Title: Who Will Bell The Cat?
For about seven weeks, different individuals have written from various perspectives of what being Nigerian entails as well as the outlook of Nigeria from the present political facet, to what we hope it would be. Going back through these passionate and well written opinions and hopes, one major condiment was salient. Everyone in one way or another made mention of this very important attribute, a must have if we look forward to a developed and efficiently habitable Nigeria: Teamwork.
The Merriam Webster’s Dictionary’s definition of the term did do justice to what I was thinking in my head: Work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole. Isn’t that what being a part of building a country that works is all about? This is what N4C is about, and I can just see President Barack Obama’s face as he persistently employed every American to join in the effort to rebuild America. I carry such hope for Nigeria, where the citizens would be apt to asking questions and getting involved with the affairs of the country, where corrupt policies would be thrown out the door for the overall gain of the populace. It doesn’t take just the president or his cabinet to achieve; it takes every Nigerian working in their own small way, targeted at the same goal and purpose; rebuilding Nigeria.
Don’t think I and N4C are being Panglossian in reasoning thus over looking some intricate issues, but we can’t help but be optimistic about Nigeria. And as Benjamin Franklin puts it, we must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately. This is in response to those who believe Nigeria would be better as separate entities and thus do not wish to participate in the progressive development of the country but speak ill of certain units of the country. It’s our duty as a country to work things out together irrespective of our locality and ethnicity.
Vince Lombardi knew a thing or two about the positive outcome of teamwork when he opined that people who work together will win, whether it be against complex defenses, or the problems of modern society. If we all take a stroll down memory lane, we can all attest to the fact that healing Nigeria is fighting against complex defenses and problems of modern society, so do we come together as patriots with a keen sense of duty, or would we let these vicissitudes, tackle us and make us listless? I throw it at us to go back to the tenets of our being Nigerian, back to the days when neighbors helped neighbors and when raising a child was the job of the community. Back to the days when youths respected their elders and would stand up to let an elder seat instead, back to the days when the ratio of WE’s surpassed that of I’s, a great indicator of development. And as was displayed by Prof Chinua Achebe in his classic Things Fall Apart, when the center doesn’t hold anymore, then things begin to fall apart. It becomes imperative we as Nigerians need to come together to work on our country. The proverbial stick of broom when compared with the bunch cannot stand the test of being a cleaning agent, and same goes for us as Nigerians. I cannot do it alone, we need to come together as a whole: The south letting go of their grief with regards to the exploitation of their land and working together with the west while the east and the North can also come together in harmony.
In Closing, I would reiterate the words of Sir Henry Ford: COMING together is the beginning, KEEPING together is progress, and WORKING together is success. That is my dream for us as Nigerians, for our generation. It’s not good enough to talk, it’s not good enough to idealize these things, it’s not enough when we choose to become part of organizations and groups; We need to start COMING,KEEPING and WORKING (DOING) TOGETHER as NIGERIA. The era of the rugged individual is giving way to the era of the team player. Everyone is needed and no problem is insurmountable. With a little courage, teamwork and determination, Nigeria can OVERCOME Anything.
Written by Seleipiri Iboroma Akobo