As part of the task for Face Of Rhodies World Photo Contest Season 7, contestants were asked to write on the theme of the contest (I Believe In Nigeria). The article carries 1000 votes, while photo rating carries 4000 votes. Below is an unedited written document sent in by this contestant.
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NAME: BETTY AKEM
CONTESTANT NO: 11
Like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, LIGHT IS HERE. I am not referring to the recent improvement in power supply in the country, I am talking about the renewed hope in my country to prosper. Maybe not doom and gloom yet but when the people of Great Britain fought through hell to take hold of the ‘Niger Area’, they saw a lot more than a country that fifty-five years after independence would still be grappling with the definition of corruption.
The ‘Giant of Africa’ and the most populous black nation on earth are some of the many superlatives used to describe the Federal Republic of Nigeria – a name coined from the Niger River running through the country and given to her by a journalist of British descent, Madam Flora Shaw. In fact, of every four Africans, one must be Nigerian. Excuses thrive where love is absent and an unpatriotic spirit tends to take one’s eye away from the brighter side. In actual fact, it makes you look at the grey areas rather than focus on what may become of your country.
Nigeria is a country so richly blessed and naturally endowed. Strategically located in the Western part of the continent on the Gulf of Guinea, she is the world’s thirty-second largest country with a total area of 356,669 sq. mi, lies between latitudes 4○ and 14○N and longitudes 2○ and 15○ E, shares borders with Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Benin Republic and is home to over five hundred ethnic groups. Blessed with an abundance of oil, a fertile ground for farming, vegetation and plantation and an embarrassment of riches in terms of man power. Nigeria is the twentieth largest economy in the world and the largest economy on the African continent. She is the largest producer of petroleum in the world and the eight largest exporter, she also has a wide array of mineral resources which includes limestone, natural gas, iron ore and lead.
In spite of this huge deposit of natural and human endowment, Nigeria is a nation still trying to find her feet, still on her knees, struggling to stand on her toes and battling with poverty. This is in no small way due to the high level of corruption, high-handedness and impunity which is rather shameful for a country of immense potentials. Albeit, loyalty to one’s country is non-negotiable. For me, it is a compulsion and not a necessity. It is a task and a responsibility in which I must not falter and it is a value that I pride myself in. It is quite easy to speak of, or hear the words, ‘loyalty and belief in Nigeria’. However, in reality these few words encompass meanings that are wide ranging, beautiful and of tremendous depth. Indeed, to fully comprehend and understand what these words truly mean and what they require is actually very difficult given the harsh economic situation of the country. But, I have weighed the pros and cons, I have had a deep thought, and in all of these, I have discovered it is something that is very profitable to do.
Doubts may stare us in the face, but I believe in the assurance of hope. I believe in the power of our ability as a people. Uncertainty may frown at us, but I believe in the strength of our collective will. I believe in the capability of our unity. Corruption may threaten to kill us, but, I am cork sure we will overcome. I believe in our collective existence. Just as popular lyricist, Innocent Idibia said in one of his songs; ‘’with the power of Naija working together, victory is sure’’. This is the confidence that I have in us as a people; victory, victory and victory. His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari said in his inaugural speech said that he is for everybody and nobody, in the same vein, I am for Nigeria and no other community. I believe we will thrive and not just survive. I believe in the future of the young and unborn Nigerians. I believe in the green and white. I BELIEVE IN NIGERIA.
COMMENT FROM THE CREW
1) Message: 300
2) Paragraphing: 300
Green & White: 500
Total: 2100/ 5000
Photo Grading by: Otobong Otis Smart
CEO: Otis Model Academy