- no matter from whatever direction, no matter the focus of our perpective, everything which we see bears the frightful aspect of dichotomy: the north/south dichotomy, the east/west dichotomy, the majority/minority dichotomy, muslim/christian dichotomy, military/poloticians dichotomy, socialist/capitalist dichotomy, urban/rural dichotomy and so on. Despite all the cosmetic posturing we are yet to get the right formula–For fear of sitting it out with each other on a table.
Modern Nigeria dates from 1914 when the two British protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria were amalgamated by Frederick John Dealty Lugard (later Lord Lugard of Abinger). Prior to this date, the territory contained a number of people, each severally pursuing its own chosen destiny, each at its own pace and each following its own chosen direction. But soon it will be 100 since the territories refered to as Nigeria today was amalgamated and the question begging for answer is that have we been really united? My answer will in the negative.
Nigeria was amalgamated almost hundred years ago but despite all this, Nigerians today still have no clear concept of and definition of home. Is Nigeria home to all Nigerians? When Nigerians cannot buy land in parts of Nigeria and Nigerians cannot fully exercise their political rights in certian parts of Nigeria. The situation has become worse with Nigerians deported even within a Nigerian state.
Some would be wondering what we are celebrating. Others remain strident about what they call “the mistake of 1914” which lumped parts that were never in union together. Calls for different ends of Nigeria to go their separate ways have not ceased. These are different ways of expressing the same frustrations about the poor progress Nigeria has made in critical indices of human development.Blames on leadership and docility of Nigerians to challenge their leaders have been listed as factors in the Nigeria’s deteriorating state.
I am convinced that no problem in insufferable; that there are always solutions to everything; that all our beloved country needs is the habit of togetherness. We must learn to stomach our differences for a batter Nigeria. We must encourage unity among Nigerians. Government should de-emphasise ethnic or state of origin in all official documents just like its done in Unites States.
Conclusively, for us to achieve the Nigeria of our dream, We as individuals must be the change we want to see in the Nigerian state. Justice Oputa JSC (as he then was) of the Supreme Court of Nigeria once said “Nothing will happen in our nation, in our society which did not first happen in our minds. If wrong is rampant, if indiscipline is rife, if corruption is the order of the day, we have to search our individual minds for that is where it all starts…” Let us all remember that there is only one price which we must pay- we must leave Nigeria morethan how we received it. Are we going to achieve that? Only time will tell.
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