Still in the spirit of celebrating Nigeria’s Independence and her great potential, I have been ruminating about our history, current state of affairs and the future. Because of what we momentarily go through, many of us do not see a promising future. I write to disabuse our minds with the truth about who we are and what we can be. Some say Nigeria is a failure at 59, mind you, the geographical delineation of the country is given expression by you and I, the leaders and the led, therefore, we have failed ourselves.
But the beauty of the human mind is that we can change our mentality and, thus, our fortunes. For a long time we have exhibited the mentality of a seed that relies solely on the vagaries of its environment to fulfill its potential. We must change our seed attitude to that of an eagle that is not limited by its environment.
For a seed to grow and bear fruit, the four elements of light, water, temperature, and nutrients (with or without soil) must be present in the right quantities and qualities. Anything less than this will adversely affect its fruitfulness. In the same vein, environmental factors determine the productivity of the human seed. It has been established that the greatest resource is the human mind, that is why the cemetery is adjudged to be the richest ground in the entire world. Some call Nigeria a zoo, a grave, a land that consumes its inhabitants, etc. They are quick to list negative statistics like the poverty capital of the world, number one country in open defecation, high unemployment rate, corruption, internet fraud, political and religious hegemony, nepotism, and terrorism to smear the image of the country. All of these are the mentality of a seed.
Looking at our Coat of Arms, there is an eagle that is placed above the fertility of the land, above the beauty of the flora and fauna, above the dignity of the stallions, above the great Niger and Benue Rivers, and above the sovereignty of the green and white flag. That eagle is every Nigerian. That is the strength and pride of the nation. With its wings wide open, its claws tightly clenching the wreath; we are obligated to lift our nation high to the heavens and, to the admiration and respect of other nations.
As Nigerian Eagles, we have powerful vision to see our greatness ahead. We are fearless and powerful without rivals; we are tenacious in our collective beliefs. We are high flyers, we reach heights others do not dare. And the foundation of our unity is unshakable. Do not doubt our capabilities. We stand out everywhere we go with excellent results. The world awaits our awakening and leadership. We are from the Continent of Light and the source of illumination to the rest of Africa. We are not cursed but blessed.
We should learn to have zero focus on our differences and biases and focus more on our uniqueness. The colonial masters did not create Nigeria, God did. We are not built to fail. We are not an accident nor a coincidence. If we can accept who we are the way the Lion-sheep came to the realization of who he was, then we can change our course. I have lived long enough to know that nothing is impossible to a determined soul. Would we make nonsense of the labour of our heroes or build on them?
Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, and Obama said, “We Can.” And it’s history today. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and Mallam Aminu Kano dreamed, and I say, “Yes, we can!” Let us make history. We are the Nigerian Eagle! Let us rise beyond our limitations and birth the Nigeria of our dreams.
God bless Nigeria!
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!