[Opinion] Nigeria At 100 – A Jericho Awaiting Its Fall

By Sunny Dada

Proponents of Nationalism have argued that for any country to achieve the lofty aspirations of a great nation, it must first make conscious efforts to imbed into its national life three cardinal principles of national development, which are Patriotism, Discipline and Sacrifice.

These principles they argue, are the keys to molding national institutions such as the Social, Economic, and Cultural aspirations.


Examining the underlining factors in these principles; it will be revealed that while the principle of sacrifice sustains the well-being of the nation, the principle of patriotism defines the national identity even as the principle of discipline creates the guidelines for national character. This is because the character of the citizenry is derived from the national character.


A vivid summary of the point been made here is that patriots and nationalists do not just build nations, they erect these principles as the veritable foundations. The essence is to ensure a transmission of the content of the national character from generation to generation.


A look at the national characters of nations like the United States of America, France and neighboring South Africa, etc, would reveal the existence of these principles.


For instance, George Washington after serving two terms as Americas first elected President, declined his name from being put forward for a third term due to considerations of national cohesion. He very much captured this in his speech when he said “… it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness …. The name of American, which belongs to you in our national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism….”


The puzzle is that the founding fathers of these nations made great personal and collective sacrifices to enshrine these principles into their policy documents of nation building.


The broader picture of this truth is that these principles as elements of nationalism are beyond ethnic, religious and sectional crusts. They are woven into the nation’s Social, Economic, and Cultural life.


As Nigeria clocks 100 years of national existence, citizens are once again confronted with the unavoidable question of national character and its implication on our unity as a country of over two hundred and fifty ethnic nationalities.


Over the years, apart from the struggle to formulate an acceptable national character with elements of discipline, patriotism and personal sacrifice, Nigeria since its amalgamation has not provided the needed answers to the questions that borders on our amalgamation as ethnic nationalities.


The answers needed goes beyond the usual national slogan that says ‘our diversity is our strength or God has a purpose for bringing us together.’

The truth is that the diversity of a people can only be their strength when indices like sincerity, equity, justice and fair play are the rules of engagement in national development.


Again, God can only bring a people together when he has a purpose to fulfill with such alliance. However, after hundred years of existence as forcefully united nationalities, our children are still waiting to see the fulfillment of such divine purpose. The truth is that God has no business with any unholy alliance.


Sadly, the avoidance and the deliberate distortion of these questions and answers have proven to be our greatest undoing as a people.


The sublime Green-White-Green was an inspiring national deity to behold even in crass wilderness of despair as depicted by our current national life.


In the lamentation of our sordid state, we most bemoan the cloying wheel of our national destiny, which is speedily wheeling to a halt.

The Americans like prophetic Angels on assignment, saw it coming and we as citizens of Gomorrah, dismissed their solemn message of truth.


At inception of nationhood, the founding fathers put on the plaque aspirations that gave a pointer to national development. However, their pronouncements and attitudes in post-colonial era suggested the contrary with elements of greed, egotism and the elevation of sectional interests above national cohesion on display. The ultimate consequence of their actions was the abortion of the national hope that galvanized the people against the colonial masters. Sadly, this nation, that was not to be even at the first instance, could not recover from the shock; as the cracks of disintegration gets bigger every day of our existence.


Today, the hail and brimstones of disintegration are raining down on us from the planes of ethnic militias, religious extremists, political ravens, and economic scavengers.


The truth is that Nigeria was only a nation in twelve months (1960). Its short nationhood was inspired by the exploitative intentions of those who received the baton of leadership from the colonial masters and not due to the desire for genuine service anchored on the principles of national development, which are discipline, patriotism and sacrifice.


Beyond that, its brief existence as a nation was motivated by the collective will of the people to get their freedom at all cost, with the hope that we as a people can latter decide on the terms of our unity as sovereign ethnic nationalities. Sadly, this hope has become elusive as the discordant tunes from all divide gets deeper. This is the mystery to our national dilemma, a nation without a binding force.


The Queen’s Task Masters on their part bequeathed a fractured political omnibus to the founding fathers in a hurry to save face of imminent revolution from a black colony of immense natural resources of which result, could lead to the destruction of their exploitative and divisive structures already put in place.


Through deliberate design, they indoctrinated the rabid colonial mentality into the psyche of the body polity of the nation. The essence of this was to perpetually pitch a more educated and industrious South against a less educated parasitic Feudal North who served as an ever-willing tool of manipulation in the hands of the white demons.


Expectedly, the divisive plague permeated the fabric of the body polity, ravaging and destroying known principles of national development. Suddenly, the cry of sectional freedom replaced the cry of national freedom, as we see a transmutation of the founding fathers into ethnic jingoists. They became the new colonial masters against their own people.


What followed the inception of their reign was an era of deadly scramble for the soul of the nation. To achieve this, the national character was delineated into ethnic, sectional and religious fragments. This insignia forever became a national symbol in our socio-political and economic life.


While this lasted, the nation was left to rot as divisive tendencies such as ethnic and religious considerations in the guise of federal character crept into the nations official policy documents. Perhaps we over rated our freedom and under estimated the ‘scavengery’ prowess of our ‘black colonial masters.’

Two sets of colonial masters yet one victim.

We were only a nation in twelve months.


Today, as the propagation of this national malaise remains unabated, we see an amorphous evolution of the present crop of opportunistic leaders into a more dangerous kleptoparasites who have reduced our common wealth into their personal fiefdoms.


It is therefore not too difficult to conclude that Nigeria only exist in a name as we are nothing but a moribund group of ethnic and sectional entities, united by a ravenous elites whose only interest is to knit us together at all cost, in a bid to protect their looting enterprise from dwindling in illicit fortune.


“Let the farewell party begin…”



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