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LIKE NIGERIA, LIKE LAZARUS

By Desmond Ekwueme

LIKE NIGERIA, LIKE LAZARUS

Nigeria has “died” several times but resurrected! You noticed that died was in quote which implies that she was not really dead but has come at the brink of collapse. A nation can be said to be dead only ehen or if it breaks up like the defunct Union of Soviet Socialists Republic (USSR) which gave rise or birth to about 14 other countries…..or Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia which together produced about six nations including Czech Republic.

Nigeria has seen tough and turbulent times under several and different leaders. She has experienced and witnessed very scary situations which left many wondering if there will be Nigeria when “tomorrow” comes. Many have lost hope in the country for very obvious reasons. The question, will Nigeria ever be the same again is yet to get a concrete, convincing yet definite answer. Those who say, “no, she can never be the same again” are labelled pessimists or ethnic warriors.

Late Prof. China Achebe once wrote a classic THERE WAS A COUNTRY! It appears satirical in painting the picture of a nation which many have likened to Nigeria where all hopes of a better and brighter tomorrow have been lost. A country where corruption has been institutionalised and legalised. A nation where equity, fairness, justice and truth have been slaughtered on the slab of religion, tribalism, nepotism and class differences. A nation where merit has been sacrificed for mediocrity. A nation where oppression is the identity, trademark or logo of the marginalised. A nation waiting to explode again after a bitter, avoidable and regrettable civil war. No one should blame those who think the country is irredeemable given the situation, circumstances, developments and events that keep unveiling themselves with each passing government or administration. It seems things are getting from bad to worst without any solution in sight.
However, I belong to the class or school of the few optimists still around and hanging on the cliff of the believe that indeed, Nigeria can rise again! I have compared Nigeria to the Biblical Lazarus who died, got buried but rose again through the powers and miracle of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Jesus remains the same yesterday, today and forever more. He has not changed for those who trust and believe in Him. He has stayed with Nigeria despite her self-inflicted problems. He has been merciful to her. He has continued to grant her that perfect touch of deliverance and healing. He has continued to save her from difficult situations and terrible leaders.
Aside the civil war, Nigeria has faced all manners of terrible leaders emerging from useless military coup which ironically led to the civil war in the first place. Nigeria was at the verge of collapse during the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential election. Nigeria was almost a “police state” under the regime of Late Gen. Sani Abacha. Nigeria experienced nightmare when Late President Umaru Yar’adua passed on. The question of who succeeds him became a pain in the neck. Yet in all these situations, Nigeria has survived the threats.
Here we are again, faced with a tumbling democracy. Here we are faced with politics of bitterness and winner-takes-all. Here we are faced with fears of the unknown even ares deaths are recorded daily across the country through the dastardly acts of killer herdsmen and terrorists. Here we are faced with hunger, poverty and unemployment. Here we are faced with governors who use bailout funds , Paris Club Fund, Federal allocations and internally generated revenues to prepare for re-election and acquisition of properties in choice cities across the globe. Here we are faced with the mockery by the international community most painfully from countries we helped to gain independence who are now in full flight of prosperity.

I want to believe that this period or era will pass or go the same way it came. Jesus will once again call out Nigeria from this pit of hell to grace, goodness and glory just like He did to and with Lazarus. Nigeria will bounce back and those who are trying to sink her will be put to shame. Nigeria will once again be placed in the hands of true Nigerians who will again have the opportunity to decide their future. They must appreciate that the led deserve the leaders they get. They must understand that in any situation they find themselves they put themselves therein. Every leader is a product of the system and the political arrangement of the country which the followers agree to.

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