By Rt. Revd. (Dr.) Stephen Fagbemi
Congratulations are in order to Nigerians and indeed to Nigeria on its 60th Independence anniversary from colonial rule.
That this country has survived for 60 years despite its many challenges can only be attributed to God’s mercy and the resilience of Nigerians. Put different it is a miracle that Nigeria has not disintegrated and for this we are grateful.
How beautiful it would have been if by now Nigeria had become a prosperous nation. The country is so blessed and naturally endowed that it was unmistakably destined to be great.
Nigerians are in virtually every country of the world making immense contributions to the prosperity and growth of the land of their sojourn; yet its own land continues to struggle while a vast majority of its citizens wallow in abject poverty in the midst of abundance.
Surely Nigeria cannot blame God for its problems. If anything it can only blame itself and especially its leadership. And this really is the bane of Nigeria. It has become a country of unending agitations. Yet no one really cares. Governments after governments have failed Nigerians.
They set up confab and other mega conferences but never read or implement their reports. The different nations that make up Nigeria all have a long list of agitations. Every year there is a catalogue of problems as well as solutions being proposed for the country.
Yet Nigeria lacks courageous leadership to deal with these problems and agitations. Needless to say, Nigeria will continue to move away from progress and success as long as it fails to address the myriads of complaints and dissatisfaction being expressed by its citizens.
Nigeria needs not fail; it needs not disintegrate or collapse. But if it does, it will not be because God is absent here; rather it will be because its leaders chose not to listen to God and His creatures; it would be because Nigerians leaders failed to listen, to show courage to lead and deal with the problems of Nigeria.
I pray that Nigeria will know peace at 60 ; that its citizens will no longer be taken for granted, but that it will soon be blessed with genuine, listening, perceptive, passionate and courageous leaders who not only understand the signs of the times but can discern how to lead Nigeria out of its numerous predicaments.
I pray for a Nigeria where no tribe or people is superior to the others and where no group will trample upon the rights of others , where there is no suspicion of any hidden agenda and where openness and truth characterise governance, where fairness and justice prevail and where leadership is responsible and sacrificial. Happy 60th Independence Anniversary.
.Rt. Revd. Dr. Fagbemi is the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Owo Ondo State and a member of Tyndale Fellowship of Biblical and Theological Research. He was the former Dean of Archbishop Vining College of Theology, Akure and also served as the General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.