Salisu lawal uli
It always irritate me when I see Leaders, making a jest or try to rubbish Nigeria’s attainment of greatness over this period of 56 years since Independence. I am not saying all is perfect but Nigeria based on its uniqueness and peculiarities, the consequence of which alot of challenges confronted it in its journey to Nation hood and by implication slowing it down in respect of economic growth, science and technology, Agriculture and other spheres of human advancement that would have seen it tops of so many nations that are currently in the league of world developed states.
However, inspite of this it would be most unfair to compare Nigeria with UAE and Rwanda. Making a comparison of the three is like comparing pineapple, banana and grapes, though they are all fruits but the only feature that bring them together is that they are fruits ” shi ke nan” It therefore means you can only say or write that Nigeria, UAE and Rwanda are countries of the world, going further to make any analogy is most unfair.
Let’s examine the 2015 estimated population of these countries; Nigeria 182,202,000, UAE 9,581,000, Rwanda, 11,262, 564. Looking at land mass, Nigeria 923,768Km2, UAE, 83, 600Km, Rwanda 26,338Km2. The ethnic groups gap in these countries is very wide with Nigeria having about 500 tending towards infinite heterogeneity, UAE has Hindi ,Pakistani, and Emiriti with Arabic as the official language tending towards absolutely homogeneity. Majority of Rwandans speak Banyarwanda even though they may be distinct asTutsi , Hutu or Twa. The difference in the dialect of the Rwandan ethnic identities may be similar to that of Ijebu and Yoruba, that between Bura and Babur, that between Karekare and Ngizim, Bolewa and Ngamo, that between Bedde and Kanuri and Shuwa, that between Sokoto Fulani and Adamawa Fulani, this is Just a few in Nigeria.
The Religion in UAE is predominantly Islam, in Rwanda predominantly Christian religion in Nigeria Islam , Christianity and Traditional Religion are the prevailing faiths.
The economy of UAE and Nigeria although largely dependant on oil, UAE with a population of about 1/20th that of Nigeria is the sixth largest producer of oil, while Nigeria is ranked 13th ,therefore UAE must be more buoyant than Nigeria’s. Rwanda economy depends largely on Agriculture whose major exports are tea and coffee.
Finally, looking at these Nigerian peculiarities why comparing UAE ,Rwanda and Nigeria? Nigeria despite its enormous challenges has a greater potential for development than most development countries. We have so many researchers and so many research findings in our archives. What we require now is an enabling environment. Environment of vision, clearly mapped out vision plan and implementation. A vision devoid of political interference but backed by political will.
However we must admit despite our heterogeneity Nigeria has made tremendous progress in all spheres of human endeavors.
Uli Is a state EXCO of PDP in katsina state wrote this piece four years ago.