Who is responsible for our woes? Nigeria or Nigerians

The 1914 amalgamation of the Northern and southern protectorate of the British colony have being tagged 'the mistake of 1914', 'the Nigerian enterprise' amongst others. In truth, Nigeria is created principally for the mercantile and financial interest of Britain. Indeed the amalgamation was no more than the consolidation of a conquered territory to hasting and maximize economic benefits. That every structure of the 'enterprise' persists till this present day. President Goodluck Jonathan in January 2014 thus decided to celebrate the milestone and award eminent personalities who have contributed their respective efforts to the sustenance of the entity.

After a rather horrid and tumultuous journey of survival, plagued with internal strives that manifest itself in ethnic bigotry, religious schism and an array of political upheavals that culminated in the fratricidal war that almost put a 'knife on the things that held us together', The Nigerian entity has been able to survive the test of time even though the inhabitants live together in a rather 'divided unity'.

Indeed the Historians recognise that the merging together of people with distinct background by the colonialists without reverence for cultural affinity, ideological idiosyncrasies, ethnic inclinations and orientations have ended up producing  an incoherent group of people whose destiny have been imposed on them. As early as the period of Independence, the defect in the arrangement had begun to manifest. The first generation supposed Nationalists are indeed sectionalists, Obafemi Awolowo championed the Yoruba course, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe was a staunch Igbo statesman, Tafawa Balewa indeed sympathized more with the Northerners, this ethnic consciousness have been one the greatest enemy to Nigeria’s Nationhood.


Even though Awolowo said Nigeria is but a 'geographical expression' years have passed, decades have gone and still we point the finger of accusation at the defective structure, we blame colonialism, we blame the 1914 enterprise, we blame history, we blame Nigeria.

Americas present structure has external influences in their history, China, Japan, Australia etc. all had outside influences in the current structure of their country, and today they are better of, they have been able to make the best use of what they have, they have forged a unity by abandoning parochialism for the greater good of their Nation and they have attained heights. Americans have uplifted America to its present status.

“The problem is NIGERIANS not NIGERIA”. We have collectively failed to gel, we have individually failed in our responsibilities. We have failed to resist the calls of parochialism and hearken the call of Nationhood. Corruption has eaten deep into our system, and we have failed to evolve, we fail to resolve and we are getting near the doom to dissolve. The onus is us to take the baton of change and commence a race to keep the pace with the Nations of the world that have taken their chances earlier on.

The present historian should inform the present generation and prepare the 'dose of sanity' for the future generation and inform them that despite the defects of the structure of the country, the citizens should begin to take responsibilities and stop blaming 'yesterday' for today’s problems. E. H Carr said ‘the function of the historian is neither to love the past nor to emancipate himself from the past but to master it as the key to the understanding of the present’. The understanding of the present thus becomes a challenge for Nigerians to locate their problems in their present predicament, cease blaming history but seize the moment to claim their destiny. Being a victim of historical dispossession is no excuse for languishing in perpetual state of regression. The time is now!

WRITTEN BY: Adegbite Ayodeji

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ANKAURSPEAKS: Who is responsible for our woes? Nigeria or Nigerians
Who is responsible for our woes? Nigeria or Nigerians
After a rather horrid and tumultuous journey of survival, plagued with internal strives that manifest itself in ethnic bigotry, religious schism and an array of political upheavals that culminated in the fratricidal war that almost put a 'knife on the things that held us together', The Nigerian entity has been able to survive the test of time even though the inhabitants live together in a rather 'divided unity'.
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