By Okechukwu Onwuka
Weâ€™ll continue this week to review more examples in our series on not applying knowledge we already have. Do you remember this beautiful song?
Nigeria is twenty five the odds we did survive Arise Salute the Nation,
Come join the celebration
A people united will never fall,
The sun will rise and the rain will fall
On our land, vast and mighty,
Richly Blessed by the Almighty,
Like bees in the hive, we work so hard,
To make our honey flow,
But not without the use of the hoe! Hoe!
Arise Salute the Nation
Come join the celebration
Nigeria is 25. Nigeria is 25.
I do. That was about 25 years ago. I remember it like yesterday. At the family house last week, my younger sister who was also visiting started the song and I couldnâ€™t help getting caught up in the flow as we both sang it a couple of times before I got round to asking her what triggered the remembrance. She said my younger brother had posed the question on facebook, asking who remembers the jingle.
Although I was a teenager then, the song was truly beautiful and poignant. In a few lines, it encapsulated all the facts about nationhood to mark our 25th Independence Anniversary.
Many many kudos to Bongos Ikwue and others who worked together to produce this classic. It is a fact that a people united will never fall. The sun shines on our land and the rains fall to water our soil. Our land is truly vast and mighty. And with hard work, weâ€™ll make our honey flow. Iâ€™m positive that many of us, particularly the above 35s remember this inspirational Independence song.Â And we all know that united we stand, divided we fall.
However when I look back and realize that it is 25 years gone by and rather than build on these time tested truths, it appears that we have actually retrogressed significantly. Not the result of lack of knowledge or education but that of refusal to apply the knowledge. A couple of years back when Barrack Obama beat all odds to become the first black man to become the president of the United States of America, the tears ofÂ Rev. Jesse Jackson captured the impact on all Africans and black people all over the world. Who would have thought it possible? Nigerianâ€™s were not left out in the celebrations.
As I read through the many wonderful write-ups in the papers and watched the joyous expressions, I couldnâ€™t help wondering how deep the lessons will be.
For us as a people. And as a Nation. As we applauded the generosity of the Caucasian Americans to allow the results of the election to stand, knowing it is the proper thing to do, did we realize the implications back home? When will an Ibo man win election to become the Governor of Lagos State?
When will a Housa man become the elected Governor of Imo State? When will a Yoruba man become the civilian Governor of Kano State?Â Or when will a Niger Delta indigene become the elected Governor of Borno State? Although we all know the ills of division, we find ourselves intentionally not acting in ways that encourage unity. The Niger Delta is rich in Oil and Gas Deposits.
The North is rich in Agriculture. SeveralÂ minerals are scattered around the country. We have a market size in excess of 140 million people. Our intellectuals have left indelible footprints in the sands of time all over the world. We are gifted with so many things that it is so obvious that if only we can get our acts together and be truly united, South Africa will place a distant second to Nigeria in terms of development.
Foreigners know these facts too well and are exploiting it daily. We are busy clamouring for more states, more local Governments, more villages, more autonomous communities. Every where you look, you see people championing efforts to break-away to some smaller community, just so they can have greater control on resources. Or may be have easier access to the ruling chair. We all feel the pains of bad leadership and know the only way to change the situation is to vote credible candidates into power.
Unfortunately, even though we know this fact too well, on election day, we vote along tribal lines. In other cases, we exchange our votes for cash. At other times, we donâ€™t even care to vote at all. We are approaching another
Independence Day anniversary. And also close to major election period. If we cannot confirm Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as President, even for only a few months, when all the facts confirm it is the right thing to do, how can we expect that an â€œObamaâ€ can emerge in the forthcoming National elections? If we call ourselves Nigerians, is it not proper that we begin to act like Nigeria actually exists rather than behaving as if it will disappear the next day? I canâ€™t help wondering what events need to happen to drive us towards doing what we already know is the right thing!
The French National team coach, Raymond Domenech â€œwombledâ€ and â€œstumbledâ€ to the football world cup, albeit with the help of Thierry Henryâ€™s hand.Â Regardless, he was still allowed to lead France to South Africa. It is simply the right thing to do. Amodu Shuaibu, has qualified Nigeria for South Africa. His methods may not have been the most pleasing to the eyes but the fact remains that he did the job assigned to him.
How can you sack him and appoint someone who failed to lead his country to the world cup? At the very worst, he could have been made the assistant.
What business does Austin Eguavoen have with the world cup when his records as National team coach is no where comparable to Amodu Shuiabuâ€™s? To think that Amodu Shuiabu has received this treatment twice is absolutely unpardonable. Festus Onigbinde profited from the first injustice. Now Lars Lagerback is the beneficiary. It is ignorance that makes the rat attack the cat, but such ignorance will not spare the rat of the consequences of such folly.Â The Almighty God never sleeps.