Opinion: Interpreting Nigeria’s founding fathers’ dream, key to our progress – By DANIEL ENYERIBE

zik and awo

The moment the biblical Joseph rightly interpreted that dream of Pharaoh, Egypt rapidly overcame its economic and social malaise and rose to prominence. It became a house of bread and grain for all nations. People were coming from as far as Persia, mid and far-east to buy food and medicines from Egypt. Nigeria has a dream from its founding, and even before the 60s, yet Nigeria’s dream has not been interpreted to work for its own people.

Now is the time to interpret Nigeria’s founding dream, this is the reason all Nigerians are calling for restructure, and here we come; – Nigeria has founding fathers, yet Nigeria has a founding father. This must be recognized as what makes our independence struggles glorious! – The founding father had a dream believed by the founding fathers.

The dream is a yearning to be our brother’s keeper. The online wikiquotes states it as thus; Zik’s dream “was more an ideology for African renascence emphasizing the restoration of the dignity of the black man after centuries of colonial imposition and exploitation. It sought to empower the black man in general and the Nigerian in particular to attain great heights especially in the pursuit of knowledge which, for Zik, was critical to the emancipation of the black man.” -“We Must Nurture Politics of Ideas” Ibrahim Babangida in ThisDay Online (7 December 2003) – African man has been battered by slavery and emptiness of life even in the midst of plenty, and now must be salvaged.

– The founding fathers agreed on the political philosophy of working to restore the dignity of the African man. – The premier Universities like University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ahmadu Bello University, were established to give expression to black man’s intellectual emancipation. – This is the philosophy that fueled Pan-Africanism, and independence movements of the era. – What killed the dream of our fathers? What happened, where did we miss it? Which generation killed the dream of our founding fathers?

Can we get back to the dream? The questions to provoke our thoughts today also include; – Is the lesson of Joseph’s interpretation of King of Egypt’s dream relevant for Africa, and its economic survival today? – Are we supposed to interpret national dream to succeed? Who is the Joseph that interprets Nigeria’s national dream? Who is the man of wisdom with Godly insight?

– Who gives Nigerians their rations and rights without let or hindrances? Who plans for the rainy day? What is Nigeria’s worth in terms of revenue, GDP and national reserves? – Do we have mechanisms to check waste and save when there is plenty? – Do we respect the rights and privileges of Nigeria citizens, and grant the federating nationalities equal opportunity, allocation and protection?

– Do we allow visionary leaders to come to national limelight from obscurity? Nations of the world are producing young leaders again, and vigorously encouraging youths to have political dominions and leadership over Principalities. Will Nigeria resurrect that dead dream of our youthful founding fathers, once again?

Daniel Michael Enyeribe, PhD.

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