BY DR VICTOR ALEWO ADOJI
The age of retirement from Nigeria’s public service is put at Thirty Five years of service or Sixty years of age, whichever comes first.
At Sixty years, Nigeria eminently qualifies to retire from certain dispositions, discretions and/or mannerisms that hitherto served us well but now plague us and have metastasized to ‘impact’ the foundations of our communion.
Clearly, as a country, we have had more than a fair share of challenges, problems, setbacks but also progress and achievements, even if stunted. Albeit, quite unfortunately, the setbacks have been at phenomenal cost dwarfing any reference and claim to progress.
At sixty, it is particularly important that we realize and accept that there is nothing wrong with Nigeria (as a country) but certainly, a few things are wrong with its people fueled by inanities such as bigotry, individualism, sectionalism, prebendalism and nepotism to state only a few.
It behooves us to reckon that we are first human beings before we are Nigerians and we are first Nigerians before we are subnationals. The imprudence of seeing ourselves first as subnationals before Nigerians is arguably at the root of most of the ills that threaten and continually upend our determination for advancement across various strata of our national life, efforts at a renaissance and uneven evolution.
Fratricide and dystopia are additional culprits especially when regarded from the individualistic and corporate viewpoints. Therefore, to break forth, we must begin by truly learning to become “our brother’s keeper” indeed, define our equality on a basis that recognizes and respects our diversity and be deliberate and truthful about eschewing the narrow preconceptions that enervate our latitude and fracture progress.
In the end, all we need to set-off Nigeria’s inertia is not oil, not finance, not policies, not trade and not resources (I am not disparaging the huge relevance of these factors). What we need are non-pecuniary and non-durable substructural soft-resources that everyone can afford, almost effortlessly: Change of mindset, love for country, belief in self and country and sacrifice for country; the resulting platform would be the veritable and sustainable ecosystem that can advance us and hold us in-place as individuals, as people and as a Nation.
Happy 60th anniversary, Nigheria.