Nigeria is gifted with what it counts to be developed and prosperous. Its vast land, huge population, abundant human and natural resources are glad tidings for human progress. During the oil boom era, Nigeria, India, Brazil were selected and fixed on development barometer.
The writing on the wall then became clear, concise and captivating. It was overwhelmingly predicted that these three countries would not take much time to transform into developed and proud nations. Fortunately, India and Brazil successfully navigated through the turbulent course and eventually weathered the storm. Filled with glamorous hopes and dreams, they graduated from states to strong nations. In contrast, we are still a backward state battling to become a true nation.
Undoubtedly, aimless and dysfunctional leadership remains a stumbling block in our concerted quest for nationhood. Nigeria is still yearning for a leadership with a universal and inspirational meaning. We still desire for cosmopolitan leaders who put Nigeria and its diverse interests first.
But sadly, the system that makes it possible for leadership degeneration is the same system that hinders the process of leadership rejuvenation. In a state of great dismay, the default system is largely controlled by the power zealots who are having a field day disposing and proposing. As long as our political aloofness to denounce mundane issues and belittle national cohesion continues, this leadership crisis will persist.
It is very gloomy trend when we perceive that we may remain a state for sometimes without reaching our nation. We disappointedly dismiss Nigeria as a common identity front to unite us; to serve as a rallying forum for developing and preserving our consciousness; to discover our differences and problems, challenges and prospects with a view to entrenching collective empathy and building an unbreakable culture of nationalism.
Nations are not built on ‘false attraction.’ We should not be deceived by the rhetoric of the political opportunists who want to aggrandize themselves but cannot make the mandatory sacrifices to produce a nation. To create a proud nation, we must breakdown all the rigid systems and individual behaviors holding us to ransom. We should forget about a nation when lucrative jobs are the exclusive reserve of the children of the powerful Nigerians. We must not forget the absence of collective empathy when quality education is beyond the reach of the poor.
From all indications, we are now more conscious of our divisions than our unity. We are more conscious about power control than its justification. We are more concerned about resource control than its fair distributions. That is why we have a wide division between the exploiters and the exploited, the haves and the have nots, the oppressor and the oppressed.
These and others are symptoms that Nigeria is a state without a nation. The big question is: when are we going to become a ‘true’ nation?
About the author: Abdu Abdullahi writes from Ringim, Jigawa State.