NIGERIA AND WHAT IT MEANS TO ME – Bitrus Jesse Danjuma

Dreams are cherished aspirations, ambitions, or ideals which we nurse; the hope and desire of what something can be rather than what it already is. In simple terms, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary dreams are “strongly desired goals or purpose. Which all humans nurse and Nigerians are no exceptions.
 
Nigeria is a country filled with the best of everything, from natural to human resources. A place so rich, adorned with beautiful and colourful landscapes, a place where the rich and varying diversities of cultures is more than merely a way of life but a thing of pride.
 
Nigeria is home to some of the most hospitable people on the planet Yet this same country is one of the most dangerous places to live in, housing the most religious people yet also home to some of the most corrupt people in the globe, with streets filled with homeless, uncared and out of school children.
 
A nation with tales of stagnancy, retrogression, sorrow, hopelessness, and despair. So untold that even when told yet remains untold.
 
Nigeria is a land so blessed with everything the heavens could offer yet filled with sorrow, regrets, hopelessness, and despair. Its people nursing nothing but broken and neglected dreams, yet, I have always dreamt about the Nigeria of my dreams. A place where the sun not only rises with the promise of a better today but with the assurance of an even better tomorrow, a Nigeria where the very essence of life is fulfilled.
 
I dream of a country where the farmer and herder will cultivate and graze side by side, breaking bread and gulping milk while the sun sets, joyfully revisiting The day’s events, enthusiastically planning for the next. Long after the moon ascends.
 
A country where governance is attractive to responsible, selfless, and matured individuals of integrity. Founded and based on collective teamwork, men and women trusted and worthy to be entrusted with the safety and destinies of all who make up this great nation in a system characterized by accountability and transparency.
 
Leaders with faith in the Nigerian dream, of a Nigeria where bad governance, corruption, and all government misdeeds are tales lost to time.
I dream of a Nigeria where humanity precedes religion and religious devotion is shown in our commitment to love and tolerance for one another rather than in our modes and rituals of worship. A nation where the bruises and wounds of yesterday are treated today with the balm of justice and truth, rebuilding damaged minds and mending broken hearts with blind favouritism, creating a bond of mutual respect and togetherness that leads to the future, solidifying the Nigeria of my dreams where patriotism is practiced with great optimism.
 
A Nigeria where timely, quality, affordable and efficient healthcare is available to all. Where education at all levels is not merely available but uninterrupted and affordable to all, corresponding with global best practices, competing internationally with the best. Not only producing educated minds but innovative and creative minds capable of ground shaking initiatives that will propel not only the nation but the world by extension.
 
I have constantly dreamt of a Nigeria where the constitution is supreme, and law and order are adhered to, devoid of the crimes that presently plague us. A Nigeria where the peace and unity for which many have paid for with their lives remains unthreatened.
 
I dream of a Nigeria where growth is ever consistent, where leadership and all other positions are given based on merit and not along religious, ethnic, tribal, political, and family lines. A nation that is self-sustaining, rising from the ashes of “the poverty capital of the world” to one of the most developed, fastest-growing, and self-sufficient nations of the world.
 
A Nigeria wherein the words of Chinua Achebe “When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.”
A country where our heroes past and all who have one way or another paid the ultimate price for the Nigerian dream will look down from the great beyond and smile proudly knowing that their sacrifices were not in vain.
 
Above all, I hope for the Nigeria of my dreams, where dreams become reality, one where I get to look back from a reality I once dreamt of.

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