By Olanrewaju Omoya
Our national anthem is a beautiful one. It is one of the many few things in Nigeria that does not need any form of change; it shows the aspiration of every nation and every individual socially. It appeals to every part of our humanity, Spirit, Soul and Body. It tells us what we want as a people and how we want to achieve it. One of these days I will have to break it down for all to understand the Spirit with which I believe it was written for us all.
Today’s Topic is a long one, I hope that in this few or any words, you are stirred up in not only your mind but in your Spirit and Body; my intention in writing this is not to awe to argh anyone but hope that you are inspired to help along this road to Peace and Unity and (I will add) Righteousness.
I went back home this late rainy season and it gladdened my heart to see MY PEOPLE MY PEOPLE (a name I fondly call Nigerians). But what I saw back home brought frowns, smiles and then thoughtfulness in my Spirit. It all began with my arrival at the Lagos airport.
At the Lagos Airport, there was a delay, the flight arrived about 30minutes ahead of schedule and the airport authorities were not ready to receive the plane, so we spent the next 30 minutes or so on the plane waiting to be received. During those 30 minutes, there was consternation by those on the plane about the problems of being back home, then the lights in the plane were switched off by the pilot for a few minutes before it came back on. Then to immigration, it took another 20 or so minutes because they had to take care of over 300 people coming in at once while waiting for the 7 or so immigration officers to do a check twice, then getting luggage took another 30 minutes. To cut the long story short, it’s not the way you want to be welcomed home after a long flight home. I was surprised that the airport was pretty much the same on the arrival end after one full year.
On the road home, the same story, Traffic coming in and out, the rains did not help, bad portions of the road did not help, broken down vehicles did not help, so a journey of about 20minutes ends up being a 2-hour one.
The next day I took the journey to Mowe in Ogun state from Gbagada with public transport, I was shocked. The bus stop had been moved, I could not take a bus on the roadside, the Lagos government had created a Lay-by at the bus-stop so I had to climb an overhead bridge to the bus-stop, I asked a woman who told me “Tebatiriniayin, e rin lo si sale niayin” in thick Ekiti Accent (meaning if you don’t find it here you’ll find it there), I wanted to ask her if she was from Ekiti but I declined to and took the walk, got on a bus that will not use the lay-by use them for the rest of my journey to Mowe.
“That’s Nigeria, how do you know you are back home if you don’t see these things” people including myself say. Well, I hope by God that will be thrown into history in a few years. If we are creations of God, we cannot but create the same order that the God of Universe created, a smooth system that no man has been able to fault till today. Not even the best scientist will say, the earth will be better if one variable was changed, that’s what we aspire to as creatures of the God.
Thoughts began to flow into my mind because I expected that after a year away from home, the changes will be radical, I will see a different Lagos to Ibadan expressway, A different international airport that will be better than the Local MMA, I thought that the custom officer will not invite me over to ask me if the items I was carrying were dutiable items in a bid to see if he could by chance get a bribe from me, I thought that there will be better order on the road, that motorist will obey traffic rules, I thought and dreamt a lot it seemed, then it dawned on me.
The road to the Nigeria that we all want and dream of is a Long journey, it’s not a sprint, it’s a long arduous marathon with hills and valleys, much worse, it’s one of those courses where they intentionally put obstacles along your way to test your strength and endurance, the winner is always the one who really wants it and has the capacity to deliver on speed and endurance. The Road to a nation of peace, unity and justice, a nation that attains great lofty heights is one that doesn’t suffer a fool. We will get it, but not in 4 years or 8 years and when we have even gotten it we will have new battles to fight because one of the implications of the Fall of man is that Light has come into the world and Men Loved darkness rather than Light; hence, when we have the Nigeria we want we will have to continue to work to make sure we don’t go back to our old ways.
Building this nation is hard work and it will take years. God knows some of us might die before we begin to see the Nigeria that I want but I have made the decision to work at it, I will strive for it, I will contribute and will make war with whoever will not let peace and unity reign in Nigeria. I will strive to give my child a new Nigeria, one He can be proud of, I will strive and when it’s all said and done I will go back to the Creator of the Universe and tell Him that I have done the work he has sent me to do, that I have exalted Him by striving to build a nation that exalts Good over evil, Light over darkness Truth over error, God over mammon, Righteousness over perversion, A nation that continues to strive to attain lofty heights, a nation in which men know that God is and will not suffer evil to destroy His creation. That is what I will do.
So how will I do this? I will Pray to my God that He grants me strength every step of the way and I will work as well, I will make the right choice every day, I will continually strive for excellence, I will not take a bribe, I will not give a bribe, I will be an example just like Christ was to the world, I will shine the light in my corner, I will give men Hope, I will be a positive influence, I will not turn my back on my brother, I will respect the opinions of others even if I disagree with them, I will vote, I will use my office as a citizen to demand accountability, I will be the best me, I will pay my taxes, I will not throw trash on the road, I will be a good driver in traffic, I will fight for the interest of Nigeria in every place, I will remember to say a word of prayer for Nigeria and its Leaders, I will give my support to those among us who have a track record of contributing to nation-building, I will push for the best of us to lead us to peace and unity, I will be true to every word in the Pledge:
So, let’s work together, let’s build a nation for our children, let’s build airports that work, let’s build roads, let’s build schools, let’s build a nation where men can achieve their God-given purpose, let’s build a nation where the catalyst for success are more than the impediments, Let’s build a nation that gets better by the day, let’s join our hands on the long road to peace and unity.