Alameen Sheikh : Thank you for sharing Azuka Onwuka’s reflection on the similarities between our great nation, Nigeria and India. It got me thinking of another scorching similarity – cremation! While Indians cremate their dead, we cremate our living via many ways that include, but not limited to, neck-lacing petty thieves (and innocent suspects) with tyres round their necks and watching gleefully, in self-righteous pride, as our humanity diminishes before our eyes. Or desecrating and cremating Churches (now a Sunday-Sunday ritual in the North) and Mosques and our Christian and Muslim neighbours during our regular, godless sectarian crises and watching ‘faithfully’ as the flames of our offerings rise and fly heaven-ward to prove our piety to God. Or barbecue-ing our youths and children during those normal but pitiable shoves to outdo each other in siphoning fuel from vandalized pipelines and ill-fated tankers. Or grilling our urban folk through avoidable road and air traffic mishaps. India cremates her dead; we cremate our living, turning our vast country into one great funeral pyre.

Ibrahim Dang : This piece captured our dilemma as a country. Let us pray that many who read it will “tidy up their corners first”. This has always been the problem. God bless you and bless Nigeria.

Jacob Kwaga : The issues have been laid out bare. It has put a lie to the stupid arguments always advanced for our own development pertaining to size, ethnic and religious differences, etc. To me the take home message to us as a country is that our religiosity counts for nothing and is only phoney. It is up to us to start tidying up our corners first. Really good stuff.

Abdulrazak B Ibrahim : Great piece “On Nigeria and India”.

Hauwa Tahir : Nigeria we hail thee. Quite an interesting piece I must say. It hit home as I was driving down to work this morning when suddenly a large bus crossed over to my lane, and the driver showered abuses at me. I looked carefully and saw TATA boldly written on it. What a shame! We not only borrow other people’s culture, we actually are the dumping ground for all their technological products. When will Nigeria ever be self-sufficient?

Abbati Dankanti Gumel :  ‘On Nigeria and India’ reminded all meaning Nigerians that our persistent problems have a good foundation right from the time of our colonial self-centred leaders. Since the character of Nigerians has turned out to be a ‘luxurious life’ syndrome in view of the abundance of oil revenue, coupled with corrupt, inept and irresponsible leaders, what do you expect to produce? A total societal anarchy and insecurity enhanced by armed robbery, unemployed youth, kidnapping, maiming and killing, arson and destruction at slight provocation. So, where do we start from here? I will quote Bill Copeland who says, “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score a single goal.” The governments we had before and after the independence did not seem to have a focus as most of the leaders Nigeria unfortunately had were either persecutors or day-dreamers. The responsible ones were those who started Development Plans which were rejected and abandoned. Presently, Annual Budgets have turned out to be annual ceremonial events held shameless by governors with legislators as spectators. May Almighty Allah grant us the best leaders who can turn this country into the Promised Land we all believe it is!

Fateemah Yusuf : This piece is worth an Emmy. I doff my hat, hair and, in fact, brain!

Standing ovation for all, and especially for Azuka! Clearly our being ‘religious’ does not bring us in any way near ‘godliness’ (in fact, we better try ‘cleanliness’, which is said to be nearer, nay, next).

Further in my online research, I discovered that, back in August, there was a fierce debate on the same subject (Comparing Nigeria and India) on that lively Nigerian cyber group Nairaland (which may have perhaps triggered Azuka’s own article). At random, I selected a few entries to share here as well:

Sesan David: I just came back from Bangalore, India. What I saw has proven to me that they are far ahead of Nigeria. Though poverty is very high like ours, their power supply is better than what we have in Lagos.

Ufe Olorun: India is on overdrive while Nigeria is still being propelled by an omolanke kind of device. Don’t you know India is part of the BRICS (the others being Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa)? Did you hear of any BRICSN?

Rossik: All of you are living on a different planet. Of what use is India’s rail system if the people are so malnourished? Haven’t you read that India has 200 million malnourished people, more than the whole population of Nigeria? If it is railway, our own Lagos Rail is coming, Abuja Rail is coming. And for those even saying Ghana is better than us, you must be out of your minds! Does Ghana have Dangote? Do they have Glo? Where is their Zinox? We will get there!

Ufe Olorun: On Omolanke?

Now it is trite to say I love Nigeria more than India. The site ‘Country-Facts’ continues the comparison from here. It says their Mumbai is our Lagos; their New Delhi our Abuja. While we sing ‘Arise O Compatriots’, they intone ‘Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People’. We hold aloft ‘Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress’ as motto, theirs is ‘Truth Alone Prevails’. Truth, they say?

And even though India has almost 1.2 billion people compared to our 160 million (meaning we are only a minor fraction of India’s population), Life Expectancy is drastically different between the two, in their favour: India‘s is 64 years, Nigeria’s is 46 years! No wonder Child Mortality rates are so radically different as well: in India it is 55 deaths out of 100,000 live births, while ours is 109, near the bottom of the global pile. Perhaps all these may be out dated facts, but they remain instructive that size of population does not in any way put you into disadvantage. China is another good case study.

Now then, let’s push our omolanke to a logical conclusion. TATA!

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