In the year 2000 AD, the American Intelligence issued a report that Nigeria would break or be dismembered in 2015. As a nation and a people, we kicked at the report and labeled it as the careless ranting of an idle world leader. Our leaders arrogating to themselves the pompous claim of being in charge warned the authors of the report to rather worry about their country and not Nigeria. In their illusory claim, they were in full control of the reins of government and capable of reining in any uprising, insurgency or dissidence. In their pomposity, they refused to ask questions and find out what those who conducted the intelligence gathering saw to warrant such frightening report. If our leaders had bothered with any diligent study of that report, perhaps we would have averted the recurring mayhem of today. But in 2000, everything looked bright and beautiful lulling the nation and its leaders into a false sense of security. Today, the dark days are here and we are caught napping as we were unprepared. We are indeed paying a price for neglecting an early warning.
The conditions of today have forced many to often paint a damning and gory picture of the future of this country if concerned measures are not taken to reverse the nation from this cascading slide that is heading for the abyss. It is apparent that we may be heading for a national tragedy if the many maladies that afflict our nation are not addressed pronto. In a nation where life has been made brutish by incessant bomb explosions, mindless killings, mind boggling corruption, insurgency, religious intolerance, ethnic bigotry, elites conspiracy, high unemployment rate, epileptic power supply and several others, only the prayers of the faithful have continued to hold this country together. But must ‘we continue in sin so that grace may abound?’ How much burden can we saddle God with? From 1993 to 1998 He reined us from the precipice of disintegration He kept faith with us. For how long shall we tempt this patient God with our self-afflictions and perfidy? The events of 2015 hold ominous auguries that would once again put the nation to test. The maladies that may attend the year would be contrived by man for the benefit of self and sectional interest. The people that would jump into the fray would be driven by ignoble considerations ranging from primordial to religion and which are of insignificant value to the cause of the nation and the well-being of the people.
The presidential election of 2015 in which President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and General Mohammadu Buhari of All Peoples Congress (APC) are the most prominent contenders exemplifies this fear of fanatical and blind followership. Some of the bigoted Northerners rooting for Buhari who is journeying through the Presidential route for the fourth time have said that being his last, as he is currently 72, it must be a do-or- die. They have promised that it must be either Buhari or no Nigeria. Even Governor Amaeachi of Rivers State has promised national unrest if the former head of state loses. This kind of comments will bolster and bury the sentiments of the supporters and range them in to frenzy. Such instinctive state can endanger the process of elections as such people reason with their emotions than with their heads.
The nation is fast becoming voodoo, a nation where nationalistic fervor cannot be stirred. People are preoccupied with self-vested and sectional interests to the detriment of patriotic zest required to drive the national dream that would bestow on our nation a pride of place.
We should not forget in a hurry that it was this self-same ethnic bigotry and primordial sentiments that caused the national holocaust of 1966-1970. A repeat of this would be dangerous.