It was a beautiful country, blessed with an over-abundance of mineral resources.
Her culture was one of the richest in Africa, and her people were happy, carefree, and industrious. A stranger was always welcomed in any land, and well provided for. They loved their neighbor as much as they loved themselves.
(Throwback: Old transportation and Mounted guards in a festival)
Her people were beautiful, strong and intelligent. They were industrious and wealthy. Their groundnut pyramids of Kano was a sight to behold, their oil palm of the east was a delight to foreign nations. Their railways hauled coal from the belly of Enugu coal mines. They had skillful artisans.
(1936 : Lagos to Kaduna railway, London and Kano trading company Lagos )
Even before whitemen came, Awka blacksmiths were making guns and wonderful iron works, and Benin artist were creating such beautiful works of art that will cost millions of dollars today.
( 1973 Emir of Zaria Palace, 1960 Kano Mosque )
The palaces of the emirs could be counted among the seven wonders of Africa along with the groundnut pyramids of Kano. Dubai then was a fishing village compared to the harbour of Lagos, which already had skyscrapers. And the Naira was stronger than the dollar.
( 1960 groundnuts pyramids of Kano )
Their educational institutions were so strong that any graduate can get work anywhere in the world, and indeed most graduates traveled abroad. Prestigious schools like DMGS onitsha, CKC onitsha and Kings College lagos were the best in the entire West Africa. University of Ibadan was a true colossus of its time. Even primary school leavers (called standard six then) had a powerful command of English language and a level of enlightenment equal to a university graduate today.
It was truly the giant of Africa.
How did we go wrong ? Where did we go wrong ? At that pace, we should have been better than Dubai today. What really happened.
( 1960 University college hospital Ibadan, and main gate University of Ibadan )
No one has all the answers, but we can make an attempt.
NO 1: POLITICIANS
In the holy book, there was a time humans were so prosperous that they wanted to build a mighty tower, the tower of babel. There was only one way that GOD himself could stop them.
Genesis 11:7 “Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
That was the beginning of tribalism. Confuse their language and they will scatter.
( Nigerian early parliamentarians, Old Lagos airport )
So in our case, the devil gave us POLITICIANS. We were unfortunate to have the worst, most despicable kinds of politicians. Politicians so selfish, that they will do anything to further their selfish ambitions, and one way, was to fan the embers of tribalism.
Even till today, most of us still idolized those tribal politicians, that helped to sow the seeds of distrust and tribalism that culminated in the civil war, and left an indelible scar on the psyche of Nigeria.
( 1961 Christ the King College Onitsha, Central bank of Nigeria Lagos )
Till date these politicians are still in our system, they will gladly get us to kill each other, as long as it serves their selfish interest, and like one politician, Rotimi Amaechi rightly said, ” ..we steal because Nigerians don’t stone us..”
The discovery of oil, was not a blessing for Nigeria. With increasing extraction of oil, the red oil of the east gradually disappeared, the groundnut pyramids of Kano gradually lowered until it was no more.
Oil made us lazy and greedy. Agriculture, our pride and the mainstay of major economies, was relegated to the background and eventually became a career only for the very poor and uneducated.
Eventually oil became the only source of our income and even our politics now revolve around oil.
NO 3: THE CITIZENS
The citizens of Nigeria were so trusting and naive. They were easy victims to the rapacious elites and politicians. Their fertile minds was viciously raped and totally corrupted, and their individual power totally usurped. Of course this was necessary, because if an individual realized his ability to make a change, the parasites cannot hold to power much longer.
( 1960 : Oil palm plantation and favorite “Lexus” )
And so the citizens became, dormant and laid back. They believe nothing good can ever come out of this great nation. They surrendered their destiny to a few old men in parliament.
( Beautiful Yoruba and Igbo girls )
Even worse, their entrepreneurial spirit was much dampened. They simply look up to these old people called government, to provide them with work. How can they possibly do this ? Do they even understand the technologies of the 21st century ? Imagine if Mark Zuckerberg was waiting for George bush to provide him with work ? The old generation doesn’t understand the new world, and so cannot possibly satisfy their demands. Americans and Chinese understood these, and thus encouraged their youths to be more enterprising. Nigerian leaders simply create drama to distract the youths. But for how long will the youths be distracted if they are hungry. No wonder the rate of crime, kidnapping, extremism and the rest. Of course, the devil finds work for an idle mind.
( 1974 Lagos harbour, and cassava farm )
But we could be better. We can restore our glory. We just have to know the truth. “The truth shall set you free”. Free from the bondage of the elites, who prefer to manipulate the media to feed us their version of the truth. Free to pursue our dreams, like our forefathers did, even if it means going back to the reliable wealth builder, called Agriculture. Free to build our characters and resist corruption. Free to really choose who will lead us best, and not who the elites in the major political parties decide to hoist upon us.
( The Queen visits Nigeria, Mary Slessor’s house )
This is why Millionaires Academy www.register.millionaire.ng exists. To restore the dignity of labor and entrepreneurship. When you no longer rely on anyone, to give you a paycheck, you are free. When you generate your own wealth, you are free. When you restore your ability to work hard for yourself, you are free. This is what we teach in Millionaires Academy. We still believe that the future of Nigeria will be better. We believe it with every fiber of our being. And as we teach more youths to work for themselves, and free them from the shackles of poverty and myopic thinking, we see a brighter future for this nation.
( 1962 Onitsha Main market, Ferry crossing Onitsha to Asaba )
Join Us today to build a better Nigeria.
What other factors do you think are responsible for the degeneration of this country, and what other ways do you think Nigeria can return back to it’s former glory ? Share your opinions below, and please share this message with your friends.
Engr Ifeanyi Okoro