FEATURE ARTICLE

Prof Adekunle AkinyemiFriday, August 11, 2017
akinyemia7@gmail.com
Pikesville, Maryland, USA

NIGERIA:
GLOOM OR DOOM (AN OPEN LETTER TO NIGERIAN LEADERS AND ELDERS)

ike many well-meaning Nigerians, I have watched and written about the Nigerian state and situations in the last few years and it seems like our nation has continued to languish in severe poverty and the citizenry left helpless, while our politicians continue to be nonchalant about it. The polity is in a mess and the people are getting the more impoverished, hungry, angry and disillusioned. In many cases, our development has been less of forward movement and more of reverse movements, as we continue to talk loudly but in reality are saying nothing!

Paulo Freire's philosophy that education makes it easy for people to lead and be led has become twisted in Nigeria. Rather, the educated have become the 'mumus' of the society. This is indeed a paradox. Our National Assembly members could care less (unperturbed) about the plight of the people, as long as they can continue to flash and share the national cake and booties with their new cars (Peugeot 508) as long as the citizenry will continue to 'suffer and smile'. It is such a big shame that Nigeria, can be brought to the lowest by some shameless, uneducated politicians in the name of 'One Nigeria'. Nigeria is indeed at cross roads. No wonder curses and abuses are being reigned on them on TV and Radio Call- In programs across the public and private networks in Nigeria.

A Yoruba proverb says 'Ti ilu bati ndun polo polo ofe be niyen' (Translation: When the drum beat rings too loudly and monotonously it is getting ready to burst!) The current state of Nigeria today is very much like this. Throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria there is an uneasy calm and it is looking like the bubble is about to burst. Can we all allow it to burst? Will the elders of our great nation watch this nation pass on to oblivion? The cry for restructuring, break-a-way, fragmentation, reorganization, devolution of power, cheating, quit notices from cross sections of the nation is renting the air. Tribal unrest, killings, kidnappings, sacrifices of fellow Nigerians by Cultists have become the order of the day. What are the elders doing? Are they going to watch Nigeria go down like this The spirit of our fore-fathers will not let us rest if the situation deteriorates to the point of collapse of our great nation.

It is fast looking like our leaders should defy the 'constitution' to do the expedient and be pragmatic about the situation. If not, the shame will be too much for them and all of us to bear. Another Yoruba proverb says 'Agba ko ki nwa ni ilu ki orun omo tun tun o wo' (Translation: Elders especially will take the blame, if nothing is done to arrest the situation and prevent the 'burst' as soon as possible). At least let it be said that they tried but it is the youths that were stubborn and intransigent. Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gun powder and this is the truth. The matter has gone beyond Hausa/Fulani, Ibo and Yoruba. Everybody seems to be wounded in one way or another. We must strive to soothe the wounds by all humanly possible means.

All the calls from different quarters may not be empty threats afterwards. This is time to act and not the time to dare the aggrieved groups. All of them are giving deadlines and this should be of grave concern to all of us. Further delay may be too dangerous and regrettable. Gentleness and friendliness rather than force and fury, may be a good strategy at this time. A stitch in time saves nine. Let us arrest the impending calamity without allowing any bloodshed from anywhere. We must all live to see a new dawn in Nigeria, where we can all be proud to be equal citizens and not first, second or third class citizens. We can still be together as a Union of Nigerian Ethnic Groups as United Union of Nigeria (UUN) or United States of Nigeria (USN).

Thanks in anticipation of your immediate and meaningful action to save Nigeria. Your action may result in a bloom or your inaction, in a gloom for our dear nation.

Cheers and Long Live the 'United Union of Nigeria'!

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