By Arukaino Umukoro
Imagine those American kids on Youtube
Really meant it when they sang
‘I want to be a Nigerian so freaking bad’
Cos Bruno Mars now lives in Yola.
Imagine those bomb blasts were actually scenes from a Nollywood set.
Imagine Nollywood movies winning Oscars every other year.
Imagine Super Eagles winning the World Cup.
Imagine Nigeria finishing among the top five
On the Olympics medals table.
Imagine food baskets all over the country
Enough to feed 200 million people
Yet have enough left for export.
Imagine the UN asking Third World countries
To learn from the rapid ‘development of the West;
Only this time, the ‘West’
Actually means South-West Nigeria.
A global model for socio-economic development.
Imagine the rise of groundnut pyramids
Like sphinx in the Northern deserts.
Imagine those cattle
On a thousand Northern hills & valleys,
Whose dairy products are sold in Europe.
Imagine ‘almajiri’ is an ancient word.
Imagine Harvard in Jigawa
And MIT in Kebbi.
Imagine that the best resorts
In Africa are in the Niger Delta
Imagine that those children could
Actually swim in clean waters flowing from the creeks.
Imagine Hawaii in Akwa Ibom or Bayelsa
Imagine Disneyland in Warri.
Imagine those architectural masterpieces.
Imagine a boat cruise in the Niger Delta.
Imagine those exotic landscapes in the South.
Imagine the lush vegetation and fertile lands,
And techies in West Africa’s first Silicon Valley in the East.
Imagine an original car model called Utomibile. Maybe Aba-car or Zik-ari,
Designed & manufactured in Aba
But competing with others made in Europe & Asia.
Imagine Japanese CEOs driving made-in-Nigeria cars.
Imagine one Naira to a dollar.
Imagine nine functional refineries.
Imagine nuclear power plants in Ajaokuta.
Imagine 24 hour electricity in every city or village
Without the interruption of generators
Bleating like stray goats in the marketplace.
Imagine you telling your children PHCN stories and everyone laughing about it,
Like they were fairy tales or Alice in Wonderland.
Imagine the first Nigerian astronaut
Taking off from Abuja Space Agency.
Imagine the Nigerian police truly being your friends.
Imagine a well-equipped police force
Without the everyday drama of corruption.
Imagine thirty seven world class international airports.
Imagine Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez
Travelling to Nigeria on Nigeria Airways.
Yes, ‘Nigeria’ Airways.
Imagine Sasha & Malia Obama
Begging for a Nigerian vacation.
Imagine the beauty of traffic at night.
And the joy of inter-state road trips.
Imagine a country bonded by its diverse cultures,
Cemented with the right values system.
Imagine a country where the Hausa, Ibo,
Yoruba, Isoko, Itsekiri, Nupe and all Nigerians
See themselves as Nigerian first before their tribe.
Imagine Tuwo sinkafa, amala, and banga,
On the regular menu list in Waldorf Astoria.
Imagine that the 350 ethnic groups
Understand their differences.
Imagine that the people,
Rather than fight,
Harness her diversity into strength.
Imagine a truly indivisible country.
Imagine how great Nigeria would be
If every tribe & group unite as one.
Imagine 180 million beautiful people
In a beautiful country,
One nation under God,
For the love of country & humanity.
Imagine a country with focused,
Selfless leaders. And strong institutions.
Imagine a country where Boko Haram,
Kidnapping, Niger Delta militancy et al
Would be forgotten tales by moonlight
When we sit under the shades of history,
Sipping the palmwine of true nationhood.
Imagine a country where the rule of law prevails.
Imagine a country where there is dignity in labour.
Imagine a country where justice
Is a meal both the rich & poor can afford.
Imagine your imagination running wild.
Like truly seeing Eko Atlantic City
On Victoria Island Beach,
Imagine Nigeria’s own Manhattan.
Imagine Ajegunle, Mushin and Agege
With VGC architecture, infrastructure and design.
Imagine you living the Nigerian dream.
Imagine ‘that’ is possible.
Forget Nigeria today.
Imagine the new Nigeria tomorrow.
Imagine that beautiful country
But don’t stop there.
Together, we can make it better!
God bless Nigeria.
© Arukaino Umukoro.