Written by DAMILARE RILYCKS
I am Nigeria and here goes my pathetic story… *clears throat*
I was born on the 1st of January 1914 and named Nigeria due to the closeness of my parents to the River Niger. Of course, my birth wouldn’t have been possible without the callous effort of Priest Frederick Lugard who conjoined my parents, Mr Northern protectorate and Miss Southern protectorate in a forced marriage as a result of his selfish interest. It is pertinent to note that priest Lugard didn’t give me the freedom to live independently until after I was 46yrs of age (1960). Unfortunately, it was at this point that my travails began.
After my independence, I gave birth to six children namely, North Central, North East, North West, South West, South East, South South. Of course this is where my problem began, my children due to their heterogeneous nature refused to live together as one family. They see one another as enemies and adversaries.
In 1967, one of my children, South East threatened to disown the family name and adopt another name (Biafra). This led to a serious war which almost led to my death. I survived this and when all seems to be at peace, series of blood shed in the name of coups ensued.. Politicians never cease to loot my treasury, corruption and abuse of human right amongst others are on the rampage. I can’t but regret the numerous lives that were lost, my able servants were killed and jailed without trial. Oh! what a tortuous life.
Niger Delta Crisis
My joy knew no bounds when oil was discovered in Oloibiri which happens to be under my child South South in 1956… At that point I was building fantasies of creating myself in the image of My big friend, USA. This wasn’t to be, corrupt politicians diverted most of the funds from the oil treasury to enrich themselves. Funds that ought to be used to develop me and cater for my children are being diverted to my big friends by my prodigious servants. What grieves me most is that my child, under whose the bulk of this treasure is found is mostly underdeveloped and impoverished. It got to a point, he couldn’t take it anymore and he had to rebel.
Oh my! Those were the most gruesome years of my existence. At this point I have developed a thick skin towards my numerous challenges. And as usual, I overcame it.
Why always me? I can’t help but to ask myself. Not long after I settled with my rebelling child, South South, his big brother North came up with another life threatening challenge to cut my life short. Some blood thirsty politician connived with a certain Shekau to massacre my people in the guise of religion. I weep for the blood lost shed, the lives lost and my daughter’s kidnapped.
Sigh! sometimes I wish I never came into existence. Most times I feel too much younger than my age due to the level of political and socio-economic backwardness and other times I feel way older than I am due to the countless gruesome experiences I’ve had. Even at 56years after Independence, my children cannot come in terms with their religious and socio-cultural differences.
The Buhari Recession
At the moment when I was coming into terms with the realities of Boko-haram and doing all I could to curtail it.. Another monster reared its ugly head. Even though I have never been self sufficient since independence, a visit from the dreadful recession is the least I expected. How can this be? I felt I was rich enough to cushion the effects of their wasteful spending and looting of my supposedly vast wealth. Now, I am a poor country. What a life of unending agony…. Now I have become a ridiculed figure among my colleagues. I am a failed mother who couldn’t bring her children together. In spite of my riches and resources, my children are living in abject poverty. My peers said I’m living on borrowed time. Biafra is threatening to secede, North-East is boiling, Avengers are bombing, Niger Delta is suffering, my children are impoverished and famished How long will this life of unending travails continue? Who is the messiah? Where is Buhari taking me to? The promised Land? Perhaps he is leading me into Sodom and gomorrah?
Only time will tell….
God save Nigeria!
Long Live Nigeria!
God bless Nigeria!
Happy Independence Day Nigeria!