Recently, an article was forwarded to a WhatsApp group of my alma-mata titled: *“China ready to complete its artificial sun this year”*, the article for me made quite an interesting read. Not only because I found some comments on the article quite hilarious, but because for some time now, I have not stopped wondering what could be wrong with Nigeria.
As a historian, the complex history of China has always fascinated me. Not only because the Chinese has been ruled by a series of warlords, but because they have had successive leaders like Mao Ze Dong, Deng Xiaoping, and Jiang Zemin among others who forced them to look inwards through reforms and programs that were far from palatable. These series of policies and reforms carried out by these leaders who today we may see as terrors has greatly shaped the Chinese culture and mindset.
Since independence about 59 years ago, Nigeria as a country and as a people have continued to move in circles, battling several enigma ranging from corruption, mindset issues, crumbling infrastructure and election characterised with violence, greed and malpractices.
In the bid to transfer technology, several research institutes were established in Nigeria following independence, and today what do we have? A country where the goal of *an individual in power* is to ensure we become a *pencil producing country*! A country of approx. 180million people. How on earth did we get here? Who did this to us?
Between 1930 and 1943, Mercedes, a German automobile manufacturing company built a model of vehicle known as the Mercedes Benz 770. Adolf Hitler later got a customised one, a 770k Grosser which was 20-foot long, four-seat, 7.7-liter convertible and armoured plated. He used it during the State visit of Italian Fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, in 1940. Though auctioned to a European collector in 2004, what stood out for me was the fact that *Germany produced a partially armoured vehicle about 80 years ago* while *Nigeria, 60+ years after independence is still assembling coloured tricyles and motorcyles imported from China.*
200 years ago, Napoleon Bonaparte, a French military leader, statesman and historian who lived between 1769-1821 predicted the rise of China. In his word: “China is a sleeping giant. Let her lie and sleep, for when she awakens, she will astonish the world.”
Though Nigeria is considered the *“Giant of Africa”, (albeit a snoring giant)*, this giant filled with human and material resources may continue to snore until the emergence of successive leaders who are selfless, committed and determined to awaken this giant, work on our mindset and force us to look inwards, we may just for another 60 years continue to run around in circles. But then, *the gods are wise!*