Bala Ibrahim: Nigeria at 61: The Grandezza, grandeur and glamour of a giant

  Effective from 12 midnight today, Nigeria is qualified to be a country of 61 in independence. According to the Wikipedia, in 1914, the sou...

 

Effective from 12 midnight today, Nigeria is qualified to be a country of 61 in independence. According to the Wikipedia, in 1914, the southern Nigeria was combined with the northern Nigeria protectorate to create a colony and Protectorate, which has the borders of modern-day Nigeria. By the late 1950s, the call for independence of territories in Africa and the decline of the British Empire led to the country being granted independence on 1st October 1960 as the Federation of Nigeria. Three years later, the constitution was amended and the country was declared the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with Nnamdi Azikwe, previously Governor- General, as the first President.

Since then, independence day is celebrated on the first of October every year, to mark Nigeria’s proclamation of autonomy from British rule, with tomorrows celebration coming as the 61st.

To some, there is nothing to celebrate. But they fall in the minority. To many, particularly those with the patriotic feeling of attachment and commitment to the country or project Nigeria, it is a time for the celebration of grandeur, because of the grandezza brought to the giant of Africa, by the glamourous leadership style of President Muhammadu Buhari.

At 61, Nigeria has gone through a lot, but it has equally achieved a lot, and a lot must be given to President Muhammadu Buhari, who had ruled it by the powers of the bullet and that of the ballot. He happens to be the tallest and most steadfast of all the leaders the country had, for being resolutely and dutifully unwavering in navigating the country out of the brink.

Before the coming of Buhari in 2015, Nigeria was sentenced to death due to the the erosion and destruction of confidence, occasioned by the loss direction and cluelessness of the leadership. Experts were unanimous in predicting the nation called Nigeria, was at the point at which something unwelcome was about to happen.

Prayers pushed posterity to produce President Muhammadu Buhari, who came with the vigor, vision and enthusiasm needed for nationalism. Despite the initial challenge of health, which played albatross in his first term, by slowing or preventing him from doing what he wanted to do in earnest, since 2019, after taking his second oath as President, PMB has changed from “Mr.Go slow”, to a leader that is walking with the swagger and confidence of the self-important commander.

Prior to today, and pursuant to the planed sixth anniversary of the Muhammadu Buhari administration on May 29, the presidency has listed the strides made in different sectors.

In a statement by Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, the Buhari administration is “recording giant strides, enough to make Nigerians proud”.He said: “Some people claim: we don’t see what they are doing. We don’t hear about it. Well, here it is. A Fact Sheet, a report card on the Buhari Administration, just a bit of the successes, as the milestone of six years is attained.“As it is said, the past is but a story told. The future may yet be written in gold. When the Administration breasts the tape in another two years, by the grace of God, the applause will be resounding, even from the worst of sceptics. Facts are undeniable, and always remain so. They are stubborn things. Mr. Adesina went on to give a long Shopping list of undeniable achievements, coverning virtually every sector and space in the sphere of Nigeria’s territory, including public safety and security.

It is no longer news that road blocks with sand bags and the sounds of sirens from security vehicles rushing for rescue have disappeared from our cities. Markets and religious places of worship are now free from frisking and scanning in search of explosives, just as the sounds bombs have gone silent, courtesy of the proactive police leadership, including the present one, under IGP Alkali Usman Baba, the 21st indigenous Inspector General of Police.

The President has also moved from watching in silence, to now speaking to the recalcitrants in the language they understand, as oxygen is being turned off the throats of the terrorists.

Yes, even if belatedly, PMB has, and is fast putting our great country Nigeria, on the latitude of progress, in a manner that is catching the attention of the world, and making the country take it’s rightful position of leadership, not just in Africa, but the world over.

At 61, and with the excellent and exemplary leadership given to the country by a man that is adjudged to be selflessly serving as a desirable model, Nigeria and Nigerians have every reason to celebrate with grandeur, the grandezza brought to the country by a leader with glamour.

At the just concluded 76th United National General Assembly, UNGA, where the world leaders converged under the umbrella of the main policy-making organ of the world, to discuss multilateral issues that are covered by it’s charter, Nigeria was not only a shinning star, but became prominent amongst the pampered and endeared nations.

This is in spite of the failed attempts by some unscrupulous few, who were rented and ferried to the venue of the Assembly, with a view to displaying rascality and unpatriotic attitudes. Indeed they did, and I hope those vested with the powers of protecting the sanctity of our nation and the safety and security of our citizens wherever they are, would do the needful in tracking and sanctioning the culprits.

Nigeria may not be where it wants to be today. Buhari may not be the best leader for the country today. But looking at the position Nigeria found itself in 2015, vis a vis the choice before the electorate, no one can deny the fact that Buhari is doing his best and with him came an uncommon maturity in leadership. With Buhari came the end of the crazy corruption that was associated with the Presidency.

Even though there are pockets of aids with accusing fingers of misdeeds in their direction, any decision other than Buhari, under the circumstances of Nigeria then and now, would have made the prediction of the doomsayers easily achievable, by pushing the country closer to the threshold of disaster.

And that is exactly the reason for us all to be unanimous in celebrating the grandezza, grandeur and glamour of the giant of Africa, at 61.

Bala Ibrahim is a public affairs analyst.

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