“We made it!” was the sound of victory and joy on every Nigerian lips precisely fifty years ago when our founding fathers led us into independence. This I guess brought about the phrase in the Nigerian national anthem… “The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain….” A pertinent question to be asked would be “if our founding fathers were to be able to look back at what Nigeria has become today, would they be proud of what it has become? Nigeria just clocked fifty, the “golden jubilee”; a great milestone, so much fanfare, celebration, jubilation and jamboree but when the dust finally settles, we will find out it is not yet “uhuru”. Gold symbolizes maturity, purity and a resting period but has Nigeria attained this height? As at today, Nigeria is still a sleeping giant awaiting the catalyst to arouse and harness the potentials within.
Our country Nigeria is so blessed with both human and natural resources for there is virtually no walk of life that a successful Nigerian will not be found. In the literary field, we have our own Professor Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Chimanda Adichie, and a host of many others. In the information technology (I.T) world, the fastest computer was built by our own Dr. Emogware; the youngest G.S.C.E students in the United Kingdom are the Imafidon twins (Nigerians). Natural resources such as crude oil, limestone, coal, brimstone, and so on, abound in our country Nigeria. At the age of fifty, we (Nigerians) ought to take stock of what we have achieved, where we have missed it and what we need to do to get to the next level. Despite our diversities, we have been able achieve the spirit of unity, for so many things such as the Nigerian civil war, the various coup d’état, ethnic clashes and violence, that could not break us up ended in making us stronger.
So far, we have been able to acknowledge the fact that we have a bad political system which needs to be addressed hurriedly in order for Nigeria to move to the next level. At seventy-five, my vision of Nigeria is better than what we have now. The basic issues that need to be addressed for my expected Nigeria to be made possible in twenty-five years time are elucidated below; On the issue of security, there are so many changes I will like to see. We presently have numerous records of unresolved cases of murder, theft, and so on which could have been averted in the first instance if our security system were to be well mobilized like paying our Police force, Army, etc. better salary. I foresee a better educational system where education will no longer be a thing of privilege rather it will be a right for every Nigerian child. Nigeria as it is today is wrought with a corrupt electoral system. Issues such as “godfatherism”, election rigging, thuggery, and other vices, is rife in the Nigerian electoral system. My vision for Nigeria is one which free and fair election will hold and where credible people will be elected into political positions. The Lagos-Benin express road, Alagbole-Ojodu-Berger road are just few of the numerous road network that needs urgent repairs.
I expect that in the future Nigeria, those issues would have been taken care of. An effective and efficient rail system would have been constructed in order to complement our road transportation so that there will be a hassle free movement from place to place. Every petrol station I look into these days, I see several individuals refilling jerry cans of various shades and sizes with fuel in order to be able to power their generating sets. I foresee Nigeria in the next twenty-five years with a stable electrical supply so that all walk of life such as welders, tailors, hair-dressers, to mention but a few will be able to carry out their day to day activities with little or no hitch. An idle hand they say is a roaming hand. Unemployment often leads to idleness which in turn leads to crime. Unemployment has become a canker-worm that has eaten deeply into our country and it needs to be fastidiously curbed in order to achieve a national growth. I expect that Nigeria at seventy-five would have been able to create job opportunities for the greatest number of its citizenry. My grandfather once told me that back then, one dollar exchanged for one naira, that we (Nigerians) prided ourselves in our groundnut pyramids in Kano, cocoa from the West, bronze sculptures and ivory carvings from my home town Benin and that every Nigerian saw it as a privilege to be a Nigerian. I laughed and imagined these to be tales by moon light because the reality on ground does not portray such state of bliss. My expectation of Nigeria at seventy-five is one where the nations’ lost glory will be a thing we all will see and not imagined. A Nigeria where the groundnut pyramids, the cocoa, the bronze sculpture and ivory carvings will be visible to me and my unborn generations. I also envisage a Nigeria that its citizens will not be ashamed of their green passport irrespective of what part of the planet they find themselves just like the days before “Andrew checking out”. I foresee Nigeria on the first of October, 2035, as a day when I and my fellow patriots will hold our heads up high and proudly exclaim “indeed, we made it!”