Nigeria at 54…What is there to love?

Fifty-four years ago, this great country of ours gained independence. Is it an achievement worth celebrating? Looking at the state of things in our country today, it is very easy to yield to the urge to lament. The fact is despite all the things that are wrong with Nigeria, there are still some things that are right with this nation (I mean it). There are things to love about Nigeria.

I’m dedicating today’s post to Nigeria because I love my country. Here are five reasons why:

1) Nigerians know how to work hard. Living with people at the grassroots, I’ve seen how, day in day out, people put in their best effort to make a living. I’ve seen determination and resilience at work in market women, road cleaners, pepper sellers etc.

2) We are a family. I know divisions exist in terms of religion and tribe but Nigeria is a place where the people are generally accommodating and caring. I call it the communal instinct and you can feel it more in the rural areas. People who are not your family members go out of their way to care for you and support you. You can always count on them in time of need. It’s hard to believe but I’m talking about the same Nigeria!

3) Nigerians know how to have a good laugh. I understand why Nigerians are classified as one of the happiest people on earth; it’s because we know how to have a good laugh. When I’m down, all I just need to do is go on social media and before I know it, my spirit will be lifted again. From the comments on articles, to memes to everyday life on the streets of Nigeria, something is bound to get you laughing.

4) Nigeria has so many opportunities for people to tap into. I agree, things could be better to make business thrive but the fact cannot be denied; if you are willing to get down to your knees and work, you will reap the rewards. Opportunities are everywhere. Have you seen the number of international brands setting up camp in Nigeria? Do you think it is a mistake? No. There’s gold here.

5) Nigeria is home. At the end of the day, there is no place like home. I’ve had the privilege of traveling to a few countries and I’ll confess, I wish Nigeria could be as organised and advanced as these countries. However, none of these countries can take Nigeria’s place as home to me. Our culture, our unique mannerisms (both good and bad) and other things make most Nigerians in the diaspora yearn to come back home.

I know there are a lot of problems with Nigeria but let’s choose to see the good in this nation. Let’s choose to look at the positive things and amplify them. When we criticise, let’s also remember to commend especially when things are done right. Most importantly, let’s intercede for this nation. We were able to overcome ebola as a result of the prayers that were made on behalf of Nigeria. Stop being selfish when you pray. Pray for peace and advancement. Pray for Goodluck Jonathan (yes, he needs our prayers). Things won’t work in Nigeria if we the citizens remain as empty barrels. We need actions, not empty words alone.

Happy 54th Independence Day Nigeria!

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