In the 61-year-old history of Nigeria, a lot of water has passed under the bridge, to borrow a popular cliché. But no matter how tough the storms, we have been able to weather it as a people, “though tribe and tongue may differ,” as the words of our former National Anthem reminds us.
On the political field, we have transited severally, welcoming both military and civilian rules and rulers. We have applauded some administrations and been let down, yet some have almost met the desires of the average Nigerian. And we are where we are today, nurturing our democracy and believing that in the long run, all will be well.
Economically, we have reaped the benefits of our God-given endowment – crude oil- and utilized it for the development of our nation. Some may argue as to how well the proceeds from our oil revenue have been judiciously put to use, but there would be no use crying over spilt milk. Our resilience as a people is our main staying power. Nigerians come out of every tough situation smelling even sweeter than the rose flower. This is because we understand the never-say-die mantra and use it well to our advantage. The era of affluence puts a smile on our collective faces, yet the downturn in affluence never takes away from who we are.
Our countrymen, including children, are making us proud in yonder land, winning laurels and wowing the western world. In practically all fields of human endeavor, Nigerians shine like stars and fly the nation’s fly high.
To celebrate our 61″ anniversary, President Muhammadu Buhari acknowledged that though “the past 18 months have been some of the most difficult period in the history of Nigeria ,” he noted that “Our resolve for a peaceful, united and one Nigeria remains resolute and unwavering ,” urging Nigerians not to despair over current challenges as government is not resting its oars to address the national malaise.
Similarly, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan indicated that “We may have hiccups along the way and challenging times that might be stretching our resolve and determination to forge ahead, but we should not relent nor succumb to fear, discouraging trials and threats of today,” assuring that Nigeria has what it takes to overcome the threats and trials currently bedeviling the nation.
The Cross River Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, in a similar message to his people, admitted that there are challenging times, but “in spite of those dispiriting moments, however, there have been glittering times… conscious of the fact that no nation has ever berthed on a roller coaster, or fulfilled its destiny without sweat, we cannot therefore, as a country, afford to take our eyes off the ball.”
On the religious front, the Christian Association of Nigeria, the umbrella body of all Christian denominations in the country, in an encouraging goodwill message to the nation titled “Nigeria will experience showers of blessing,” president of the association, Rev Samson Ayokunle, said “The situation of the country appears bleak but knowing that God is not man and with Him all things are possible, this is the right time to believe that there shall be showers of blessings because some people are praying for this country.”
Add to this the assurance of the French President, Emmanuel Macron ; Indian President, Ram Nath Kovind; and the American President, Joe Eiden, that their administrations will support Nigeria in its efforts at combating the numerous challenges it is currently facing, one cannot but see light at the end of our dark tunnel.
We commend Nigerians desirous of and working hard to take the country to higher heights and condemn, in strong terms, agitators of division and secession under whatever guise. It is worth realizing that every country has challenges, even the developed ones. Abandoning a ship is never the way out of a difficult situation because even when it looks impossible, the tide may tum for good.
We beseech citizens to contribute their quota in their little corners, no matter how small, to ensuring that the nation comes out of the woods with sweet stories to tell. From every indication, there is hope for the entity called Nigeria in the years ahead