By Lucky Oghenerukevwe Pastor
The hope of a nation lies in the heart of the strong, elegant, brave, informed, and loyal youths of that nation. I had heard this statement before. Though not exactly as I have written, it was conveyed in the same sense and feeling. But it is true. When a father becomes old and cannot help himself, he looks up to the youth and cry for a helping hand.
The youth, full of strength and vigor, blessed with a sound mind and prospects, embraced with the zeal to create and make his/her person, full of reckless compassion, is trained to be vigilant and ready to help fill the gaps left behind by the aged.
In case you wonder why the under takers are young and vibrant, active and skillful, strong and displayers, it is nothing far away, but their subconscious that can’t help but tell them with an involuntarily push their future role and the space that has been created to bring that reality.
So they celebrate, not the dead, but the infallible structure of the force of gravity. This is what we see, or at least what we are supposed to see. But I was born to see a country obscured and strange even to the oldest man on her soil. A country where the aged must leave the zenith of her affairs, but with an heir left behind to succeed, in preparation to leave for another heir. It is a country where education is important, but the schools must go on strike as an annual academic festival.
A country where health is paramount, but you must have flowing through your veins the blue blood to get the most quality of health care. It is a country that celebrates independence, but must depend on larger brains outside its boarders to process its greatest source of revenue.
A country that calls you a native, but you must protest with a fearless anger to gain a voice; that is if you don’t turn fugitive. It is my country, your country, our country, but we must all identify our tribes to figure out how much of the national cake is available to each of us.
The beginning felt promising and united; at least to the masters of the colony. They pulled the north and south from their ends and preached to them a sermon, that if you ask me now, I will not hesitate to title it, “Unity and Love.” And when the time came, they felt the north must take the lead and bring back home the seeds they have sown. Now this is where we put our energy and intellect.
We vehemently lament the coming of the masters of the colony and analyze their features as cankerworms; but no time to think of the prospects ahead, the broken bridges to be mended, and the crooked paths to be straightened. Every mind, distracted in its selfish thoughts, can do but a little; at least the little that can satisfy and help them flourish in their philosophy of individualism. Everyone dreams of a better country, but no one wakes up to fight for the reality of that country. I wish and hope myself, for a better country.
I pray for a better Nigeria. I mean a Nigeria of my dreams. A Nigeria where I can be a native in Sokoto, a native in Ogun, a native in Imo, and equally a native in Delta. A Nigeria where my tribe or language will not determine the availability of my national stance or benefits, that no matter my tribe, I will be me and be judged by the quality of my character; with the content of my brain acknowledged. A Nigeria where good education is not only meant for the rich or well to do, but for everyone that must and has the right to be educated. A Nigeria where strike is no longer an annual academic festival; no longer a setback to knowledge and skill acquisition for students; no longer an avenue for juvenile violence and crimes; etc.
A Nigeria where the best health care is given to the sick not to the sick that are privileged to attach the adjective “rich” to their profile; where doctors and nurses will be purged of favouritism and stiff conscience; where hospitals will no longer have reasons to be isolated by workers because of poor treatment from the government. A Nigeria where the government will say I will do and the masses will go home in high hopes for the fulfilment of that promise; where the government will know nothing else but the plight of her people; where she will listen and protect the lives and properties of her citizens; where the government will appoint the right qualifications for a national, state, or local assignment; not a brother or a friend.
A Nigeria that can, with her head held high, vaunt for her independence politically, economically, and otherwise. A Nigeria where my Hausa friend can tell of his love for Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, my Yoruba friend praying for the soul of AlHaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, my Igbo friend telling in love the tails of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, my Tiv friend calling his son Eyo Ita, and the entire tribes voting for one another.
A Nigeria where the youths are respected and recognized as the future of the country; the leaders of today; the bedrock of the country’s political, economic, educational, and social strength. This is the Nigeria of my dreams. The Nigeria that is possible with only the right minds; the Nigeria you and I have always dreamt of, but have failed to bring to reality; the Nigeria that is best for you and me, and the generations to come. This is the Nigeria of my dreams. But only you and I can make it a reality.
Nigeria is sixty today, but she is still coated with greater prospects and future. Though seems late, we can start the journey today and still achieve the Nigeria of our dreams. God help us. And God bless Nigeria.
By Lucky Oghenerukevwe Pastor