By Adeola Aderounmu.
The size of Nigeria among other nations can of course be likened to the size of a camel in the animal kingdom. We are not the biggest or the strongest nation but surely we are a country to reckon with. A camel is a very useful animal when it comes to transportation. Trans Saharan trade of old could not have been successful were it not for the camels.
The camel can go quite some distance without drinking water. This does not mean that there is no water in the body of the camel. The physiology of the camel allows it to metabolise stored fat into water. This water is called water of metabolism. Comparatively more water is available to the camel by this metabolic process than if it were to depend on drinking water only.
However, as a living thing, the camel must eat and it must also drink water to remain alive. It must do this under normal circumstances. It is an advantage that in the absence of water and through the long distance journey in the desert that the camel must have evolved this survival strategy. Living things that do not develop or evolve structures or adaptive functions to unfavourable conditions risk extinction.
How do all these illustrations fit into Nigeria? Nigeria is a country and not a camel. The issue is that in a way, as a country, we have stood too long at the crossroad. For a very long time, we have not been able to make any progress as a country. Not only have we been static, our stationary state have left us in a retrogressive position in the comity of nations.
Despite this dilemma, it doesn’t seem that we are taking our predicament seriously. We are now like a camel that has depended for so long on its water of metabolism. We have gone 47 years, tired, worn out and almost collapsing. Yet, we stood by the river side and we are refusing to drink water.
The camel does not go without water forever. Nigeria is at a crossroad, in fact, we have been there for a very long time. How long we have been at the crossroads depends on the way you look at it. In June 1993, I was sure we were at the crossroad without knowing how long we have been there. Fourteen years after, we have not left the crossroad. The camel must drink water.
The option of suicide or undue negligence will not be acceptable. Neither will this be an escape route for the camel nor its owner. Living things are tendered to survive. Nigeria must survive and it is time to force the camel to drink water.
A word is enough for the wise.
May the Glory of Nigeria come, soon!