Unlike the usual national day when Nigerians of all tribes and languages mark the anniversary of the Independence of Nigeria with pomp, restful holidays and extravagant festivities, questions about the state of our nation’s well-being are raised deeper. Beyond wondering what is to celebrate the 59th anniversary of Independence, discerning people have a considerable chance to ask: which is the position of Nigeria in the black world?
Nigeria has long prided itself as the black world’s soul. The rich cultural diversity of its 200 million individuals is a fast overview of Africa as a whole. To visit Africa is like understanding Africa through a textbook, without going to Nigeria. Besides, Nigeria has a burden of being the world’s black community’s big brother. Many Black people who have a spiritual and emotional attachment to Africa outside the continent look to Nigeria as their symbolic home. Since many in the U.S. experience recurrent waves of racism in the country that reminds them of their forebears ‘ sad past, they can only wish that the situation in this symbolic home is correct.
But this is not the time for annoying clichés that every black person in five is a Nigerian. It is not a good time to recount the exploits of the past as if these exploits represent anything in the globe today. If the past does anything, it implies that Nigerians rethink what it means to be autonomous.
Nigeria, as a nation, currently does not show any advancement or constant motion. For the black world, Nigeria appears to have lost its moral compass. Development narratives are mere rhetoric of naked authority and opportunism. Nigeria is being pushed into an abyss of degeneration every day, in addition to the sparks of personal development and individual breakthroughs that arose from resilient Nigerians who have gone above the cruelty and mediocrity of government organizations.
External dictates govern virtually every structure, which makes a nation significant and advanced. Our unwritten political framework, charged with innumerable abuses, is the simulacrum of what the national democratic state scheme has offered us. The army is strangely becoming a shocking spectacle of indiscipline, despite shocking stories of previous exploits. The same story is unfolding of stagnation, imbalance, and sell-outs both in the economy and in the manufacturing phase.
This newspaper does not think this is how a genuinely autonomous nation should continue. If we follow the definition of autonomy given by popular dictionaries–namely, free subjection, exemption from external influence–it could be said that this nation lacks Independence and does not maintain that autonomy. The Independence of a nation or nation-State is not the capacity to ape the remainder of the globe to the detriment of our nation in the correct way. Independence does not mean opening a country to foreign assistance and paternalism. Real autonomy is the crucial ability to define people’s requirements and to create free alternatives to meet these requirements. It involves drawing up a course for beneficial, progressive change.
As well-meaning Nigerians understand, it is an intimidating development in a fresh Nigeria. Nigeria needs big dreamers to take a course for advancement, especially people who don’t want to do stuff the usual way. To justify any assertion of Independence, Nigerians must first and foremost identify the foundation on which they claim Independence. Do the various individuals in Nigeria first see themselves as Nigerians? Or do they say their most fundamental identity is clannish or tribal loyalty?
If Nigerians cherish their Independence, they must have a feeling of national pride and national spirit that exploits all the values, ethos, and cultures of their various ethnicities. In other words, in this nation we call ourselves there needs to be a real sense of belonging. To this effect, a portion of the country must not be placed by the political class and the governing elite over others or treat others as second class citizens. They and the public must know that governance does not mean racial domination or the imbalance of selfish strength. It is a willingness of moral power and sacrifice to accomplish a task for the common good truly.
Besides, mental decolonization is required by the cognitive restructuring of the Nigerian mind. Such cognitive restructuring would focus on cultural education and illumination. Cultural schooling does not mean the poor dissemination of data in our learning organizations, but rather the promotion of a profound knowledge of the historical and multicultural spaces in Nigeria. This type of schooling requires patriotic recovery from our cultural repertoire of problem-solving tools and autochthonous models.
This is how future-oriented countries throughout the globe have tackled domestic difficulties. Like today’s first nations, non-Western civilizations build on the understanding of their past to construct their nations. With this kind of education stories that collectively traumatize the Black Race, our own stories about our history should be revisited.
The real test of a great nation and a truly autonomous nation is above all the quality of a country’s governance, as good countries are building on a people’s character. “A leader takes individuals where they want to be,” claims Rosalynn Carter. The famous politician, the stateswoman and the fourth prime minister of Israel, Golda Meir, was known to have made a comment on the biblical visit of the Israelites led by Moses in an explanation of the stuff great nations are made of. For 40 years Moses resulted in the Israelites to a wilderness where there is no oil in the Middle East.
When you look at what Israel did with an oilless territory, you could imagine what they would have done if they had petroleum. Essentially, a real nation parades a leader who can make individuals resourceful even though his country has no resources. This is the meaning of real Independence.
This is the kind of management that Nigeria genuinely requires, which can promote a Nigerian vision and consciousness. It can follow a revival in Nigeria by capturing the naivety of the past to the growth of the nation and forging a new story of this nation.
As Nigeria marks its 59th anniversary, its exemplary governance on the continent demonstrates its desired state of Independence. It must be capable of finding alternatives to its issues at home, supplying its crowded population with fundamental human needs, preventing corruption and respecting the rule of law and placing a high price on its human capital. That is what it means to be genuinely autonomous.
Meanwhile, the authorities and people across the country are constantly reflecting on Africa and the Black race’s responsibility as properly taken by the iconic Nelson Mandela, who once said:” The world won’t respect Africa until Nigeria has earned this respect. The world’s black people need Nigeria to be excellent as a source of pride and trust…’?