Nigeria is a great nation but it is the docile followership and crooks who lead and the sycophants who hoist the crooks that damage its standing.
On a day like this let us ask ourselves what we have done to improve the image of Nigeria and Nigerians .
If we cant change the image of Nigerians in SA by first changing our own behavior then we must know we are part of the problem.
Today is a day that I choose to revert to the speech by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa on this day in 1960. Balewa’s speech was full of hope and promise but by 1963 the West was already up in flames ‘Operation Wetie’. By January 15, 1966 the greedy politicians had given Major Kaduna Nzeogwu and his boys reasons to topple the First Republic and laid the foundation for the counter coup and later civil war which ended on January 15, 1970.
The Independence Day speech delivered by Nigeria’s first leader Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa on Oct 1st, 1960 being a Saturday offered the promise and hope brought about by the new dawn. Sadly, 60 years after Nigeria’s image has been battered beyond submission and the blame must first be put squarely on the shoulders of the greedy crooks who have led Nigeria and continue to do so.
The blame must also be put on the docile and mostly lazy followership whose sole preoccupation is to praise-sing, hero worship and watch the looters display material acquisitions gained from embezzlement and brigandage enabled from resource rents stolen in broad daylight through the acquisition of state power.
Nigeria is today the world’s poverty capital despite producing 2million barrels of oil every day and there are more than 50, 000 Nigerians in jail around the world and nations such as Germany seek to deport 30,000 Nigerians.
The blame must also be put on Nigerians in Diaspora who are in my view so comfortable in their ordinary diasporanness and happy to be referred to as ethnic minorities with many loving the great infrastructure and sanctity that nations like Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany , the United States and South Africa have to offer.
It is this last group that is indeed the weakest link because they are remote from home, cant vote in elections and their successes and remittances are leveraged back to Nigeria without any real advantages to this same group because they are still not accepted even when they go back home because they are now seen as foreign.
What an irony for a great people and nation after 60 years of independence.
Let me salute the Nigerians who inspite of the difficulties and the pain associated with the nation still continue to shine though.
The first decade was characterised by coups, pogroms and secession and war.
In essence, I propose January 15, 2021 which is 51 years after the end of the Civil War as a date for the All Nigerian Conference to tackle all our issues. Some of the issues are as follows:
1) Poor image
3) Human Trafficking
4) Identity Theft
6) Intenet Scams
7) undocumented migrants
8) Unregistered businesses
9) Gender inequality
10) Intra-tribal wranglings
11) Inter-tribal wranglings
12) Non-visibilty of the missions and its top diplomats
14) Lack of media visibility
15) Inability to secure corporate backing for community projects.
Happy Independence Day.
Barrister Adetunji Omotola
12 Disciples Leaders and Guild of Nigerian Professionals-South Africa.