Why shouldn’t we celebrate at 54?

My fans will wonder at this title and be surprised to find that I am on the side of celebration and fanfare at Nigeria’s 54th buy xenical in the uk anastrozole generic costAnastrozole generic cost cheap xenical 120 mg Independence Anniversary. As a critical observer of events and someone intolerant of the social decadence and ineptitude of leadership that have crippled the giant, most of those that read my 4-year old “Uncensored 333 ” Column will expect me to naturally come up with another piece of critical darts. No, but I am sparing the public domain this time. Not that they have suddenly done well and therefore deserve plaudits or undeserved accolades; it is because in spite of their fifty four years of wickedness and failures as leaders, the old Gulliver (Nigeria) still pushes on. Put differently, we deserve to celebrate because with or without the gap-fillers in government quarters, who have done very little to “move the nation forward” or fix the country, the old man (or is it a woman?) has refused to die.

It is against this background that I urge the mas of Nigerians- not the rulers- to celebrate with champagnes and soulful music. It is to these my loyal readers and fans that I am dedicating this 54th Anniversary Special and to them, I say, CONGRATULATIONS and Happy Independence Anniversary! No sober reflection. Rejoice at being indestructibility of our “nationhood”.

Why should we not celebrate? Three years after a bloody, avoidable Civil War, we remained one Nigeria. In spite of the callous and self-conceited moves by ethnic nationalists and sectional politicians to tear our country apart, we have marched on as a people. Despite the military misadventures and conscious attempts to run the resources dry with the emergence of a nouveau-riche military and retired military class, Nigeria still has enough even for the corrupt politicians from which to steal, and eat, and “chop”, and “quench”. The country’s oil wells and oasis of wealth refuse to dry up. Against all odds, Nigeria still stands.

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The infallibility of the country- against the background of the many throes and challenges- is the 11th wonder of the world. It is worth celebrating. In 1993, General Sani Abacha seized power, hurled MKO Abiola in detention and dug mass graves in which he disposed of his opposition. Abacha stole much more than General Babangida, his successor, friend and collaborator did. The Abacha loots, we are told, could have reclaimed lands on the Atlantic and built another Nigeria. Indeed, Abacha, IBB and Abdusalami, we learnt, became the richest African people in the 1990s by virtue of their loots from the Nigerian coffers. Aside the damage their acts could have caused Nigeria- annulment and putting the country on the path of ethnic conflict once again; detention, criminalizing of democratic movement and killing of opposition; and the sudden death of Abiola, respectively- the “nation” still moved on. It was feared that another civil war might erupt. But no, it did not. What “erupted’ was passion for a new Nigeria.

Obasanjo emerged and a new problem was created by the enemies within. Sharia took the centre stage of Nigerian politics, with subtle attempts by the religious bigots and ethnic leaders in the North to make the “nation’ unworkable for the new president. While religious riots in Northern Sharia-inclined states nearly brought government down; the militants in the South-South embarked on sustained terrorist violence. Then there was a local Egbesu problem at Odi, Bayelsa State. The Bakassi Boys and OPC took laws into their hands in the Southeast and Southwest, respectively. The Yandaba in the North had their own special problem. And there emerged the path of declaration of self-determination with flags and symbols other than the green and white and national emblems, springing up inside government houses of some states. All these were between the period of 1999-2003. But what happened afterward? Nigeria outlived all these attempts to undermine it and end the project. Today, we are still Nigeria!

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After the crises in these different parts and the umpteenth time of overcoming dismemberment, we entered a new chapter and dimension, unprecedented in our national history- terrorism and Islamic insurgency aimed primarily at creating an Islamic State of Nigeria or sovereign Caliphate out of the sovereign entity called Nigeria. The incidence of Boko Haram is undoubtedly the most terrifying of the man-made horrors in the social clime, and apparently the most threatening to nationhood. It has defied all measures to tackle to it and like Nigeria, it seems to be a cat that has nine lives.

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However, Nigeria still stands as one and just recently, we clocked 54, not as two or three different republics, but as One Nigeria. We are also said to be 100 years old since amalgamation. It never seems to be a holy union and surely, it is a fragile union; but we are still the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 100 years after. We have defied our numerous enemies within. And surely, it is shame to countries that have always wanted to see Nigeria crumble or divided. I will not join those who have put reason aside to gobble lies and propaganda put up by Boko Haram that Shekau is immortal. As far as I am concerned and from my close observation, we have three “Shekaus”. The more robust, finer-looking and clean-clothed Shekau died last year. The dirty-looking, marijuana-incensed Shekau was killed at the Battle of Konduga. The new Shekau has a distant semblance with the other two. I do not need DHQ or security experts to analyze these things for me to know. I have brain and discerning mind, and of course, eyes, to know these things.

Those, including the so-called “journalist very close to Boko Haram” who say Shekau is alive and well, are not different from Boko Haram. They are enemies of Nigeria. They are not doing any analysis. They are simply creating fear and helping to perpetuate and strengthen the thesis around the myth of the infallibility of Boko Haram. Such enemies of the country deserve the death sentence meted out to the recently court-marshalled men of the Nigerian Army. Shekau is dead and Boko Haram is dead. When we shatter the myth of this cowardly group, we have earned yet another victory and Nigeria, as usual, marches on, even more gallantly.

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We deserve to celebrate. Despite the infrastructural failures (bad roads, poor state of education, perpetually epileptic electricity supply, permanently poor state of the refineries), uninhibited display of corruption and lack of prosecution- indeed glorification- of corrupt Nigerians, weak and clueless leadership over the years, and lack of an identifiable national interest culminating in foreign policy of assumption rather than conception; we have forged ahead.

We overcame Ebola! Nigeria became the first country to treat and discharge Ebola cases. It was a disease well managed by the Nigerian authorities and if there is any good thing the Nigerian government has done well since Shagari created a formidable military, it is the Jonathan successfully managed Ebola disease.

The Bible says that, in everything, we should give thanks. So do other religions quote the Supreme Being. For Nigeria, a “nation” so sold out to God with the mighty acts of His Prophets and clergy, it has been a political template whose survival in the midst of too many storms cannot be understood in the laboratory of human reason.

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