Are those the words you expect from me, because my heart remains in Lagos, regardless of where I wander, because my mother and father and their mother and father before them are native to the southern region of Nigeria?
Today I am not South-South, today I am not Christian or Muslim, today I am not a Lagosian, today only one thing is relevant, I am a Nigerian and I love my country.
I love my people and I am a Nigerian!
Some of you will wonder why I say those words with such pride. I know how you condemn us… how we even condemn ourselves.
Nigerians do 419.
Nigerians are thieves.
Nigerians are corrupt.
Nigerians want short cuts.
Nigerians are fools.
Nigerians are lazy.
Nigerians are greedy.
Nigerians are dirty.
Nigerians are loud.
Nigerians are proud.
Yes we are proud, I am proud. I am proud that despite decades of belittlement and use by Britain, our founding fathers were able to set us free. I am proud that after decades of washing away customs and traditions we still manage to speak our native tongues, as diverse and as beautiful as they are. I am proud that we stand as our great continents most powerful economy (Don’t worry Africa we will not fail you). I am proud of the knowledge and culture that our people have contributed to this world, to name a few:
A Nigerian, Wole Soyinka Nobel Prize Winner playwright and poet
A Nigerian, Chinua Achebe educator, publisher, author, winner of multiple awards
A Nigerian, Professor John Dabiri fluid dynamics expert and winner of McArthur Genius Award
A Nigerian, Dr. Joseph Igietseme
A Nigerian, Professor Sam Adeloju inventor of Buoyancy Bazooka that can be shot to a drowning person to save their life at sea and winner of the James Dyson International Design Award
Nigeria is not Boko Haram.
Nigeria is not bribery and corruption.
Nigeria is not poverty.
Nigeria is so much more, a nation harbouring all existing natural resources on this earth, a nation with strategic harbours, a powerful work force, a resilient people.
We are not a hopeless people with no future. We are a resilient nation of accomplished individuals, with the potential to be the most powerful nation on this earth. The effects of racism and colonialism have had such a long lasting and powerful impact on us, until today we still do not believe that we are good enough. So many of our politicians still believe that Nigeria is not worth saving, it’s simply better to pocket the money they make and buy homes abroad. They behave like the colonisers they fought to over throw by milking a magnificent nation of its wealth and pouring it into their pockets or back into the West.
Our leaders have refused to industrialise our country and allow our natural resources to be sold to the west and resold back to us for unaffordable prices. For two reasons our recent leaders have been short cited and greedy, they make more money this way. They don’t believe Nigeria is worth saving, filling their pockets and the pockets of their tribesmen and family are more important. They think being a rich Nigerian is better than being a poor Nigerian, don’t be fooled they still see you as a Nigerian, a “negro” from a poor country, willing to sell his soul and betray his people for a quick buck from a white man. They don’t believe in Nigeria either, why should they when our leaders don’t, when I know some of us don’t.
I believe in Nigeria. I believe Nigeria is worth saving, I believe there are people who still believe in a great nation and a great people. Do you?
As for the Nigerian elections 2015 I do not know whether either Buhari or Goodluck can be a great leader for a great nation of great people.
By a hopeful, proud and frustrated Nigerian that still believes