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By Steve Orji
Friday, June 29, 2012
Hopes for this present generation?
Sometimes it’s a rare choice to choose hope for Nigeria.
That feeling is not coming from a natural bent for
pessimism. Nigeria has put into our essential fabric a
tough dye-that is difficult to wash away.
That dye is the colour of pessimism. Nigeria has through
its natural performance infused a sense of hopeless
addiction to the “bad and the ugly”-a certain gloomy
outlook that pervades our sight of tommorow. We can no
longer see the sun rise in the Nigerian horizon. We are
constrained to see Nigeria by the constructs of its own
works, the dark replays of its own self-distorting images-
and the ultimate ash heap that lies in the graveyard of a
We are almost at that threshold of the final procession
of an entire generation, quitting the stage of the Nigerian
state. That generation was, as I saw a profound, and
energetic band of patriots, who with their illustrous
talents and zeal did their best to make Nigeria the best.
Its possible they could not see their lofty dreams come to
pass. But at that point of departure is the rising of a
breed of a new generation with a rather unclear mission-
they are nameless, facless, speechless…
And Nigeria suffers another historical accident for having
a new crop of such anonymous mass bestrode its
national conciousness without a dream, a vision and no
Who loved Nigeria like Azikiwe and Awolowo? What
about those who laid their lives as sacrificial atonements,
as peace offerings to save the land?
Aminu Kano was a sterling patriot, who shunned the
oppressive tendencies of the cult of elitism to carve a
hope and place for the commoners of this nation. Is
there any one like him again?
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Tai Solarin was an honest self-avoiding patriot whose compelling war of conscience against the
government and his undertakings as an educationist raised thousands of well groomed patriots,
men who did and gave their best for this nation.
Can we have another Achebe, Soyinka- patriots who withstood the savagery of politicians and
shunned the laurels of cheap accolades as a token of their fight for the soul of Nigeria?
What has happened to Abubakar Umar- the outspoken Military governor who shunned the
gratifications of the mindless military junta, and became a patriotic voice for the oppressed and laid
siege on the door of despotic rule- he is not in the class of rich elites even though he had the
chance to enlist in the ogre of looting?
We stand astonished at the depleted store-house of hearty patriots. Nigeria is bankrupt not only in
material means but in men. Men of substance. A generation of men is just at the verge of taking a
final bow, with countless heads of clueless spectators watching in near deluded fantasy the end of
an era. It buckles the mind and inflicts pains on the heart of any true Nigerian that our real men are
gone and going. What are left amongst us are money looters, siren-bearing leaders and money
mongers who run the state on whims of greed and waste.
As I look around on the streets, in the offices, at the airports, everywhere I see on the faces of our
country men a certain mindless indifference to what happens to their nation afterwards.
I read in the faces of the people of my generation a vacant space for hope. If a nation must live it
has to have a fresh generation with fresh hopes and visions- filled with uncommon energy that
sustains the latitude of national survival.
I wonder aloud for this present generation.