Sunday, July 25, 2010

I was a baby when the big bridge fell

Looking at the situation in Nigeria today, does the lyric from the song “Sweet Jesus” by Gary Chapman resonate with any Nigerian born October 1st 1960? For the purpose of this article, the bridge is a metaphor that describes the pre-independence era.

There is a river running through this town
It carries the water
There isn't any way to slow it down
Or make it stop
I was a baby when the big bridge fell
So I don't remember
But I have listened to the stories well
And so I know…

This generation can only comprehend that era based on the stories we read in textbooks. Some tell it without hiding the bad taste the experience left in their mouth. Others tell it with disjointed facts. But the undeniable fact remains that in 1960, the big bridge of colonialism and everything it represented fell and Nigeria gained independence.

About 50 years later, we sing the song of freedom in a different tune. We are faced with the challenge of stopping an overwhelming river of injustice and oppression that is running through Nigeria before it drowns everyone. Leaders at different levels (including workplace and school) are going wild with greed for power and materialism at the cost of other people’s well being, thus driving the country backward into recession.

Nmachi Jidenma in her article "Grow Up Africa!" wrote “I don't know about you but I am frankly tired of the current whine fest we all seem to be partaking in a little too much towards Western nations. Isn't it getting a bit old? "They are too condescending" "They give us too much aid." ...They are too this, they are too that! I used to partake somewhat actively in the whine fest but I have decided to move on”

We can apply this same attitude and move on in Nigeria. We can’t keep whining and nagging at the failed Nigerian government leaders for so long. After all, my government teacher (an authority in his field) did teach us that we, the people of a state, make up the government. Thus, we should be solution oriented.

Ayodele Taofiq-Fanida, recently initiated “Project 1960”, a research aimed at documenting the lives of 50 Nigerians born October 1960. The stories will give “Nigeria at 50” a human face and proffer solutions to the overwhelming problems in our society while bringing hope to the younger generation. The book, which will also feature a detailed introduction on the pre and post-independence history of Nigeria, will be launched during our country’s 50th independence anniversary. For more details please email That is Ayodele, doing his thing, what can the rest of us do, aside nagging?


Gbenga Aijotan said...

Tell them Jenny.....Well done!

Jennifer Ehidiamen said...

Thanks Gbenga :)