The Oasis Reporters
February 7, 2018
GRATITUDE TO THE LAND OF MY BIRTH
[FOR ALL NIGERIANS WHO NO LONGER RESIDE IN THE COUNTRY]
I. Nigeria, I thank you immensely for all that you generously gave to me. Nigeria, I appreciate you for all you could give to me and did not sadistically refuse me.
The Land of my Birth, you sustainable creation of god Lugard, I am grateful to you for not totally stopping me from giving of myself to fellow compatriots.
You country of bounteous human and material resources, I am indebted to you for your inability to destroy my precious humanity and realisable goals.
II. Nigeria, you, who like the human stomach never tires of taking but is always sparing, will eternally receive no feint adulation from me for enabling me to learn early enough that I can be an oasis of grace and benevolence – a source of enduring munificence to humankind in your disorienting desert of mental aridity, social miasma of disillusionment, and political idiocies.
III. Oh you most populous black nation on planet earth, I am proud of you for being a land of endless opportunities which make living easier and more meaningful for your people.
I will raise the decibel of my thankfulness ceaselessly in the cavernous pits of your listening ears for your unrivalled commitment to human-capacity development.
I will hold back no gratitude to you my gracious home for being a habitable space of progress which makes other evidently developed and organised countries of the world uninteresting to your young denizens.
IV. Nigeria I will sing of your unfeigned maturity and purposeful focus. Who will deny that you do well in disregarding detractors and naysayers who conclude you are a graveyard of useful talents?
Does anyone need to tell a deaf dude that the market is on fire? Can a clever mind be told that the hippopotamus is a dashingly attractive animal? Nigeria, can anyone doubt that the talents, energies, and innovative spirits of your young people are being serviceably ploughed into your vision of economic greatness? Who can contend that youth is an invaluable asset wasted on your young adults? Who will argue that your youth demographic is not a plus for you?
V. Nigeria, those who do not hail you know nothing of your ample kindness. The young adults from your loins get dignity-enhancing employments. Your oft designated ‘leaders of tomorrow’ get quality education.
The older citizens are not cruelly denied their pensions. Workers across all levels in your effective public and well-organised private sectors get paid regularly and decently.
Your highways are macadamised and therefore are no death traps. Your teaching hospitals and local health centres are not death centres gifting cheap deaths. Healthcare in your buxom bosom is modern and excellent.
VI. My Land of Birth, you pleasantly surprise foreigners and you are not capable of embarrassing expatriates with human misery of biblical proportion. You have no shocking human misery.
Your political and ruling elites are excellent minds never lacking in structured thinking. Their minds are a thriving emporium of multifarious insights. The viability of their polyvalent managerial skills reverberates from one end of the Western sphere to another end of the Eastern bloc. The executable policies of your managers are never defeated by the demons of miscarriage.
VII. Nigeria, you are a land progressively enamoured of justice. This is because you are deliberately founded on the fecund earth of justice, fairness and equity. Social iniquity and tribal inequity are alien to you.
Corruption affronts you and that is why the offensively corrupt across all levels receive condign comeuppance for their aberrations. Your bureaucracies are working and so do not admit or encourage the system of big men. Cows may be sacred to your Fulani offspring. But no cow is treated sacred who empties the public till. Deterrent defines your system and that is why corruption and other social misdemeanours are unattractive to your citizens.
VIII. Nigeria, the beloved of my soul, only those who do not know your incomparably fantastic tales of enviable development will not doff their hats and bend their knees in sincere appreciation. Those who say you belong to the column of countries where it is dangerous to be born and live are starkly ignorant of the liveableness of your cities, the warmth of your roads, the effectiveness of your healthcare system, and the viability of your exceptional state institutions.
IX. Nigeria the pride of Africa, your imams and priests are not charlatans profiting abominably from the miseries of their patrons. They do not know how to milk the congregations of heaven seekers. To the narrow path of heaven they set and firm the feet of the pew. It is the reason the broad way to hell is deserted. That is why honesty and integrity rule the land.
Your citizens are not unthinkingly religious. They do not spiritualise social challenges. Nigerians in their hordes do not favour divine solutions to human-created problems. They are incredibly scientific in their approaches to solving their socio-economic problems. Nigerians do not go to the polls thinking some gods will decide who the winners will be. They make up their minds for the candidates of their choice arising from their deep understanding of the issues and conviction of the capabilities of their preferred candidates. Their votes, and not some gods, they are implacably convinced determine who the leaders will be.
X. Nigeria my Land of Birth, I praise you for allowing me to leave your homely, welcoming shores. I am grateful to you for not demonstrating to me such affecting love that will not let me leave you.
Nigeria, one nation truly bound in unforced freedom, I know many of my fellow compatriots are not limited in enriching understanding and clear thinking. So, you are not likely to get a patriotic Nigerian who will tell you that gratitude and not grievance; salutation and not sarcasm; commendation and not condemnation; and plaudit and not ploughshare are the motivations for this purple prosaic poem I leave you with.
I must love and leave you …
Written by Ademola Adeshola.
Ademola Adeshola is a research assistant at the Center for Globalization and Cultural Studies, University of Manitoba and studies in it’s Institute of African Studies.