#Nigeria @ 56: THE FULCRUM OF AN UNPLEASANT HISTORY – By Adebiyi Saint Skempo


National Chairman of The Pathfinders Movement Nigeria) being a press release on the 55th Independence Day Anniversary of Nigeria.

Depreciation in patriotism is a malady that even law can not cure, suci is our predicament in the 56 plagued years of our independence which has placed us in a perambulating overdrive that has made us progressed, regressed, re-regressed and re-progressed as a nation. We are richly blessed with natural resources yet the fangs of underdevelopment and poverty stings us where it hurts the most. We supposedly have the largest arable land for agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa yet the gloom of hunger continually stares at us like a giant bedroom mirror. We slowly but steadily became a people of checkered history, the one that has produced heroes and villains, tyrants and patriots whose role had been rendered controversially inconsequential or rather apparently lacking in direct bearing or impact on the progress, growth and development of the society, for the essence and drama of history lies precisely in the active and continuous relationship between the underlying conditions that set the boundaries of human existence and the everyday problems with which people consciously struggle in the words of American historian Bernard Bailyn.
Moreso, to drag a man in economic and socio-political fetters into a grand illuminated and misplaced idea of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems to celebrate, is but inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony, according to writer and orator Fredrick Douglas; of course, it will be equally unequivocally erring to advocate a passive stance to the irrefutably sweet memories it elicits or the promising future it conjures when the independence day comes to mind. Moreover, there are times when people decides to identify with a cause or an event, not simply because they feel the event or cause requires or deserves support, but because they calculate correctly that that  is the the method by which they would advance their own interest at that particular point which is not new in the history of the independence day celebrations in Nigeria. That for 56 years, we had been grappling with the depraved and metastatic effect of bad leadership and economic redundancy, portends the history of a people who unconsciously consciously played the role of an ignorant criminal in an intricate web that involves extensive money laundering, treasury looting, a lifestyle of opulent luxury and comfort, and a corrupt rags to riches scheme of the political elites. British novelist Graham Greene once distinguished between been corrupt by money and been corrupt by sentiment. He stressed that sentiment was more dangerous because you can not name it’s price. A man open to bribes was to be relied upon below a certain figure, but sentiment might uncoil in the heart at the mention of a name or abstracts like religion and ethnicity, even a smell. Politics and political affiliations rubbed many people of their locus standi to speak the truth at any place and at any time, a speaker accused of budget padding is sure of getting a fanfare carnival in his support from the youths, an embattled asset forgery accused is honoured with a total lock down of our “hollowed” chambers with her members serving as aide-de-camp to the accused in court, a dame former first lady who wishes to visit an expensive medical facility probably in planet Jupiter, caught with multiple bank accounts denominated in Dollars will definitely get the now bastardized word “protest” or the pedestrian word “street demonstartion”; only in the history brought upon Nigeria by Nigerians.
Every advanced nations of the world or conventionally put, every developed countries of the world are built on and upon the people. They are the true essence and pivot of growth, they are the key fabrics that brings about true development, so it is safe to assume that as a people we have lost touch with the oneness and uniqueness that energized us to fight for independence over 56 years ago, it seems we have lost our dogged spirit, the one that fought military rule to a reasonable stand still, we are almost losing the last priced possession which is our voice of reason. As a nation we are in an economic quagmire today because the ranks of the people has been so divided and polarized that virtually all yesterday’s civil society leaders are now spokesperson and advocates for the corrupt few. A war is been waged on the people, one which aims to keep the people as perpetual beggars for what rightly belongs to them, a war that employs the tactics of using human rights’ groups and bodies to fight themselves, a war that seeks to keep power and governance in a circle of the corrupt few. The vanguards as Vladimir Lenin posits must awaken the consciousness of the people, we must know that The difficulties presented by questions of religion, language, culture and different political affiliations are not insuperable. If the need for a socio-political union is agreed by us all, which is imperative, then the will to forge a common front against injustice, tyranny and corruption will be born.
In a nut shell, events and happenings of the past 16 years has demonstrated a trend among the political elites, like the dark spots on a Leopard that can not be washed off by torrential rain, they have shown an irredeemable characteristics of mortgaging the welfare of Nigeria and Nigerians and ours is not to give up or lose hope but the awaken the “man” in the 56 year old, and in the words of Kwameh Nkrumah; believe strongly and sincerely that with the deep-rooted wisdom and dignity, the innate respect for human lives, the intense humanity that is our heritage, Nigeria, united under one federal government, will emerge not as just another world bloc to flaunt its wealth and strength, but as a Great Power whose greatness is indestructible because it is built not on fear, envy and suspicion, nor won at the expense of others, but founded on hope, trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind.
Long live The Pathfinders Movement Nigeria!
Long live Nigeria!
Happy Independence!

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