Written by: Emmanuel Dada
The West African nation of Nigeria, once a colony of Great Britain, is the most ethnically diverse country in Africa. It hosts over 200 different cultural groups that speak about 400 different languages. However, there are only three major ethnic groups in the country, which are Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa. About 60 percent of Nigerians are Christians, while the other 40 percent are comprised of Muslims and traditional believers. Muslims dominate northern Nigeria, while Christianity is strongest in the southern part of the country.
Christmas in Nigeria brings out the very best of the country while making it a cherished place to enjoy the thrill of Christmas carnival.As a young boy that grew up from a middle class family from the south/western part of Nigeria, one of the times of the year we look up to is of Couse the Christmas season. In anticipation we remind our parents of Christmas clothes, shoes, watches and even in some instances our parents admonish us to perform well in our academics work in order to get a good or desirable Christmas gift which could come in form of clothes, shoes, bags and for the wealthy kid’s bicycles, and even travel tour. All this brought to us a unique and different season of Christmas every year.
Although, times have changed and the promise of a Christmas gift do not elude us again as we are now adults, but we grew to be adults as the Nigeria economy declines to its present worst state and witnessing Christmas with the joy and vibrancy with which we witnessed it as kids gradually disappeared into oblivion, due to the ash economic realities the nation has successlly plunged each of us into, all thanks to various incapable governments that has been Incharge of the affairs of our nation over time.
With so many diversified opinion on where the Nigerian problem started from, as some are of the opinion that it was from the Babangida regime of the 90’s and some saying it was from the time of the military regime and some insisting that nothing has really worked since Nigeria got her independence. 2016 seem not to be different from every other year, just has it brought its own challenges with It too, Starting from the fall in the global oil prices, which began in June, with Boko-haram insurgency in parts of the North still taking a toll on agriculture and other economic activities in the region and the Fulani headsmen crisis in some part of the country, one could only imagine what kind of luck 2016 has brought us.
Over the years, we had built an economic system that thrived on grafts and corruption. However, blaming the past is not the solution and, increasingly, fewer people are buying the excuses of laying the blame for the present economic paralysis on the failures of the past regime because a government is elected to solve problems and improve the lives of its people. No excuse is good enough to justify non-performance. President Barack Obama, when he was elected in 2008, met the US economy on arguably its worst state since the Great Depression. Similarly, Prime Minister David Cameron of the UK inherited an economy that was almost prostrate.
The buck cannot be passed to anyone else. It is true that many countries in the world are currently going through a tough patch. However, many of these countries have also put in place economically sound and cohesive policies to tackle the economic challenges. We cannot conveniently say this about Nigeria. In fact, it is sometimes difficult to see a body of coherent fiscal and monetary policies that has been put in place to address the myriads of economic challenges confronting the country because has a matter of fact Nigerians are suffering and one could easily hazard a guess that Nigerians are tired of the blame games, they want results. In view of this, it is only imperative for the government to stand up to all the challenges and stop the propaganda of excuses, that as a nation we have to look critically into this coming year and see how we can get things done as different to the past years.
There is no doubt that the present administration has taken giant steps in the recovering of looted funds both within and outside Nigeria but that has not really had any effect on the life of Nigerian as the price of foods stuffs, transport, housing and so many social amenities available to common man has rudely jacked up and survival now seem like a luxury.
In this case, our government should rather reflect on the past years and lay it as bases why we have to improve on the coming years. Let each of us as a stake holder in this country not just fold our hands or take political sides as either we are in the APC or PDP, Nigeria still belongs to us. Let us raise our hands in unison while we pray to God to not only guide our leader’s right but to also lend His support to the development of Nigeria. And on this note I rest my case and wish u all a happy new year in advance.