Nigeria and her intellectual acuity
In spite of our geopolitical tensions, polarization, ethnocentrism, mismanagement, hedonism, and penchant for wealth accumulation; and our bizarre entity and the state of hopelessness in Nigeria, Nigerians are taking a quantum leap in academics and their professional callings.
In the Diaspora, we carry our heads so proudly high to the admiration of other nationalities. We are such a blessed nation whose citizens are performing excellently well all over the world. But our structural and fragile entity at home is full of nauseating contradictions, and it is also unfortunate that the political climes are bedeviled with leadership problems. How Nigerian citizens are changing the sport and intellectual world, but wanton in stagnation at home is very concerning! Nigeria is a unique country.
Yes! In spite of our geopolitical tensions, ethnocentrism, mismanagement, hedonism, and penchant for wealth accumulation; our bizarre entity and the state of hopelessness in Nigeria, Nigerians are taking a quantum leap in academics and their professional callings. In the Diaspora, we carry our heads so proudly high to the admiration of other nationalities. We are such a blessed nation whose citizens are performing excellently well all over the world. But our structural entity is full of contradictions, and it is also unfortunate that the political climes are bedeviled with leadership problems.
All official and unofficial visits I have made to various institutions such as Health, penitentiaries, governments, and schools et cetera in Arizona, the United States and other States of the Union show that Nigeria is a country with uncommon resources contributing immensely to the development of America and other nations. I am mindfully infatuated with the intellectual acuity of Nigerians in the Diaspora. We are seriously endowed with smart and promising cognition. But some ethnic and religious bigots enabled by directionless leaders in politics and religion are the burden of these promising whizkids at home and in the international arena. I hope the system is not self-imploded soonest! Nigerians’ achievements should be very instructive to Nigerian authority. Nigerian professionals at home and abroad are impregnated with good ideas ready for delivery. Check an average Ibo man from the East, he is gifted with unquestionable entrepreneurship and innovation; check an average Hausa man from the North, he is unmatched with agility and sustainable agricultural development; check an average Yoruba man from the West, he is nonpareil and wonk in policy formulation, academic and political acumen. We have utterly failed to utilize these nuances to the benefit of all. The polarization and mutual suspicion among various religious and ethnic groups seem unabated. This is the auspicious time to come together to restructure the nationhood of Nigeria. Nigerian intellectual acuity is resonating in the minds of people across the world. Outside of Nigeria, our children are blazing the trail. Nigeria citizens are promoting either as Valedictorian in Elementary schools to High schools. They are making First Class in various prestigious universities in Nigeria and across the globe.
From Nigeria to Rusia; from the United Kingdom to Japan and other countries, the citizens of Nigeria are being churned out with incredible and prestigious academic laurels. Statistically, Nigeria has the highest number of university graduates in the United States. We are the most educated nationality in the United States. Without mincing word, three in every ten graduates in any institution in the US are quintessential Nigerians. Nigerians are highly educated. When Debo Adegbile was made a nominee by vintage president Barack Obama as his DOJ to civil rights division in 2014, I knew Nigerians’ impacts on socio-economic and political structures of the United States are enviable. Nigerian intellectual resource is being felt at the highest level of government in the United States and around the world. Sadly, our bane of development in Nigeria is corruption and bad government. Remove hydra-headed corruption and corrupt leaders from Nigeria entity and its entirety, Nigeria will compete favorably with the United States and the rest of the developed world; and in all areas of human endeavors. We are very resourceful and pragmatic when it comes to academics, sports, entertainment, and entrepreneurship. Nigeria is a hemorrhaged nation blessed with human capital and intellectual acumen.
Historically, Nigeria and Singapore are symmetrical in historic burdens. Singapore was becoming a pariah state before the coming of Lee Kuan Yew, his country was debilitated by protracted corruption. The rebirth of Singapore was engineered by the founding father of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew. His election to power was similar to the election that brought Buhari to power. Yew closed his eyes to tackle hydra-headed corruption in Singapore. He was very revolutionary in his approach to killing corruption before corruption could kill his country. He created a conducive business environment and jobs in Singapore for Singaporean Diaspora to return home. Today, Singapore is one of the most prosperous nations on the face of the earth. It is imperative that Buhari of Nigeria learn a good lesson from Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore to make Nigeria an enviable nation in the world. It’s doable. Lee Kuan Yew is a prism with which Buhari should look into the future of Nigeria. Meanwhile, I have prescribed one of the doses of leadership which is a benevolent Democracy as practiced in Singapore. A benevolent leader who will come out of the blue to instill the nuances of benevolent democracy.
The leader who will not spare anyone, no matter how highly placed the person might be. Gideon Okar would have done that surgical political procedure to heal Nigeria from the metastatic cancer-killing, obliterating the sense of reasoning of all Nigerians. But the vegetable-dying-evil-man in Minna punctuated Nigerian road to eldorado. Moreover, the current and past achievements of Nigerians at home and abroad are templates for Buhari’s administration to speedily put all resources and machinery in motion to bring the Nigerian Diaspora back home for nation-building. He is cleaning the Augean of corruption in Nigeria now. Is he doing it with fairness and equity and justice? Justice must be seen to be dispensed to looters with no sacred cows to reassure the Nigerian Diaspora to return home for national integration and nation-building. Most of us can discern why this writer is an incurable optimist of a great Nigeria.
Nigerians are so talented, stunningly smart and resourceful. We stand out and very outstanding in all our professional callings. Every blessed achievement of Nigerian yonder is an opportunity to showcase Nigeria imbued and endowed resources to the stunning world. Our hidden and real story has not yet been told in all its ramifications. We only dibble-dabble in our untold story yearning to be told. From Ekiti to Okene, from Kano to Umuahia; Abakaleke to Imo and to Ojuelegba, our stupendous story of achievements and challenges are the same. When you remember your roots far away from yonder, you’re subsumed in the ocean of sublimity and grace. But when you remember the existential threat Nigeria has posed to itself in the past, you are quick to remember that Nigeria is a country that is yet to re-invent itself to achieve the laudable goals within its reach. With our great human capital and untapped resources, all hands must be on deck to change our ruinous ways of life, and unleash our greatest potentials; change the course of our ugly history for the progress of Nigeria. All we need now is total reawakening to re-invent in what made us great in the past.
Yahaya Balogun wrote from Arizona, USA.