– DELIVERED BY DR. CHRIS IMOISILI FCIPM, FNIM
Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa, not only in terms of GDP but also in market size (in excess of 170 million people). In recent times, however, because of the big fall in the price of oil, the main source of revenue for public sector expenditures, the depth of corruption by public office holder, and the growing threats to crude oil production as a result of the activities of armed pressure groups, there is palpable fear that Nigeria is on the way out. Yet each time we write off Nigeria, she bounces back like a phoenix. What makes her tick and how can we reinforce it so as to accelerate the journey to her Promise Land? This paper contributes in that direction.
In 1999 I was invited to a Hindu wedding in Trinidad & Tobago a Caribbean island nation with a substantial population of people of Indian ancestry. I was excited because it was going to add to my experience of traditional, Christian and Muslim weddings from back home in Nigeria. At the end of the event, my host introduced me to the officiating priest, a guru. As soon as he knew that I was a Nigerian, he greeted me quite warmly, adding, “the man from the centre of the world”. I got curious and asked how he came to that conclusion. He drew a chair for me to sit down beside him and showed me a fascinating expose.
In summary this is what he said. Where two perpendicular line intersect, that point has the value of zero-zero (0,0). The first positive quadrant will be marked by the longitude (to the left) and latitude (below). When you look at the globe, the zero longitude is the Greenwich Meridian which passes through Accra(Ghana), while the zero latitude is the Equator which passes through the Atlantic Ocean south of the bight of Benin and through Congo Democratic Republic.
Where those two lines cross is in the centre of the world. Now if you look at the country that occupies the first positive quadrant, it is Nigeria. That is spiritually significant. It means each day, when good and evil forces look at the globe, they cannot help but see Nigeria. Nigeria is thus a spiritual battle ground. However, there is good news. Nigeria will make it but it will be more by default than by design! It will be wasteful in terms of time and resources but she will surely make it.
I dismissed his views then as a merely patronizing of my presence! But over the years, I have found so much empirical evidence to pay serious attention to his “theory”.
Dr. Chris Imoisili.