A Country Like Ours? By Kelechi Deca

I spent the last seven days watching documentaries on conceptualisation, research, and development of some of the world’s most amazing military hardware equipment. The secrecy, the coding, the trust countries repose on private companies, and contractors to keep deep secrets while building amazing weaponry. And how there are pieces of puzzle like structures where you hardly know what others are working on, until the fitting together of the final stuff.

It can only happen in nations that have scaled through the mundane. Nation’s where citizens owe allegiance first to the country before their religion, and or ethnic nationality.

In countries with multiple levels of allegiance, where the citizens feel more compelled to trust their ethnic or religious affiliations, more than the nation state, it will be impossible for such nation states to grow and develop.

Such countries will continue like Nigeria, to scratch its human and material potential. And efforts to force allegiance always always achieve the opposite.

You read stories of people who worked as spies or secret police for their countries for years without even their spouses knowing the true nature of their jobs specifications. In Nigeria, even neighbours know who works at DSS, NIA, and the likes. They even flaunt it, or use it to intimidate neighbours,or grab lands in their villages.

What we have is not it.

It is not a country.

There are a hundred and one pointers to this on daily basis.

That’s why the war against Boko Haram, kidnappers, and other forms of insurgency will probably last forever. As even military officers who swore to defend the country, are insiders to same people they fight. Policemen are friends to armed robbers, criminals and kidnappers. Some even help them organise the ransoms victim’s families pay.

That’s why naval officers who are supposed to protect the country’s maritime waters, and its oil installations are major participants in illegal bunkering. That’s why they lobby hard to be in those useless joint task forces all over the Niger Delta region.

Have you wondered why some people find it hard to criticise anyone found stealing public funds, if that person shares ethnic or religious affinity with them. Even as poverty gives them upper cuts on daily basis, and the proceeds from such corrupt practice hardly ever gets to them. But they are comforted by that stupid sense of shared ownership just because “their person” looted. That’s the story of Nigeria.

The situation we’ve found ourselves as a country is dire, and unfortunately, Nigeria will not move forward unless we sit down and take a hard look at its structure.

If people are more Igbo, more Yoruba, more Fulani, more Ijaw etc than Nigeria, we don’t need a soothsayer to educate us that Nigeria inspires nothing in them save contempt. So the better approach is devolve power along the lines people identify most, and pay allegiance to. Let them contribute their development efforts along those lines that invoke something in them through decentralization of authorities.

In that way we create a nation standing on multiple autonomies, de-escalating tensions caused by ethnic and tribal sentiments with people developing according to the capability of their culture to conceptualize, innovative, and assimilate different abilities.

If we truly desire to move forward, we must create a country where those who love to scratch the grounds in severe patience like the ducklings are free to, while those who are in haste to test the storms like the raptors of the air, will have the freedom to.

Ohhhh, my Coffee is already cold.

Such a pity.

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