Nigeria and “bitter honey” Independence Day celebration

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By Basheer Luqman Olarewaju

The security crisis seizing Nigeria these days is kidnapping for ransom. A few months ago, the spotlight was on violent conflict between farmers and herders. Before that, it was Boko Haram. Much earlier, it was the tensions in the Niger Delta, and so on. As Nigeria lurches from one violent conflict to another, the country’s leaders and its international supporters become easily—and perhaps understandably—fixated on the latest manifestation of insecurity. The larger problem, however, is that none of this will ever change unless the focus turns more firmly and consistently to the thread that runs through all of that upheaval: the failures of governance.

The country is soaked in debt against her self-created economy. In his all time unique and relevant speech, Thomas Isadore Sankara noted that “Debt is a cleverly managed reconquest of Africa. It is a reconquest that turns each one of us into a financial slave”. Our country produces enough to feed us all. Alas, for lack of organization, we are forced to beg for food aid. It’s this aid that instills in our spirits the attitude of beggars.

Each day, we do think of borrowing for the necessitating growth and development in the national interest, yet we forget the sense of productivity and fail each moment to build a formidable nation that can match the cadre of first world nations. We have the resources; we are blessed with sound minds and with natural beauties; we only need to reposition our minds to forge ahead in unity, patriotism, selflessness and altruism. We need to engrave our bilious selfishness and immoral beliefs.

Nigeria is in the feast of independence day celebration. The taste of independence feels that of oxymoronic “bitter-honey” in the buds of the patriots. Citizens who posed negative reactions to the dependence day celebration cannot be outrightly condemned, especially, in the phase of anguish, killings, massacre, unrest and economic crisis berating the country. The actions can be likened to the statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.

Be that as it is, the best time to change our ugly narrative and sickening conditions, as a people, is now. We need to be more focused towards nation building than ever. The leadership of the country needs to uphold integrity and patriotism. The citizens should be agents of love and sincerity. As active citizens, we should choose love. We are all pilgrims on this Earth; let us protect one another as humans. Together we can change the ugly narrative of this country. imagine what the world will be like if we all choose to love.

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