Nigeria Still Wobbling at 59

Muhammadu Buhari

Canticles…… with  Eddy Odivwri


Hurray, Nigeria is inching fast to the Diamond age. And it will be the age of unstoppable shining.

My friend, don’t deceive yourself. If Nigeria could not shine at 40 nor glow at 50, there is no guaranty that it will even blink bright at 60.


You are not seeing the brighter side of this country. You are choosing to see the bottle as half empty instead of half full.

It is the same thing my brother. It is mere semantic scam, which people use in consoling their spirits. I am a realist. I am old enough to tell if the moon will shine at night or not. From every indication, I can tell you that in Nigeria too, the beautiful ones are not yet born.

We had thought President Buhari has most, if not all, of the answers plaguing us as a people. It is clear now that he does not even understand the questions let alone having the answers.


Stop heaping all the blames on Buhari. Buhari this…, Buhari that…, Haba! Nigeria is 59, Buhari has only done five years plus. What about the other 53 years plus? You make it sound like Nigeria’s problem began and ended with Buhari. You do not even acknowledge that he has tried to stem the tide of downward slide, and the corroding rot eating away the soul of the country. You do not realize the degree of damage done by previous governments and the regal battle Buhari has been fighting within the contaminated system and polity to redeem the country and reset it on the path of progress and development. You seem to …. 

(cuts in) I don’t seem to do anything. I don’t care how much grammar you speak. You cannot claim that Buhari has done only five years plus. You forget this is his second missionary journey? How much development has he effected then and now? Look, what Nigerians want is not a bland defence of political leaders, but a self-evident improved HDI


What is HDI?

Human Development Index. And this is not complex economics or governmental jargon. It simply means better life for the people. How do you measure it? How are people feeling? How are they feeding? How are they relaxing? What access to good life do they have? These are the issues.

Is it not a shame that 59 years after, rather than grow we are shrinking and deteriorating? Was this how the country was 30 years ago? Are we moving forward or backward?

59 Years after, we are still battling with the basics of life. We still do not have good roads, no water, no electricity… do you know that most people could not even listen to the President’s Independence Day Broadcast on Tuesday because they had no light? Our hospitals are no longer mere consulting clinics, but now extension of the mortuaries… what are we talking about? Have you experienced the modern day graduates from our universities, how cracked they are, how uncooked they sound? At 59, just tell me what we have gotten right as a country. Tell me. Don’t mope at me. Tell me.


You fail to realize that we have made some progress. Have you forgotten how people used to queue at telephone centres to make phone calls? Today, even the roadside pepper seller has Android telephone. 30 years ago, was there anything like internet banking where we can do huge transactions now from our bedrooms? Was there POS 30 years ago? What do you say about the speed of communication today? Did you have it 20 years ago? Look, we have made giant strides and we are headed to the promised land.

(mimicking) we are headed cho chi pyomised yand. Promised land indeed! You are citing and boasting of imported technologies. You speak as if Nigeria is the owner of the internet broadbands that have changed our communication world. You speak as if we have developed any technology that supports our huge population. Is it not a shame that countries like Brazil, Malaysia, Singapore, India etc., which are our contemporaries have made tremendous strides and progress whilst we are tottering and wobbling along like dump romp fed ronyon, as Shakespeare will put it? Leave those countries even. Look at Dubai in the UAE. How old is Dubai? See where they are there and compare with us. That’s a state that literally has just seven gallons of oil.

The truth, as I said is that the messiahs are not yet here, my brother. I don’t see anything changing soon.

Just imagine how many economic development programmes they had churned out, all to no avail. Do you remember Second Tier, MAMSER, DFFRI, NEEDS, Year 2010, Year 2020,  Yes-P, ERGP,  N-Power,  tradersmoni, etc etc.? Where has all that taken us? Can’t you see that the elite have been exploiting the naivety and docility of the masses over the years?

The younger generation do not offer much hope either. Is that not why religious asphyxiation is so strong in this country? Can you imagine the army regiment of  of a country now soliciting prayers from religious leaders to

overcome some outlaws? And you say we are headed to the Promised Land?


I must remind you that Rome was not built in a day. I will tell you what Koomson, the lead character in Ayi Kwei Armah’s book, The Beautiful Ones Are not Yet Born told his traducers. He said:

“Let those who are blessed with power

 And the soaring swiftness of the eagle,

And have flown before.

Let them go.

I will travel slowly 

And I too will arrive”

Once more, I recommend moral re-armament. Because except we change our ways, our greed level and our nepotistic habits, we shall remain a wobbling machine.