By Sunday Oyinloye
Dear Nigeria. Let me first acknowledge that I respect you because you gave birth to me. You were born in 1914, and lived with your parents for decades until you started living on your own in 1960. Though, I wouldn’t want to talk about your parents, the fact remains that some have been clamouring for a DNA about your paternity, but I will not join in that debate.
As Africans, we are taught to respect our parents so; I will try as much as possible to do that in this letter, more so when it is coming from one of your children.
I am happy that you gave birth to me. You are one of the greatest nations in the world. You are so loved by God that you hardly experience serious natural disasters. Most of your disasters are man-made and self-inflicted calamities. That you are loved by God is not in doubt. Not only do you have mineral resources in abundance, you are also blessed with some of the best brains in the world, be it in science, humanity and business and other fields.
While I wouldn’t want to touch on anything religion because some of your children (Christians and Muslims) are so fanatical about it, I give it to you, that you have some of the finest clerics in both faiths. Perhaps, they are the ones standing in gap for you; otherwise, you would have gone the way of the Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah which were destroyed with brimstone and fire because of the wickedness of the inhabitants.
My dear Nigeria, you are called the giant of Africa as the most populous black nation on the planet earth. You also have the largest economy in Africa and some of your children have written their names in gold particularly the authors among them
I know your memory is sharp but let me remind you about some of your children who have made you proud in the literary world. One of them is playwright, Wole Soyinka, who became Africa’s first Nobel laureate for literature in 1986. You also gave birth to late Chinua Achebe whose novel, “Things Fall Apart,” has sold more than 20 million copies since it was first published in 1958 and has also been translated into 57 languages. Have you forgotten your son Ben Okri whose novel “The Famished Road” won the Booker Prize in 1991? How on earth would you forget Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie whose second novel, “Half of a Yellow Sun”, was made into a film in 2013. The list of your great men and women is endless therefore; you ought to be celebrated by every nation. Why you are not being celebrated is what you should search your mind about and made amends.
Even if you have forgotten these ones, how can you forget Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Amhadu Bello? Are you not the one who gave birth to the friends of the masses; Aminu Kano and Tai Solarin? How come many of your children have suddenly become corrupt while you are still alive? Where were you when some of your children suddenly became terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, ritual killers, yahoo yahoo and yahoo plus?
Are you not worried that your name has been dragged to the mud by few ones who are bent on destroying you? Perhaps, you don’t know, some have even been asking why you are still standing if God could destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Did I hear you say has it gotten to that? Yes it has. While majority of your children are law abiding, decent and God fearing, the few wicked ones seem to have buried your glory.
Nigeria, you have to move fast and call your children to order, otherwise, they will send you to an early grave. You are asking me why? It’s not my opinion but what is happening under your watch as our parent. Let me explain further, probably you will realise the gravity of the problem and how low you seems to have sunk.
Many of your good children can no longer go to School due to the wickedness of other children killing the good ones. As a parent, you should be worried that human head is being sold at less than $50 when you are still alive. Yes, you heard me right. Human life is cheaper than a pair of reading glasses here.
Some of your children are the best of doctors across the globe, but they are not ready to live with you again because of what they referred to as your uncaring attitude. Majority of them have relocated to America, Europe and the Middle East leaving your other children at the mercy of diseases.
I wouldn’t want to go into more details of what your once glorious name has become. However, I want to advise you to be more responsible and talk to your children who are trying to bring you down.
Nigeria, I am your son and should be able to tell you the truth. You have to move fast; really fast. You want to know the reason? Simple, you are bleeding too much.
I fear that if you don’t heed my warning, something terrible might happen to you sooner than you expect. But that is not my wish or prayer as your son.
I remain your loyal son, Sunday Oyinloye.