NIGERIA @61: Why I Refused To Celebrate – Chinedu Asuzu

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With very nostalgic disposition I pen down these lines of thoughts of mine, mostly in retrospective intrusion into the very core of my deep sheathed displeasure as it concerns the very stagnant and retrogressive nature of our country-Nigeria.

While some who benefits from the chaos, mismanagement and outright drought of purposeful and progressive leadership that Nigeria has been bequeathed with in her years of existence as a supposedly sovereign nation, which has led to the despondency and near loss of faith in her continued corporate existence as a country by the citizens, irrespective of their ethnic identity, almost everyone is tired with Nigeria, except those directly benefiting from her misfortune.

Nigeria is 61years of age as an independent country, I use the term country always to define Nigeria, because I find the term Nation too heavy a term for me to define her by, simply because I am yet to find the sense of patriotic nationhood in both the leaders and citizens of Nigeria, hence defining her by the term ‘nation’ owing to the obvious lack of the trappings of nationhood would amount to living a lie, and rather than resort to massaging our ego with the borrowed term ‘nation’ which is not seen in her continued existence, it’s proper to address her in the real colouration and practical expression most befitting of our union, and that term is a congregation of different ethnic nationalities in quest of definition and identity.

Now, some apologists might fault my line of thoughts in this regard, but before they do, they should understand that Nigeria as presently constituted is polarized, more divided and tilted towards ethnic cleavages more than nationhood, more like our patriotic zeal are tailored towards protecting and projecting our individual ethnic nationalities than geared towards the corporate entity called Nigeria, as such, it’s trite to posit that we only adorn Nigeria merely as a means of identification with the outside world, but internally we are as fractionated as ever, a divided country without cohesion that her leadership is also deeply entrenched in segregation, nepotism and ethnic bigotry.

Inarguably so, we have more than two hundred ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, most notably are the Hausa/Fulani, Igbo, Yoruba, and of course other minority ethnic nationalities as well, and it’s a known fact that each of these ethnic nationalities protects the integrity and identity of their ethnic nationalities much more than they do the Nigeria pride and identity, only for the ease of identifying their rights of migration or official purposes is the tag Nigeria applied, and if by any means there is an option of either flying your ethnic identity or national identity in any official document majority of Nigerians are sure to rout for their ethnic identity in place of that of national identity, it’s so because we are not as homogenous in the Nigerian formation and identity as we are in our different indigenous ethnic nationalities, and this much affects us so much as Nigerians, because we seem not to have much people who believe in the concept of the term Nigeria, as such, none is ready to sacrifice for her survival, except of course those who benefit directly from that contraption, mostly the politicians in power, note the term politicians in power, because most of them once they are no longer in power their love for Nigeria wanes considerably, indicative of their hypocrisy while in office, even those in power likewise tilt dangerously most often with unhidden bias towards their ethnic cleavages as against their supposed national patriotic expectations, this much is evidenced more conspicuously with the present government at the center in Nigeria, it’s an open secret that the present leadership in Nigeria today is unapologetic in terms of ethnic bias, take appointments and other sundry matters that ought to reflect the federal character principles how it’s conveniently connived to favor more of their ethnicity than those from other ethnic nationalities, that is a pointer still to the fact that we are more ethnic than national in our individual dispositions, hence it could be rightly said that Nigeria is a mere geographical expression for the means of identification with other members of the comity of nations and for ease of official administrative purposes.

Admittedly, some would question if the term country and nation aren’t one and same thing, and I’ll simply say that in my own research they both share similarities yet differ in very vital angles; that while every Nation can be defined as a country it’s not every country that qualifies as a Nation; because Nations are bonded by very mutual, convivial, homogenous sense of identity, intrinsically interwoven consciousness and propitiously inclined towards each other in very understandable and easily agreeable manner, in other words, a Nation can be defined largely as a body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory, whereas country loosely interpreted could simply mean, an identified state with its paraphernalia of government occupying a given territorial boundaries, so for me I prefer to identify Nigeria more as a country than a Nation, because Nations identify with their citizens as the sovereign while any country can adopt any given method of applications that best suite their convenience.

In lieu of the narratives as above espoused, the caption taken into consideration, the very basis of my arguments being that Nigeria as presently constituted has nothing for me to celebrate her by, looking at the very gloomy picture she adorns, the tainted clothing of blood she is unabashedly clothed with, coupled with the discordant tunes here and there, from the North you get to hear of banditry, killings and AREWA seeking to be on their own, also the middle-belt region asking to be on her own without being identified with the core North, even seeking cessation from Nigeria if the opportunity presents itself, the Yoruba region seeking for Oduduwa Republic and seriously going about it vigorously; that of the Igbo ethnic race is as old as any agitation, Biafra resonates with them, and they are more comfortable being allowed to secede to be on their own than being in Nigeria.

Owing to all these, the issue of leadership and most importantly the fundamental basis for continuing existence as one corporate entity, the cracks are now too obvious to ignore, and playing the ostrich is out of the equation now, because this country is now more like dangerously seated on top of a volcano, only sincere dialogue would tame the dangerous slide into anarchy that seems evident in our day to day sojourn as a country.

Therefore, in the midst of all these upheavals and uncertainties, only a mentally deranged Nigerian would roll out the drums for celebration, because for me and those in my line of thoughts there is absolutely nothing to celebrate about Nigeria, because we are not progressing any further, at the worst we are seriously retrogressing, and no reasonable person reinforces failure, celebrating Nigeria at this present condition of hers is for me tantamount to the reinforcement of failure; as much as celebrating mediocrity is not my pass time, so I refuse bluntly to celebrate Nigeria🇳🇬 @61, because she is merely an old woman that squandered her opportunities yet too proud to descend from her Olympian stool to reorganize and re-prioritize.

I REFUSE TO CELEBRATE NIGERIA🇳🇬

Happy New Month Nigerians🇳🇬

🔴Ugochimereze Chinedu Asuzu, is a human rights advocate, social cum political analyst, writes✍️ from Owerri, Imo State.
01/10/2021