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“Amidst worry, sun still smiles on Nigeria”
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“Amidst worry, sun still smiles on Nigeria”

Nigeria has both natural resources and inherent problems, writes Nnabugwu Chukwuebuka, 25, a Correspondent from Uzii in Nigeria, who argues the country’s greatest asset is the attitude of its people.

A promising country, sitting as the hub of Africa, Nigeria finds itself adorned with beauties of different colours of indigenes, ranging from light- to dark-brown skinned. It is the hope of Africa, the giant of Africa.

Hearing its name, one can’t stop imagining how nature bestowed gifts on Nigeria. With different natural resources at hand, she is second to none in the region and geographically well placed in the west of Africa. This alone makes the atmosphere pleasing.

Nigeria as a country is divided into six different geopolitical zones, with different ethnic groups and diverse multicultural identities. While Christianity and Islam are major religions , there are many different religious practices.

One would expect a country with a diverse and increasing population to be productive after 58 years of independence. But that’s not the case in Nigeria. With such ethnic differences, it seems that there have been power tussles within the different ethnic groups over the years. One could say that major achievement of being a president in Nigeria is belonging to a particular ethnic group. With this mentality, Nigeria as a country has been hampered in its leadership over the years.

With our 58 years of independence and with our rich natural resources, we could have been in the limelight like Singapore, which attained independence in 1965, much later than Nigeria. But corruption has been the cause for concern, and just like a cancer, it is now deeply rooted to the system and has become the norm. We have been blessed with resources, but have we been blessed with good mentalities? The Giant of Africa shouldn’t find itself on the list of one of the poorest countries in the world, with the UN reporting over 80 million people living below the poverty line.

Moreover, just like cancer, bad governance has a created a great loophole in the country, were the issue of security greatly alarms the people. Boko Haram, established in 2002 and ranked among the deadliest of terrorist sects by the Global Terrorism Index, has left citizens with no hope of seeing the next day due to fear of various attacks. Also, the recent killings in the country related to land issues have been the cause of concern, with the government seemingly unable to counter the risk to the lives of the masses.

One should not overlook the mortality rate in the country, mainly caused by poor health indicators within the country. With its increasing population, attention should be paid likewise to the health sector, to avoid an increase in infant mortality rate.

Despite all this calamity, one must confess that the sun still smiles on Nigerians. This is evident in the cheerfulness and smiles you see on the faces of the citizens when you walk along the streets of each city. The question is, why are they still happy in the midst of these challenges? Why is there a low suicide rate in a country with bad things on a large scale?

The answer is that each generation has seen the beauty of the family atmosphere.

The informal education that kids in various regions of  Nigeria receive at home from their parents keeps their hearts strong and opens their mind to future challenges. A home with many children growing up as siblings is counted as a blessing, and it improves the happiness within the general atmosphere.

One could say that this happiness matures at home, and it can be shown at all levels – in the schools of the various students, and in the offices of their parents. Nigerians happiness can be displayed through the natural appreciation of music, which is further displayed by the artistic dance performances by the masses in the midst of hardship, pain, fear and poverty.

photo credit: marcoverch Life’s Nice In The Nordic Ice: Finland, Neighbors Top UN Happiness Index via photopin (license)

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About me: Moving on, seeing, analysing and predicting has always been my desire, as making it concrete in form of writing has been my passion. I am Nnabugwu Chukwuebuka, and have obtained my first degree in geology from the University of Nigeria Nsukka. I’m a free writer on political and ethical issues. Making a positive impact on the nation on reachable matters has always been my dream.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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