Have you ever for once contemplated about the lifecycle of an Eagle? If no, let’s go on a voyage of learning and lessons that will change your perception about our predicament as a nation. The eagle has the longest life-span of its species. It can live up to 70 years, but, to reach this age, the eagle must make a hard decision in its early 40’s, because its long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey which serves as a food and its long and sharp beak becomes bent. Its’ old-aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers become stuck to its chest and make it difficult to fly. Then, the eagle is left with only two options: die or go through a painful process of change which last a hundred and fifty days. The process requires that the eagle fly to a mountain top and sit on its nest, there the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks it out, after plucking it out, the eagle will wait for a new beak to grow back and then it will pluck out its talons. When its new talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking its old-aged feathers and after five months, the eagle takes its famous flight of rebirth and lives for 30 more years.
If you have ever thought Nigeria will not be great again, it is better you have a rethink. Though, dreams have been chattered, hopes have been lost and desires have been melted in the face of adversity. We live like strangers and slaves in our fathers land, going through hell, rupture and torture, with the hope that things will get better one day. This is the spirit of an average Nigerian; a spirit of hope, tenacity, doggedness and endurance. I live with a heart full of sorrow and joy – sorrow of how we battle one challenge or the other since independence and joy of a new Nigeria borne out of the belief that Nigeria will be great again, the process of which has commenced under the new dispensation of President Muhhammadu Buhari.
Hardly will any great success be achieved without any form of challenge being faced during the process of achieving it. Challenges are bound to surface, but our strength lies in overcoming them. There is no problem in falling but the greatest problem lies in our inability to stand up each time we fall. I strongly believe Nigeria will be great again only if we believe and work towards achieving it.
Nigeria will be great again if we can be best students of history. It is said that he who forgets the history before his birth will remain a child forever. For us to grow out of our childish behaviour and start responding to political issues maturely we must go back and tread the rough road that leads to the political independence we enjoy today as a nation. It is only when we starve ourselves with past occurrences that we can sit down and eat to the fill the fruits of such starvation.
Nigeria will be great again only if a Yoruba man will tolerate an Igbo man in his land the way his fellow tribesmen will tolerate and welcome him. Nigeria will rise again only if we can eschew enmity, and nepotism, and embrace religious and ethnic tolerance. We Nigerians must learn to see ourselves as brothers and sisters irrespective of ethnic background or religion. There lies a greater strength in our diversity.
Nigeria will be great again, if the followers can see themselves as having a lot to do in engineering their great nation to reaching the pinnacle of her dream. Followers must see themselves as partners in progress, as our leaders cannot be left to do the work of nation building alone. Our criticism of the government must always be constructive and objective, and we must as well offer solutions to them in tackling the myriad of problems facing our beloved country. Let’s assist the government in actualizing the dream of a better Nigeria. Nation building must be seen as a collective work that cannot be left in the hands of few people.
Nigeria will be great again if we all can see corruption as a cankerworm that has destroyed and will continue to destroy our nation if not stopped in due time. We must all support the anti-graft war of the present administration because it is a way of securing our future and making Nigeria great again. We must encourage ourselves to eschew stealing and mismanagement of public funds, as this is one of the ways we can achieve the change we have always desired. As citizens, we must take it upon ourselves to identify looters and report them to the necessary authorities irrespective of the affiliation we share with such people. It is our duty as responsible citizens to expose corrupt individuals among us.
Nigeria will be great again if the legislative arm live up to its creed and perform its duties to the fullest. Our lawmakers must make laws that will protect the interest of the Nigerian masses. Individual rights must be guaranteed and no one irrespective of his or her social status should act above the laws of the land.
The list is endless if we continue to analyse, but we must not lose hope as a nation. We must continue to believe in the goodwill message of ‘CHANGE’ brought to us by the All Progressive Congress (APC). We should not forget the fact that the change we voted for will not come in a speed of light but rather through a gradual process, the shit and mess of 16 years cannot be clean in just 100 days. If we are to judge every administration by its 100 days in office then Goodluck Jonathan will still be our president. It is normal for wailers to wail after 16 years of failure, ours is to turn deaf ears knowing fully well that wrestling with the pig will get us dirty.
As a nation, we must learn the spirit of being patient in the face of adversity, if not for the doggedness, determination and focus of the eagle, it would not have the grace of living for another 30 years. We sometimes need to get rid of old memories, habits and other past traditions to be great again as a nation. If we can believe in the present administration and work towards achieving a better Nigeria then I must tell you that Nigeria will be great again.
ALABEDE Surajdeen is a political commentator, environmentalist and a serving corps member in Delta State.
Twitter handle: @BabsSuraj Gmail: firstname.lastname@example.org