I was spreading my washed clothes one afternoon [23-04-2013] when ‘it’ suddenly crossed my mind…

It’s been repeated on innumerable occasions, through several means; television, radio, newspapers, social networks, bear parlours, collegiate debates, gossip joints etc. that NIGERIA is not only a failing nation, but an already failed and irredeemable one.

It is said that NIGERIA is a doomed country, a marriage grounded on duress and mistake, a company about to liquidate, a time-bomb waiting to explode. In fact, a particular politician has developed the habit of uttering the view that ‘the ship of the Nigerian state is heading towards {an avoidable} cataract, iceberg and oxbow lakes.’ And, fortunately or unfortunately, that is the view of the majority, excluding, of course, the ‘microscopic few’ who feed off the woes, hunger and misery of the masses.

However, putting sentiments aside, and focussing solely on reality; how true can we say this viewpoint is?

I’m sure it is obvious already, from the title of this write-up; that I disagree with the notion, even though I definitely am not part of the parasitic ‘microscopic few’. So what exactly is my thought respecting the issue.

I believe Nigeria is not a failure. But neither can she be labelled a success.         I believe just as we cannot call a particular course (or subject, as the case may be) a failure or success, we cannot call ‘Nigeria’ the same.

What am I trying to say? Only students fail or succeed. They fail or pass particular courses. And since Nigeria is not a student, {just a subject or ‘a mere geographical expression’ as Chief Obafemi Awolowo once put it} she has neither failed nor succeeded. Thus, the accurate proposition should not be ‘NIGERIA has FAILED’ or ‘NIGERIA is a FAILED STATE’; it ought to be; ‘NIGERIANS have FAILED NIGERIA!’

In school, we have easy courses {e.g. General studies, use of English etc.} and difficult ones {e.g. advanced mathematics, programming, physics etc.}. If we are to categorise Nigeria into one of these two broad types, she would be a very easy course to pass, easier than English language, easier than religious studies and even easier than ‘nullology’, the study of nothing, if there’s anything such thing. This is so because she has all the resources in the world to make even a dullard pass. Yet, Nigerians have failed her.

The question to ask now, I guess, is WHY? Why have we failed our fatherland despite her rich and copious mineral resources? Why have we failed our country despite her possessing a more than enough {fresh and youthful} human resources? Why have Nigerians failed Nigeria, even though she is very easy to pass? Why, oh why? Is it that we are that daft? I don’t know. But in a country where hundreds of people die daily in the most despicable ways and yet the number one figure finds it easy to engage in political crusades; a country where little children are being raped, sold, kidnapped and murdered, yet all the parliament thinks of is a raise in allocation; a country where genuine justice is incessantly slaughtered on the altar of cupidity; what else do we expect? It is not that we are too daft to succeed, just that everyone is too busy ‘surviving’ {even if it’s at others detriment}, to care about the greater good. We are too busy salivating for political appointments and governmental contracts to remember that others also deserve a good life; and even a life at all. We are too busy chasing money; fame and comfort that we fail to see the big picture, to be concerned about the verdicts of posterity.

And until that changes, we will keep failing this country. We will keep having a ‘carry-over’ of the vicious cycle of corruption and poverty and insecurity.

This article is not aimed at highlighting the many problems bedevilling this country, because we do not just already know them, we, as a matter of fact; sensually perceive them on a daily basis. Again, it is not that I have set out to postulate solutions to these problems, as an ignorance of the way-out of our predicament has never been a problem for us as well; it is the will cum the zeal to follow them through that we lack.

I have only thought it worthwhile to correct the popular, but erroneous notion that Nigeria has failed. No! She hasn’t; because she is inanimate, she is lifeless, and she makes no decisions to determine her well-being or otherwise.

It is we, Nigerians, that have failed the Nigerian subject.

It is we, Nigerians, that have failed the Almighty, our teacher.

It is we who have failed ourselves.

Nigeria has not failed; rather she is failed.