Nigeria’s glimmer of hope.

If Nigeria were to come in a body bag, declared dead, you’d be sure that neither poverty nor medical care would have caused its death. An autopsy would definitely show that she died from a cocktail of bitter and hard drugs in the form of ethnicity, religious crises and a scorching depravity of patriotism. We do not appreciate what we have and are always wont to piss and curse on our own God blessed country. A blogger had just recently cursed at our covid protocols, only to travel abroad, to the US precisely, to discover that Nigeria’s covid protocols are 3 times cheaper and more efficient, in terms of timely delivery. Atleast this time, she came back to apologise and appreciate her God given country. WHO ranked Nigeria’s covid response as the 4th best in the world. Sometimes it’s good to look around you to fully appreciate what you have. Could the endsarssers be witnesses to what is happening in Afghanistan? Are they still dreaming of having the US or NATO to invade our God blessed country? How many years do they envisage for the invaders to stay on? It’s been 20 years in Afghanistan and they have once again been abandoned to their fate. Were the Taliban the problem afterall? 12 US soldiers paid the price in just one attack at Kabul airport. Are we sure we can survive being Afghanistan 2.0?

It’s always a pity when we spew denigrating commentary about our own country, but it’s most despicable, when retired personnel of our security services, come out to yarn misgivings about our security apparatus. I have come to wonder why such persons are never sanctioned by the military or the DSS. We have always been amused by the news that there are people in government who are behind the terrorist acts that have pervaded our nation for quite a while. Didn’t Azazi, a whole NSA, tell us that the ruling party at the time, was sponsoring Boko haram? Saying that there are people in govt behind terrorism, is like saying there are people in your church or in your mosque, involved in terror! Isn’t the corruption that has been eating up our national treasury, being sustained by govt officials? Isn’t EFCC fighting it? Ofcourse these ills have strong institutions backing them, and fighting them is not a month’s joke! The naval guy that came on channels TV, to accuse govt officials, while ‘forming’ being unafraid, ended up fearing to mention a single name. Infact he didn’t even mention a single department, or office, or Battalion; as those sponsoring terrorism. He fired a lot of shots, all blanks, without hitting a single target. The only take away from his TV adventure, is that Nigerians now know his name, and that he served and was retired from the navy. He has not helped with any Intel, to help the fight against terror. His appearance better serves as entertainment on a TV game show. Those that dug up on him, did find out that he wasn’t happy with the way he was retired, as his boss denied him certain promotions.

There is a lot we are not happy about, but those are the challenges of nationhood. For example, It was quite embarrassing that a whole NDA was attacked, and a soldier abducted. This coincided with the afters of the wedding ceremony of the President’s son– and there is no doubt that it was a deliberate act to ridicule the government. But does that mean that we have forgotten so soon, the blast at the UN office in Abuja? The blast at the Eagle square? Or the blast at Abacha barracks? What of the blast at the Police headquarters in Abuja? The IG was targeted for God’s sake! These are trying moments in the heat of the terrorism warfare and we have come a long way in tackling that menace. These are events that are not to be celebrated. We have fast recovered from bomb blasts in our cities that killed thousands at a time.

The sooner we start appreciating what we have, the better for us all. All this talk about islamising Nigeria is an old political tactic that was used a long time ago, to scuttle Buhari’s Presidential bid. If we so hate Islam and Islamic countries, why then are we queueing enmasse to go to Saudi Arabia for job opportunities? After six years as President, PMB has not Islamised Osinbajo as he is still a pastor, and neither has he islamised Amaechi as he is still a Christian. Rather, he has made the Nigerian Airforce, the most equipped Airforce in Sub-saharan Africa, all in a bid to fight islamic terrorists. 12 Super tucanos have been bought by the Nigerian Airforce, and another 24 Aermacchi M-346 fighter jets have been ordered, out of which 12 would be delivered this year. This is in addition to the 3 JF-17 thunder fighter jets that were inducted this year. This is aerial fire power that has been called upon to fight terrorism and banditry by the govt. Hundreds of casualties have been recorded, where aerial bombardments of terrorist hideouts in forests across the North have been carried out– and are continuously being carried out in a new Buhari language. Where is the islamisation here for God’s sake?

A proverb in my dialect says, “if you do not thank God for his blessings, you would surely thank him for his wrath”! There are small and simple blessings that we are witnessing and we should give some energy towards appreciating that. Nigeria’s economy grew at a real rate of 5% in the 2nd quarter of 2021, as against 0.5% obtained in the 1st quarter. NNPC has grown from telling us lies of losses year in year out, to climbing a transparency curve; detaling a profit of close to 300 billion naira last year. We are recording close to a billion dollars in gas block agreements, as against the usual oil blocks; thereby making money from our gas deposits. Nigeria is blessed. Some know it, some don’t. Some are fooled into believing that we are doomed and we would perish. It’s been 6 years since the forecast of Nigeria being history, yet here we are; waxing stronger at 62. What is behind Nigeria is truly divine and whoever goes against it, is the one that will go astray and perish!

Tahir is Talban Bauchi.

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