It is now 2068, I sat by the balcony of my duplex in a place (onne) where I used to call my village but now a mega industrial city. I was grey haired and healthy.
I looked amazingly at the streets that were cast in nylon tar free from indiscriminate dumping and pollution from industries, eating Pringles made in Umuahia Nigeria.
As I thought about good things in life, I looked over the car my 25 year old son had bought for me after graduating from classical music at the prestigious PVI university in Kontagora and securing a good job immediately. My son is now a record label owner and an inspiration to upcoming artistes at this young age.
The car was made in Nnewi, a town in south eastern Nigeria not too far from Onitsha. The car was plugged in to recharged. I thought again, about forty years ago, only mobile phones could be charged, now a car made by my country man, in my country is rechargeable like a mobile phone when I was in my thirties.
A few months back, I had visited Abuja Nigeria, a city I lived in until my retirement in 2045, it has changed significantly! It is now a super mega city. A city that once had its electricity rationed; each area having few hours of electricity per day now enjoys 24 hours of electricity.
Electric trains arrives their stations every 10 minutes. I heard the trains were manufactured in Lagos, Nigeria. The defunct Peugeot company in Lagos was bought over by a young business man from Eleme, Nigeria and was used to churn out the electric trains and their exotic cabins which we only saw in Europe when we were young men.
I was informed that the regional train line between Port Harcourt and Liberia was constructed by the same company, BIA Arewa electro mobility limited.
I called my 25 year old son (by the way the call rates are almost zero kobo) to tell him the story of how Nigeria had narrowly escaped being subdivided into chunks of little countries because it was falling apart due to bad governance and recklessness of those in power.
They shared cabinet positions based on fair division among their political party members, regional and religious elites, with little or no regards for professional abilities. This made some people to become relevant king makers for over 40 years anointing their personal choices over the masses popular choices.
Their ideology was to keep Nigeria as one and keep accessing her resources for personal interest by managing the regions and national political appointments along the areas of conflict; namely religion and region. They succeeded in creating tensions that were evident as a result of sentiments drawn along those lines which benefited them for many years.
In 2017, regions started bickering for secession from the country. There were songs of tension everywhere. Northerners living in the south felt threatened. Southerners living in the north felt threatened. From time to time, violence erupted and people were killed and maimed simply because of where they came from (a choice they never made themselves). Nigeria was at the brink of another civil war.
2019 was another election year, young men and women of good will took a defining decision to break the norm of recycling of leaders. We declared that any one that had served in any previous government would not be re-elected. This singular decision changed the destiny of Nigeria. 80% of those elected into power were unpopular young people; some in their thirties.
Things began to take shape and got to this stage where you are enjoying life in a country that was nearly subdivided. We built this new Nigeria on the strengths of difference and diversity; agriculture in the north, technology and innovation in the south and east, education in the south west.
The synergy put everything in place and it was the seed that grew into today’s Nigeria. The most important step we took, in my opinion, was the introduction of peace education and history as compulsory subjects right from primary school. This built a based for the synergy against apathy that existed in the past.
Today as an old man of over 80 years, I looked with awe at “the Nigeria that would not have been” but for the sacrificial and unifying doggedness of young men and women of my generation irrespective of our region and religion.
Today I have free healthcare just because I am old and have meritoriously served Nigeria in my own capacity all my youthful years not because of my religion or region nor did I lobby one highly placed kinsmen.