School: Mayflower Snr Secondary School, Ikenne. Ogun
Can life really be interesting without trials, tribulations, challenges and problems? Although, this might sound ironical but if we are to think deep, we will discover that the sentence above weighs more than it seems. If there are no challenges, what experience and stories do we want to pass across as lessons to our unborn generations? Therefore, I will like to define challenges as stepping stones to success while a country is a nation with its own government.
The BIAFRA WAR from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970 (a war that lasted for two years, six months, one week and two days) that erupted in the first decade of Nigerian independence was of course a setback but the Nigerian spirit of resilience, doggedness and never say die, kept us going. The challenges faced by Nigeria are graft, nepotism, unemployment, bribery, corruption, fraud and many more. These challenges are like onions which lead from one layer to another.
In a country where there is nepotism, unemployment is born. Unemployment grows into corruption which id the riot behind all evil happenings. It got so full blown that the Transparency Independence, an international global watch on corruption ranks as one of the five most corrupt countries in the world. Where corruption exists, it does not walk alone but goes side by side with fraud and bribery.
Challenges or not, Nigeria is my native soil, come what may. The challenges faced by Nigeria can be compared to the challenges faced by married couples. The similarity is that Nigerians recite the pledge which goes thus;
I pledge to Nigeria my country,
To be faithful, loyal and honest,
To serve Nigeria with all my strength,
To defend her unity,
And uphold her honor and glory,…..’
So, also it’s said during holy matrimony that the husband and wife shall be together forever either in bad health or sound health, for better or for worse and for richer or poorer.
However, the first thing that comes to my mind during this comparison is that why are matrimonial vows been strictly followed whereas, citizens of Nigeria cannot defend or be loyal and faithful to her. Notwithstanding, the challenges stated above, I still see no reason why I should not love my country. Although the challenges facing Nigeria are pronounced when compared to that of other countries but one fact which is yet to be unraveled is that most of these developed countries which we hold in high esteem have their own Achilles heels or weakness which I am afraid are worse than ours.
I will feel very delighted and glad to stand in the highest mountain in the world and shout that ‘I LOVE NIGERIA’, why? Because it is blessed with natural resources like gold, limestone, crude oil, and many more which these developed countries like America wish to lay hands on but couldn’t. These raw materials are processed into exportable productions which are sold and yield a lot of income.
Furthermore, natural disasters like earthquake, tornado and eruption of volcano hardly occur in Nigeria. This makes Nigeria a safe place to live in. other developed countries like Korea are often disturbed by this and leads to loss of lives and properties.
I will feel greatly honored to say that ‘I LOVE MY COUNTRY’ because we are free from strange and incurable diseases. We have often been hearing of emergence of various strange diseases in the developed world and these occur due to new production and cross breeding different species. They dig holes which will end up catching them. A good example of this is the emergence of Ebola due to the mating of monkeys and human beings. Another instance is the disease called ‘CANCER’ which occurs due to excessive consumption of canned food produced in these countries. In Nigeria we believe in keeping to our natural food which makes us look radiant and even at old age.
Also, the sight of a Nigerian dressed in accordance with our customs and tradition gets me fascinated. Unlike other country, we cover our nakedness, yet we are still outstandingly beautiful and well adorned. To check our mode of feeding, we eat extravagantly yet conserve a lot. ‘Extravagantly’ meaning, highly nutritive and balanced food. Not in a million years can the eating of snacks be compared to a meal like pounded yam, well organized vegetable soup and roasted bush meat. All these are the culture of Nigeria which I love so much.
Again, it is believed or assumed that God is white in skin color, therefore He is not supposed to love black race. But in reality, the so-called white people still come to Nigeria to seek salvation. Churches which have branches all over the world are established by Nigerians. They also have their headquarters in Nigeria. Examples of these are Redeemed Christian Church of God owned by Pastor Adeboye, The Living Faith Church (also known as Winners Chapel) owned by Pastor David Oyedepo and many others.
Another thing I love about Nigeria is our team spirit, accommodation and tolerance. When aliens come to seek refuge in Nigeria, they are treated like kings and queens. They are employed in renewed companies and can even be the head that controls the citizens of Nigeria in their fatherland. Yet, we did not resist their migration into our country. On the other hand, when we go to other countries, we are treated like slaves and employed in indecent jobs.
Out of the numerous reasons why I love Nigeria, one important culture is that we are morally upright. Respect is a much-cherished value in Nigeria. We are also the god’s own country because despite all odds, e still resisted the legalization of same sex marriage. There are many more reasons why I love my country but time waits for no man.
In the long run, Chinua Achebe was pessimistic when he wrote that ‘There was a country ‘because he believed that the Nigeria of old was dead but i am optimistic and so I rewrite it that ‘There is a new Country’ if only our new motto can be that ‘I WILL NT BE A REFUUGEE OR SLAVE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY WHEREAS I HAVE A HAPPY, COMFORTABLE AND CONVENIENT HOME’.