Watch the video I posted above and see how respectable Nigerian used to be. ?It’s unfortunate that the manner USA leaders received PM Balewa in Washington in 1961 is now the manner Nigeria of 2020 would receive a serving American President in Nigeria, that is, if any American President would accept to “stoop so low” as to pay a visit to Nigeria. ?Irony of life! ?Mr B. Obama as US President had shunned Nigeria even after he had visited heavy Ghana. ?Some have suggested that PM Tafawa Balewa was a man of honour, a highly civilized and talented leader.
▪️A respected Professor of law, RACE Achara once argued that “PM Balewa was stately and a veritable pride to the country,” Nigeria. ?Nothing can be closer to the truth about the crop of leaders Nigeria was blessed with in the first republic. ?But, it is important to point out that the high regard America and the world had for Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa and for Nigeria in the early 1960’s was not just about the personality of PM Balewa; it was mainly about the greatness Nigeria used to ooze out; it was about Nigeria’s leadership and people, and about how Nigeria respectably carried itself and managed its affairs in the eyes of the watching world (story for another day). ?1961 was when Nigeria was highly respected among the comity of nations. ?Unfortunately, soon afterwards, things fell apart because the centre could no longer hold; we and our Nigeria dose-dived and continued falling, and falling and falling and never rising, since then. ?Today, we are no longer at ease. ?A ready way to measure how low we have fallen since the glorious 1960’s is to have a cursory look at the rise and fall of the once treasured Nigerian Naira. ?As of 1961, one US dollar was equal to 50 kobo (fifty Kobo)
? From the 1970’s and early 1980’s, it became N0.90k to $1 USD. ?In 1993, exchange rate wad N17.00 to $1. ?By 1996 in it was officially N22 to $1. ?In 2004 — N127 to $1. ?2009: N147 to $1. ?2014 — N164 to $1. ?In 2015, it was N171 to $1. ?It was N360 to one dollar in 2019. ? And today, in 2020, N389 is $1. ?This signifies the abysmal downward movement of Nigeria’s leadership, Nigeria’s governance, Nigeria’s economy, and Nigeria’s hope, which is readily illustrated and replicated in Nigeria’s rating in the eyes of the USA and other advanced nations of the world.?One can’t have one’s cake an and eat it. ?If one wants respect from the world, one ought to first and always make oneself respectable before the world. It is garbage in, garbage out. The way one dresses is the way one is addressed. ?These are irrefutable facts of life. ? Accordingly, one can’t expect the USA in 2020 when One US-Dollar is equal to N389, to treat and regard Nigeria, its people and its leaders as it did treat and regard them in 1961 when One US-Dollar was N0.50kobo. ? Anyone that is used to calling a spade by its true name would readily agree that, unlike many countries of the world that have since elected to, and indeed began to, move forward instead of backwards, since 1961, Nigeria and its economy, leadership, governance, have not moved any forward, but steadily backward. ?In other words, Nigeria of the 1960’s is far better than Nigeria of 2020. ?Comparing the two is like comparing life to death. ?Even though life was simpler and slower and sure was not necessarily easier, good old days were better than today; it’s no use comparing then to now. ?Yet, “those good old days are gone.The only good thing about the good old days is that they’re gone,” says Dick Gregory. ▪️We can’t bring back the good old days.?But all hopes are not lost. ▪️Although we can’t have or bring back Tafawa Balewa and his team of the 1960’s, we can still manage to redeem a lost Nigeria if we make up our minds to. ▪️The first step is to make up our minds so to do, because we’re unfortunately yet to so make up our minds?We ourselves destroyed and devalued Nigeria with our ethnicism, tribal jingoism, religious fundamentalism, social, leadership and economic corruption, governance by suppression, seclusion, segregation and nepotism, and thereby brought then giant of Africa to the bottom of the world’s respect table. ▪️Only we can bring the country back to its feet, standing and soaring and roaring, as the giant of Africa that it once was. ▪️In the meantime, let’s face and deal with the present time. ?I think, to this end, it is apposite to recall with endorsement, the soothing words of writer, Tamuna Tsertsvadze:
“Good old days? Whatever good in them may have been, they’re long past. No use crying over them now when they are but distant memories. I shall tell you the trick – in a person’s mind, all distant memories eventually grow tinted with rays of sunshine, and the toils and hardships the flesh and the soul have undergone get lost and forgotten. Hence you begin believing that those old days were good, and have a hard time dealing with present difficulties… I believe, whatever hardship you may face at present, it is still better than some vague and blurry flashbacks you carry in your mind, for the present can be felt upon the touch, sensed upon the breath, lived through and fought for. Good old days are long gone, and if you ask me, have never been as good as you may now imagine. There is only now, and the bitterer it is, the sweeter it feels to live the moment to its fullest.”