(All the Characters in this article are fictional, It is random rambling and Inspired by a post from Alkasim Abdulkasir. Ps you can start from the bottom or from the top...choose wisely.)
I felt bitter, green like one of the colours on the national flag, green with envy as cheers and applause drowned my thoughts and stirred up a contradictory storm of tears in my eyes. Ene was receiving another award, at 25 she had done everything and more I wanted to do when I was 40. She was a professor and had so many books with her name written printed, on their covers, She had two master’s degrees and a Phd in a course that sounds so hard to call out without reading it from something. She was and is my pride. She is my only daughter and she is the future yet in the present. I don’t really envy her, I am proud of her, I am proud of my country and all these took only 25years.
Ene did not have to go all the way to Europe or America to study, she got all her qualifications and certificates from Nigeria, oh! I remember when it took about nine years for me to complete a four year bachelor’s degree, the battles fought by student and labour unions, the amount of money we had to pay just to get a degree. I remember my friend Emeka, he studied in the United States of America, came back home and searched for a job for eight years until he started a small business. Fast forward twenty-five years, we live in a country where tuition is free, where our children never heard of acronyms like ASUU, where the word strike means to “hit with force”...not some industrial action. We now live in a country where the government is the people; legislators now have normal 9-5 jobs where they earn a living for while their legislative duties, there was no pay package, people get elected into office because they want to serve.
The Nigerian Visa has become so hard to get because everybody wants to visit, invest and work in Nigeria. The Obudu Cattle Ranch and the Tinapa Business & Leisure Resort has been expanded to the point that the state had become the hub of business and entertainment in Africa. It still shocks me at how much things have changed over the past thirty years. Boko Haram and MEND is now history. Our children read about them and cry, they wonder how we survived in those days where your favourite eatery could become the next bomb spot...those were the days when life expectancy rate was 35-55. Now we have a police force we can call our friends, health care is now free and more people have created jobs for themselves.
“Dad, you keep speaking into that device, why do you have tears in your eyes? You are being weird, why are you smiling and crying?” It was my turn to give a short speech, my daughter had insisted that I gave a speech and made me promise not to compare my generation with her generation. I laughed and explained to her that one day she would be able to access the device I always speak into. It is a portable device that types everything i say on my blog real time. The times have changed, I finally believe in my country. It took me twenty five years, away from my past when all I could do, was to think in my own little way and gaze...
A gaze into the future.
BUT BACK TO REALITY
My British friend called me on the 26th of December, not to wish me happy holidays because she sounded worried and automatically I wondered if I had done something wrong at work, especially when she said she had a question to ask me. She sounded like she didn't want to cross a particular line when she said:
"I saw the news about the christmas day bombings in Nigeria, are you okay? Do you need to take some time off work? do you need to home and make sure everyone in your family is doing fine? "
I'm passionate about Nigeria, I get really upset when I see my fellow "youth" joke about the severity of the poor state of the nation, I worry about the fact that some people now see everything from tribal and religious grounds. I'm mad at my leaders, I'm disgusted at those who agree to be indoctrinated by selfish politicians who obviously sponsor these attacks. I have a brilliant conspiracy theory about some other countries sponsoring the mayhem but all these don't really matter because it seems no one is listening and we are all talking....
Would the fictional story about a gaze into the future ever happen or will we watch our country gradually become all those countries we send ECOMG soldiers to assist?
We lost a lot of loved ones in 2011 at this stage I want to wish you all a happy New Year (2012) but the tone makes that sound like a whisper.