Nigeria is a great country in all ramifications many firsts here and there, with wonderful ancestry,heart and a people constantly busting with verve and energy.
The vitality of Nigeria eclipses the hurt and pain portrayed on foreign media.(you know our friends in the BBC).
100years on the chariot moves unabated despite stops and pitfalls,trading hubs have changed from zungeru to lagos,Capitals moved from calabar to lagos then to Abuja a cummulative journey of decades, a story constantly unfolding.
Trade has always been in the heart of every Nigerian, Infact the country was a company The Royal Niger Company lead by Goldie Tubman,dealing in cash crops across swathes of arable Nigerian land ,busting across the River and Benue,the cravices of the country constantly combed for every penny all to return to the british empire,while our people labour a laborious terrain to satistify Tubman’s books.
This continued across the years and this dance of wealth for the Royal Niger company had interests that mattered more than the people,our people,they continued in their resolve to ensure this trading cycle continued until the french saw possibilities and others wrestled the brits for this space called Nigeria.In the end a certain “Berlin conference” was to settle the debacle but steadily the Royal Niger company had lost its oomph and the parliament bought Nigeria from the royal Niger company a little over 900,000 pounds in price.
1st Jan 1900,All the papers signed, history was made by the “big spenders”.The journey of amalgation started by forcefully putting “Gaza in TelAviv” In this case the lagos colony(Their trophy from 1890 due to a spat between kosoko and Akintoye) ,the southern(Their conquest of Nana, jaja and the oba of benin) and Northern protectorates(Their allianace with the emirs and sultans).This experiment had a timeline 1914 ,as to every moment ,a hero Lord Lugard,his mistress(later wife had a befitting name for the union NIGERIA.
Then, the fight for independence by Jaja Nwachukwu, kuti,Enahoro,Azikwe,Awolowo.In 1960 the union jack went down and The green white green went up later to become grey precipitated by division,ethnic strive and corruption that had its well dug in oloibiri in 1956 (The debate of oil being a blessing or curse is a talk for another day).
The naming game continues Azikwe,ironsi,Gowon,mohammed,Obasanjo,Shagari,buhari,Babangida,shonekan,Abacha,Abusalami,Obasanjo,Yaradua,Jonathan and buhari again,The dates endless,1927,1967,1993,1999,2007 and the beat goes on.
Today we are at a crossroads an economy in shambles, our bonny light is now paperweight in revenue,massive corrpution of 30 billion dollars looted,this augean’s stables looks too filthy for the brushes, it is grey really grey .
Yakubu Gowon once said “the problem is not money but how to spend it”.Now Buhari says “we are not as rich as we think”.
But I believe we can look inwards and change the prevalent dynamics holding us back.
Honestly it is green white grey,but soon it would green white green again