Nigeria, ‘The Giant of Africa’, as it is known to be, is as a result of its largest population and economy. It is the most populous country in Africa and the 17th most populous country in the world with an estimated population of 206 million. Nigeria’s economy is the largest in Africa, the 26th largest in the world by nominal Gross Domestic Profit – GDP, 25th largest by Purchasing Power Parity – PPP, and an emerging market by the World Bank.
It is fifty-one years since Nigerian Independence. But while some progress has been made, too many Nigerians still suffer want, dejection, and hopelessness. – A Commonwealth Correspondent and radio presenter from Lagos, Tayo Elegbede, 2011.
Do Nigerians still really suffer want, dejection and hopelessness today? Yes, we do. Every Nigerian is a warrior. You do not have to be on the battle field to be called or described as a warrior. One way or the other, every Nigerian is fighting a battle -seen and unseen, as it seems like the walls around us are falling apart. With all we see and hear about Nigeria today, it appears like our beloved country has never known peace, unity and good economy. Nigeria might not have been the best so far but of a surety, ‘this’ was not what it used to be. Nigeria used to be a country where you can sleep with your two eyes closed, travel far and wide without being kidnapped, get justice for the deserved as no one is above the law and also live a normal and comfortable life with the little you earn. But do we still have these today?
According to history, our forefathers didn’t experience so much of famine and all forms of atrocities we are faced with today. As there wasn’t a properly organized government, they still lived a happy and a fulfilled life.
From a bleeding and a concerned heart, this was not what we expected and anticipated for our country during our childhood. Youths are and have been the most vulnerable in all of these dramas. We feel like we have no form of governance over us. We get wounded and we end up healing ourselves by ourselves, we seek and fight for justice even when it seems none is forthcoming but no one is ready to listen.
Nigerian youths, known as the ‘indomine generation and the press press phone generation’ deserve a salute and an accolade. All efforts being put together to make this country a better place and the Giant of Africa which it used to be seems abortive but this is not the time to give up as we believe there is still so much hope for our country. Despite all odds, we choose not to get distracted but focus on the greatness we believe we can still restore to our great country, Nigeria.
No road to greatness is smooth and I assume this is a phase we all have to go through and it would definitely pass. A better country is not too much to ask for. Whatever it would take, I want to believe every citizen is ready to put in all effort to achieve it.
All we ask for is a better Nigeria and the Giant of Africa we used to be.
By Grace Ololade Rauf