It was in 2010, in preparation for the 50 years independent anniversary of our dear country. The University of port Harcourt community announced an essay competition titled "NIGERIA: This Child is 50 years Old"
When I saw the poster of the essay competition, the title caught my attention. And one couldn't ask for a better way of describing the Nigerian situation. How can a baby be 50 years old?
Fast forward to 3 years later, today is 1st October, 2013 and that 50 years old Baby of 2010 just turned 53 with no meaningful growth. Hence, my decision to borrow the title of that essay competition. NIGERIA: This Child is 53 years old.
A 53 years old child? How is that possible? In biological sense, One crosses the child threshold between 9 and 12 years and enters adolescence. At 18, One is considered an adult. But here is a 53 years old child. There can be only one explanation to this curious situation; This 53 years old child is sick.
What's wrong with this 53 years old child? This Child called Nigeria is infected with a disease I choose to call Intense Unrestricted Corruption Syndrome (IUCS). This deadly disease which have been allowed to fester over the years have crippled all the major organs and structure of this poor child despite the natural endowments this Child was born with.
This Child's situation is even made worse by the fact that it's been lacking an important enzyme called leadership which is responsible for curbing and arresting the menace of the Intense Unrestricted Corruption Syndrome (IUCS).
The situation is grave but not unredeemable. To restore this Child to the normal healthy growth path, there's need to cultivate leadership as a matter of urgency. This together with a will to grow will definitely save this suffering child. But until that is done, Nigeria is and will always remain a sick child, a very sick child no matter her age.