By Rotimi Fafowora
Sometimes when I view Nigeria from when it was a colony to amalgamation, independence, military rule and later to the present democractic dispensation, Nigeria from inception is a country that is built on nothing, like a house without a foundation. Suffice to say that there has never been any country or individuals without challenge from childhood to adulthood, but how those challenges are overcome is what is essential.
When the country was amalgamated it was to be a cause, but unfortunately what was to be a Cause then, turned out to be a Curse now. How? Either by omission or commission, How could the Northern Protectorate had stretched form the then Southern Cameroon to Erin Ile in the present day Kwara State, leaving the then Southern Protectorate with a paltry land mass that when combined was not even up to their counterpart in the North.
However, just like the bibilical story of Noah’s children where the doctrine of ‘ignorantia juris non excusat’ (is a principle in law, that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating those laws, merely because that person is unaware) was first espoused. Noah was drunk, the youngest went to call his two older brothers making fun of their father’s inebriate status.When the brothers came, they did not only cover their father’s nakedness, but they did it with dignity by not looking at his nakedness. When he woke up a curse and blessing was placed that one would be servant to the other. Albeit,from unconfirmed historical fictions, we were made to believe that the servant of the two brothers are Africa & Palestine while the two older brothers are America and Europe. Is the Northern Region the bibilical America, while the Western Region is the Europe tugging at the tail of America and the South East representing Africa because of the civil war.
On a lighter mood, this is saying that when America sneezes the rest of the world catch cold. Before you can become anything in Nigeria you need the endorsement of the North, while the South West and the South East only scramble for recognition. If not,how could we deduce Obasanjo’s victory in 1999, after he lost in his unit, ward, state and the whole South West, but still went ahead to win the general election? President Buhari lost woefully in the South East, but with votes from the North, he won the presidency.
Furthermore, for Nigeria to move away from curse to cause, we need to have a rethink about our core values. Where is the place of families raising disciplined children anymore? When we were young and as a child if you want to misbehave in the presence of a visitor, a counter look from your parents alone was enough to send a signal to checkmate you. When coming back from school, you dare not come home with a colleague’s notebook or textbook without a verifiable justification. But what do we have today from parents to the children? we have lost those core values and replace them with vanity. Every institutions and parastatals are degenerating day by day, if not how could snake have swallowed millions of naira? Even most churches now scramble to build the biggest auditoriums, universities and forgetting that they are supposed to be charity organizations. Hijab wearing imbroglio is prevalent in some states. I could remember some of my family members that went to Muslim schools and are doing very well in their different callings without Koran taking anything out of them.
For Nigeria to move from Curse to Cause we need to start building institutions not individuals. Individuals can leave anytime but those institutions will forever and ever remain. That is why the little progress made in our electoral process by Professor Jega should be built on unlike what obtains during the era of Professor Iwu. Also, the type of reformation that is being carried out in Jamb by Professor Oloyede should not be in vain. At least to some extent, there is sanity now in the type of students that are admitted into various higher institutions,unlike before that it was garbage in garbage out.
To sum up, happiness is not a procastination, it is something we design for the present and for us to enjoy this privilege and to move from Curse to Cause we need discipline more than ever before.
Rotimi Fafowora can be reached on