KENECHUKWU ANONA writes: Would a lion still be regarded as the king of the jungle if it is caged up in a zoo? (The state of the nation)

The state of the Nation.
Good things don’t last some people say. As a child, I remember my father come back from his work place (during special seasons like christmas and easter) with fabulous gifts. Then as a teenager I began to see less and less of those beautiful gifts. And now that I am an adult and a university undergraduate, I have come to witness times when my father hardly comes home with his monthly salary. How pitiable! I search for words that would suffice to describe the miserable state in which my beloved motherland has found herself. Would a lion still be regarded as the king of the jungle if it is caged up in a zoo? I would scarcely refer to that as a giant that has been enslaved by corruption and held captive by the strong chains of injustice.        If I were asked to paint a perfect picture of the giant of Africa which picture would I paint? That of the innumerable beggers and destitutes, some lying and others roaming the streets of our typical Nigerian markets. The picture of that sick child whose parents have to seek the help of an under educated road side “chemist” as a last resort because of inadequate funds to afford quality healthcare facility. And at such leaving the child’s life, the dying child’s life at the mercy of a quack. Or would I paint the picture of the many few in some segregated part of the country whose children do not have the slightest idea of what the intricates of a “molue” bus feels like. That many few whose houses hardly perceive the blink of electricity. But I tell you in all sincerity that I would paint the first picture because that represents the true image of the giant of Africa. How sordid!                    Nigeria’s case is a typical case of people as blind as the bat leading a people with sights as sharp as razor. Nigeria has suffered years of unredeemed pledges, she has borne the humiliation of being declared a state of emergency on several occasions and the chastisement of her grief has not ceased to be upon her. The prodigal sons and daughters of Nigeria who parade themselves in undisguised charade as the leaders of the country have not learnt to live and let live. Men and women who have presumably assumed the positions of the elephant trampling on their followers like ants.            Inequity prevails in Nigeria. There is blatant imbalance in virtually every sector of the country’s economy. Some civil servants strive to be paid a “just too low” minimum wage of 18,500 naira, or while most graduates work so hard just to earn a meagre sum of 50,000 naira yet some expend billions of the nation’s income on ‘only God knows what’. Nigeria indeed needs help. A homeless nation, a nation with over 16 million housing deficit and our leaders can’t do anything to help salvage this. And with latest and threatening emergence of the boko haram, this seems to be the last straw to break the camel’s back. When a group of people have. Decided to terrorize the entire nation. Destroying lives and properties with extensive bomb damage. It grieves me to know that Nigeria still has a long way to go if in this 21st century some Nigerians still think that western education is only but a mere waste of time. Its indeed a sad situation.       . But this good thing will last I say! This Nigeria that is capable of Producing food and cash crops, crude oil amongst other natural resources that Nigerians can beat their chest for. This Nigeria that has more than enough human resources both in quality and quantity. A nigeria that was able to produce Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Belewa, Chike obi, Wole soyinka, CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE ETC will be again. A new Nigeria where nobody will be above the law. A nigeria that is equitable, a Nigeria where things will be done the right way. It sure starts from me and you. In our little offices. Let’s be the change we want to see. Let’s fight corruption. So help us GOD. GOD bless Nigeria.           .

Originally written by Kene Anona a medical student, the University of Ibadan. Winner of Nageo Poetry Corner 2012…

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