By Sunny Ikhioya
IN life, information is very vital. In fact, it is the key. The Holy Book tells us that “people suffer for lack of knowledge.” It is information that gives you knowledge and understanding; it is through knowledge and understanding that you acquire wisdom. It is the proper application of knowledge and understanding that is referred to as wisdom.
The developed countries of the world correctly applied wisdom and that is why they are doing great things. They have applied their wisdom in such a manner that their overall development takes precedence; they have also used it to help mankind: in science, technology and other fields.
Therefore, we can say that for countries is still dragging their feet in the area of development, it is either ignorance on their part or their inability to apply knowledge correctly that is responsible.
The question then is: In what category do we place Nigeria and other African countries? There are different categories in Nigeria: we have the poor uneducated masses who have continued to be kept in the dark about the activities of their leaders. These ones remain brainwashed no matter how you try to make them understand; they will stand with their sentiments; these ones need education and proper enlightenment.
In the other category are those who are educated, born and bred under favoured conditions; they know the way to go, they know the solution to the country’s problems, but selfishness and greed will not allow them to move against the status quo. They are found in all parts of the country: North, South West, South East and South-South.
They will rather enjoy the relative comfort that is their lot compared to the masses and will give anything to justify their position. These ones are the ethnic and religious jingoists and will always use their positions to perpetuate themselves in office. But these two categories are not my concern in this piece.
My concern is: how do we find solutions to the myriad of problems besetting this country? If we agree that it is the truth that will set us free, why don’t we all go in search of the truth? It is already trite logic that a problem identified is half solved.
From what we are beginning to discover from recorded events of our past, it is very clear that our foundation as a nation has not been properly laid and for us to make progress, we must go back to our foundation to correct the defective structure. It is okay to claim ignorance of the past, but now that we know, what should we do? It is not a matter for sentiments; people in times past took advantage of others.
They took others for a ride in the management of our commonwealth, and because they still enjoy from the spoils, they are not willing to tackle the challenges head-on. The only way to tackle the challenges head-on is to go for the basic truth and correct the wrongly held notions that have been with us all these years.
What is the basic truth? It is that this country has continued to live on the foundation of lies, misconceptions and propaganda. If we genuinely want to solve the problems of this country, we must unearth these lies and begin afresh. No matter how those in advantaged positions in Nigeria today try to cover up with official proclamations and other devices, the problem will continue; that is why we all must subscribe ourselves to the truth.
What is the truth? The truth is that this country has lived on fake data right from the beginning. The population figures that we have been bandying about are all contrived; all elections have been rigged and all development plans have been based on false figures and so cannot give us the desired results.
We do not have the correct geographical placements; we have robbed one group in favour of the other and such foundations are not the type in which developmental growths are achieved. How do you plan for a people who you do not know their correct demographics?
Such does not happen in countries that have left the primordial levels like we have here. The true information about our foundation used to be hidden; but now that we know, what is to be done? The late Harold Smith, former British colonial officer, was recorded on camera telling the whole world how the British colonial government manipulated the election and political arrangements at our foundation.
According to him: “We betrayed the Nigerians and undermined their democracy”(New African Magazine of May 2005). Some of us are quick to wave off our positions as just rants since they query what have we, Nigerians, done with our own freedom since independence in 1960? What we have done with our freedom is to continue with the “Kokoma dance”, according to the tunes and plotting of our British colonial masters.
They have deliberately set the South and the North at opposite platforms and ensured that they stay divided till date. Now that the truth is out, are we ready to embrace it as the only route to peace and progress in the country?
Will the leadership of the North come out today and agree that they have been deliberately favoured over the South and are willing to allow for a true and credible census to take place? Will the leadership of the country allow for a true biometrics to be carried out on all Nigerians within our landscape, without manipulations? There lies the solutions to our problems; we must be ready to confront the truth at all levels.
We know that the kind of administration we currently run at the centre is too bloated and allow for extravagance that the country can barely maintain. Are we ready to confront reality and embark on an immediate cut, including the unwieldy National Assembly?
Are we ready to face reality? If we sort ourselves out with the truth, it will become clear to all that our destiny is in our hands. We will now have a better understanding about ourselves and diversity. We will, therefore, use this to work on our comparative advantages, knowing that each group has distinct features and talents.
There will, therefore, be no need for envy as it will be shared development and prosperity for everyone. There will be no need for one ethnic group or religion to be grabbing everything on the table. Every group will be given opportunities for representation in line with democratic tenets.
That is the way out of the situation for Nigeria. We must think Nigeria first, with the integration of Nigeria’s technology and culture in our growth plan. The correct history must be taught in our schools no matter how distasteful it might be; this will clear all doubts and deter those coming behind from repeating the mistakes of the past.
All of these will only be possible if we can embrace the truth from all sides and accept the wrongs of the past. Now that we know, our leadership must take all necessary steps to correct the wrongs of the past and begin the process of taking our nation to greater heights.
Ikhioya wrote via www.southsouthecho.com