Nigeria: A Nation Of Curious Paradoxes | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria: A Nation Of Curious Paradoxes

Posted: Jul 22, 2015 at 3:48 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ikem Adimorah


It is not in doubt that Nigeria is greatly endowed in both human and material capacities. Her blessings are in the superlatives. The weather and ecosystems are the world in microcosm. Her beauty and splendor are complete with the tropical, the Savannah and the temperate climates we here behold. Her agricultural and food products are the envy of many a country. Her music and dance are melodious, rich and engaging.

But Nigeria is greatness in contradiction. How are we so rich and yet too poor? How did we become this prodigal that we have squandered so many chances to be better for ourselves?
Nigerians are awesome, enterprising, resilient and industrious. Given the right opportunities and environment, they excel to the amazement of the world. They are among the best professionals around the world in medicine, arts, engineering, science and technology, music, sports etc.

It is curiously paradoxical that Nigeria, which can boast of such a huge human capital has remained in doldrums for nearly a century, without clear signs or evidence that she will arrive in the nearest possible future. Her citizens have completely lost hope as every slightest opportunity they have to leave the enclave is not given a second thought   except for those that are milking her dry.

There is no country in the world that is as materially endowed as Nigeria that is as yet poor as Nigerians are. Her wealth is prodigally wasted or siphoned to other countries ostentatiously, while majority of her citizens die in abject poverty and ignorance. The abundant natural gas has been flared for nearly 60 years now and its continuing, while other countries like Russia are earning huge foreign exchange through the exportation of this same product. Yearly, large expanse of arable land grows grasses and gets burned while our youths roam the streets in search of jobs. How much can the youths achieve with just hoes and cutlasses? Mechanised agriculture will attract them to the farms and they will earn handsomely too.

The paradox of our lack in an ocean of material wealth must be deciphered before it will be too late for all of us.

This nation of many paradoxes amalgamated by Lord Lugard in 1914 had long being interacting among themselves and had continued till date. Inter-tribal marriages have been encouraged over the years. Most of the commercial cities have become melting pots of our various religious and cultural differences. However many had expected that all these with over a century of our coexistence, a more homogeneous country would have emerged from the ashes of our different religious, ethnic and cultural differences .Here also lies the strangeness of our contradictions as a nation.

It is evident that many Nigerians prefer the nation remains one indivisible nation but the level of mutual suspicion that exists among the various components is very high .This has made it almost impossible for a real nation to emerge out of the present geographical entity called Nigeria .Most of us do not see Nigeria as our country to be guided and protected .A country to be cherished and loved .Many see Nigeria as a country to be explored and exploited .A nation to be raped as nobody is there to protect her.

We have applied all forms of force to cajole the components to continue to remained together but it seems not to be working because the nation is not developing, despite all the material resources at her disposal .The individual capabilities of the components are stagnated in the amalgamation .If we must stick together and be prosperous, true fiscal federalism must be allowed to operate .The components shall determine their fate as it concern their economy , security , etc as enshrined in the status book .It is only then that Nigeria will emerge and re-ignite African renaissance.