A reflection post on 50 years of Nigeria's independence is an unnecessarily difficult thing to write.
The funny thing is, I can't even really articulate why. I refuses to believe that what I'm afraid of is an effort at stocktaking devolving into a long post of despair. I write posts about Nigeria all the time, after all. Sometimes these posts do teeter on the edge or actually are one long complaint, but ultimately they get written, posted, filed.
The fear, perhaps, is not so much what the post will ultimately have to say, but of where the country itself, and where it will end up next year, at this juncture in our history.
How much have things changed since last year? Yes, we have a president now. Goodluck Jonathan isn't going to fall terminally ill anytime soon (let's hope, knock on wood). The Super Eagles are not up for qualification for an international tournament with only the slightest chances of getting in. Nuhu Ribadu isn't making demands on Capitol Hill in DC. But all that is circumstantial. How different will things be next year when I have to write another post on Nigeria's independence day since so many of Nigeria's troubles come from the same issues of corruption and complete lack of regard of the governed? A lot of the troubles that Nigeria faces will continue. We probably will find out that still more of our elected officials have been stealing from the public coffers. The militias in the Niger-Delta and the North will probably still exist. Mega-church pastors would still buy expensive cars and houses and there will be few investigations into their affairs. Nigerian movies will still be laughably bad. The economy will still grow, but very few will actually know it.
The weight I am feeling on my fingers that renders this post such a chore is not fear at all, is it? It's fatigue. I don't want to throw my hands up in despair anymore. I'm tired of doing that. Lamenting "No water, no light" holds no interest to me. I'm not Wole Soyinka. Pounding my fists on my soapbox is getting irritating. I admire those among us who never tire of crying for change, but I do.
And yet, as living in the U.S. and knowing a fair amount about EU politics has shown me, every country has its problems. Logic then follows that Nigeria has either this set of problems, or another. So as the big 5-0 approaches, I will this space to hope not that Nigeria gets rid of it's problems, but that it replaces them. And soon.